Friday, February 25, 2011

Aston Martin Rapide – first official image

First official image of the Aston Martin Rapide

First official image of the Aston Martin Rapide


The Aston Martin Rapide been coming for ever. But it’s getting closer (even though its not actually going to be on sale until 2010) and finally Aston Martin has released the first official image of the car, although there was a so-called official image (or rendering) of the Rapide a little while back.

For some reason this story and the image were embargoed until tomorrow. Why, I hear you ask? Not got a clue. But obviously no one else could see why either, so as everyone and his dog has run this story today, we thought we ought to as well.

So what’s the news? Not a lot, really. The car looks pretty much as it has on all the spy shots of the Rapide we’ve seen. Maybe a slightly more pronounced line down the side? And the little vents on the side at the front seem to have gone. But other than that, it’s what we thought.

But you do have to acknowledge its beauty. Similar in concept to the Porsche Panamera, the Rapid has put style first, as you would expect. Porsche have ended up with a bit of a bulbous back end, probably to make sure rear passengers were comfortably accommodated. Not Aston Martin. The lines are everything. To be fair, until we get our hands on one, we have no idea whether the shape has compromised the accommodation, but it seems likely. Still, that’s what Astons are – beauty first.

Stretched by 10 inches over the DB9, the Rapide will have a 6.0 litre V12 with 470bhp, and a 0-60mph time of high 4 seconds. Not astonishing (and not as quick as the Turbo Panamera) but more than adequate. Inside is very DB9-esque – only bigger.

The one oddity is that Aston Martin will have the Rapide built in Austria by Magna Steyr instead of at Gaydon. But I guess that decision was taken at a time when Aston’s manufacturing facility was working to capacity. But I suppose it’s too late to bring it back home. Still, I don’t suppose it will compromise the Aston-ish feel one bit.

Expect more trickles of information in the coming months, prior to an unveil at Frankfurt in September.


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