Aston Martin Rapide: 477HP V12 Sports Saloon Makes World Debut at Frankfurt Show

Almost four years after its introduction as a concept model at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, the Rapide was finally revealed in production form in Frankfurt. First deliveries of Aston Martin's first series production four-door saloon will commence early in 2010 with detailed pricing expected to be announced later in the year. The Rapide, which has stayed true to the prototype model, will be offered exclusively with Aston Martin's hand built 6.0-liter V12 engine that makes 477HP at 6,000 rpm and 600Nm (443 lbft) of peak torque at 5000 rpm.

All that grunt is delivered to the rear wheels through a specially tuned version of Aston's six-speed 'Touchtronic 2' automatic transmission that allows the driver to change gear automatically or manually via the steering column-mounted magnesium paddles.

The British firm has yet to release performance figures, but drivers should expect a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of a little over 5,0 seconds.

"Rapide is the culmination of the Aston Martin range of sports cars, a car that seals the revival of a truly admired marque. There is now an Aston Martin for every taste and for every use," said Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez.

"With Rapide, the entire family can enjoy their Aston Martin together in unison, in an invigorating yet comfortable environment, sitting low, with plenty of visibility from every seat and with new levels of comfort, refinement and entertainment."

The Rapide features four 'swan wing' doors that open slightly upwards revealing the saloon's 2+2 seating layout. The boot capacity is 301-liters which is roughly the same size as the luggage compartment of the Ford Fiesta (...). Not that we're expecting many to do so, but the Rapide's rear seats fold flat at the touch of a button to create a flat loading space, thus increasing the luggage compartment to 750-liters.

The Rapide will be the first car in Aston Martin's history to be built outside of Britain as production will be carried out by Magna Steyr at the firm's Austrian plant in Graz.