Aston Martin is about to stun the automotive world with a graceful V12 four-door saloon concept at next week’s Detroit motor show.
The new car, named the Rapide, neatly extends Aston Martin’s design cues to a completely new model and revives a name used for an early ’60s Lagonda four-door, though Aston bosses say there is no plan to revive the Lagonda marque itself.
The new Rapide, built on the same versatile VH aluminium monocoque platform used for Aston’s DB9 and V8 Vantage sports cars, breaks cover at the very moment the company seemed to have stopped launching new models to concentrate on reducing the waiting lists for its existing cars.
And though the Rapide is firmly labelled a concept, the fact that it is already a runner indicates it could be in production by 2008, at least a year ahead of Porsche’s forthcoming four-door, the Panamera, plans for which were announced last summer.
The Rapide uses Aston’s 6.0-litre quad-cam V12, as found in the DB9, and is tipped to produce 450-480 bhp. It will drive through a rear-mounted automatic gearbox controlled by paddle-shifts, as in the DB9.