Spy shots of undisguised Aston four-door
22 January 2008

You’re looking at the latest spy shots of an almost undisguised Aston Martin Rapide winter testing in Sweden. Aston is making swift progress developing its £200k four-door ahead of an anticipated launch date later this year. And these shots show the GT’s gorgeous styling in better detail than ever.Recently it’s emerged that struggling coachbuilder Pininfarina could enter into a deal with Aston Martin’s management that would see manufacture of the Rapide switch from Gaydon to Italy. The British firm’s ambitious target is to sell 2000 Rapides per year and could use Pininfarina’s extra production capacity. In the meantime, Aston’s engineers are using the Continental Tyres’ facility in the north of Sweden, essentially an ice track carved into a lake, to run this Rapide prototype. It’s based on the same underpinnings as the DB9, but gets a longer wheelbase to allow for the extra two doors. Power’s provided by a 6.0-litre V12 engine allowing a top speed of over 180mph and the 0-60mph dash dismissed in around 5.5 seconds. The Rapide’s most obvious rival is the much-anticipated Porsche Panamera, which is also due to arrive before the end of this year. But Aston bosses are positive, according to a well placed source: “Aston is now feeling very optimistic and feels that there’s a much bigger market for the Rapide than it first thought”. Our first glimpse of the Aston four-door was a concept model, shown at the Geneva motor show back in 2006.

Will Powell

Our Verdict

Aston Martin DB9

The Aston Martin DB9 matches the emotion of a Ferrari but it adds practicality and offers an experience unmatched for versatility and all-round appeal

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22 January 2008

Am I the only one who thinks the new Rapide looks out of proportion? The natural sporting stance and beauty of the DB9 hasn't been transferred in this car and never could be. Aston of late have been showing a worrying lack of originality. The DBS for example is a chavved up 9 with a bling interior, whilst the detailing on the RS Vantage could have been achieved by an aftermarket bodykit from Halfords. I wonder, is it a lack of funding or a design team that lack the confidence to replicate the successes of Ian Callum.

22 January 2008

Since the Vanquish it's certainly been 'variations on a theme' styling wise. Surely at some point they'll have to change the formula...

25 January 2008

I love Astons, but i agree with other posts on here. The proportions to me do look out of proportion and the styling department will sooner or later have to go in a new direction.

Astons are pure sex on wheels though. how they can compare Jags to these is beyond me.

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