With its formal reveal due at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Aston Martin
has released the first official photos of the production version of its breathtaking Rapide four-door. Set to go heads up against cars like the Porsche Panamera
CLS63 AMG, the Rapide has made the transition from the concept first seen in Detroit at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in 2006 to a volume-build package virtually unchanged save for a few minor detail tweaks. To be built in Graz, Austria, and go on sale early in 2010, the rear-drive Rapide is based on Aston's aluminum-intensive VH (Vertical/Horizontal) architecture. It will be powered by a 470-horsepower/6.0-liter V12 that's backed by a Touchtronic autoshifter. The company's Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez promises that the A-M's first production four-door sports car "will exceed expectations to deliver elegance and practicality in a form that will allow driving enjoyment and comfort beyond anything that exists today. The Rapide will exist in a class all of its own, a true Aston Martin with the high performance and dynamic excellence that defines the brand, and a luxurious sporting grand tourer without equal."