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by George Skentzos

In its second debut for the day, Aston Martin has released the first two official images of its upcoming Rapide which was first previewed at the 2006 Detroit auto show.

The Rapide proves that the four-door coupe genre is no oxymoron, seamlessly blending the iconic styling of Aston Martin with ample room for four passengers.

Previous attempts by Porsche and Lamborghini to create a similar proportioned vehicle have produced mixed results, once again proving the versatility of Aston Martin design.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide first official images

The wheelbase has been extended by 25cm making its overall length roughly the same as most benchmark luxury sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Despite its swooping coupe silhouette, the Rapide is just over six centimeters taller than a DB9, ensuring balanced styling and practical rear headroom.

While the rear seats are specified for ‘smaller adults’, two individual bucket seats on either side of the transmission tunnel are more than suitable for children, making the Rapide a justifiable prospect for small families with a rather healthy budget.

The rear doors have been hinged with a swan-neck design similar to the front doors, but open to a much wider angle to improve accessibility to the rear seats, with rear leg room improved by relocating the electric motors for the front passenger seats.

The production model is near identical to the original concept, with only a few subtle differences recognizable from these images such as the deleted side air intakes and the addition of a side crease, matching the new generation V8 Vantage.

Powering the Rapide is a slightly more powerful version of the DB9’s 6.0-litre V12 engine, mated to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission with Aston’s Touchtronic control.

The Rapide is a portly 130kg heavier than its two-door sibling which is sure to blunt its performance somewhat, reaching 100km/h in around 4.6 seconds from a standing start and on to a top speed of more than 290km/h.

It is unclear where the Aston Martin Rapide will make its official public debut, with speculation suggesting either the Frankfurt motor show in September or the Los Angeles auto show a few months later.

Source: AutomotiveNews




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