All eyes were on the Aston Martin stand at Frankfurt this year with the unveiling of the much talked about and much praised, Rapide four-door sports sedan.
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Adding two extra doors to a DB9, which is often regarded as one of the most beautiful coupes in the world, is no easy design job. It had to be seamless; otherwise the car would look out of proportion, which could damage the perception of the model or worse still, the brand itself.

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Judging by the smiles on the faces of the world’s media when the circular veil was raised, Aston Martin has nothing to fear.

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Head of Aston Martin design Marek Reichmann, has pulled it off, the Rapide can take its rightful place in the brand’s stable, as the most beautiful four-door production sports sedan in the world.

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The car was first conceptualised in June 2005, and had to maintain all the brand traits of a low volume, highly exclusive, high performance luxury sports car, but with two additional doors.

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Only 2000 cars a year will be produced, ensuring the utmost exclusivity in a rarefied automotive segment.

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I asked Mr Reichmann about the benefits of a low volume model such as the Rapide, as opposed to the Porsche Panamera, which is produced in numbers up to 20,000 per year.

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“Take the grab handle that you use to get out of the car; its made using two types of different leathers and stitching, that type of attention to detail is just not possible with significantly higher volume luxury cars”

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The seats are a design piece in their own right, and are superbly comfortable, front or back.

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The Rapide is every bit as much a sports thoroughbred as the rest of its Aston Martin siblings.

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There’s a huge 6.0-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, producing 350kW of power and maximum torque of 600Nm at 5000 rpm.

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It should be a comfortable car to drive too, with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

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No longer will you have leave the kids or dogs behind, Aston Martin has just become family friendly.