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Preview: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide

September 15, 2009

• What is it? Aston Martin’s first production four-door sports car
• The basics: V-12 powered four-seater
• On sale: Early next year
• Price: $200,000 (est.)

There's so much to say about the new Aston Martin Rapide.

For example, we could talk about its sweet powertrain, centered around a version of the company’s 6.0-litre V-12 engine. We could talk about the car's backseat, accessible by ‘swan-wing’ doors and suitable for children or adults on shorter journeys.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

And of course, we could talk about its styling--the sleek lines and understatement that, combined with the Rapide's exclusive, European pedigree, could inspire lust in the hearts of eunuchs round the world.

However, what everyone wants to know is when will the car finally go on sale? Well, we can confirm today that Aston Martin’s 2010 Rapide sedan is roughly half a year away from hitting showrooms, but the final production has been unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

First seen at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show in concept form, the production Rapide is nearly identical to the original show car however there are a few subtle differences. The production model loses the tiny side air intakes on the front bumper, while the sides pick up a new shunt line that runs almost the entire length of the body.

Under the hood is a revised version of the DB9's 6.0-liter V-12. This is mated to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission with Aston Martin’s new Touchtronic control with paddle shifters. Final output will rests at 470 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

Performance isn't as spectacular as the Aston Martin coupe models but expect to see the 0-62 mph dash completed in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of about 188 mph.

The vehicle’s final kerb weight is 4299 pounds and its dimensions come in at 197.6-inches in length, 84.3-inches in width and 53.5-inches in height. The Rapide’s wheelbase also stretches about 10-inches more than the DB9, while its height is only about 2.5in taller. Inside, there’s generous seating for four adults and up to 26.5 cubic-feet of storage.

Pricing will be confirmed following its debut in Frankfurt--expect it to slot somewhere between the DB9 and DBS at around $200,000.

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