2007 Aston Martin Rapide Concept

Mark Gillies
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British luxury maker Aston Martin--a division of Ford's Premier Automotive Group--is showing a four-door sedan called the Rapide at the Detroit auto show. The name is taken from a four-door Lagonda sedan that was built between 1961 and 1964. (Lagonda is still owned by Aston and was always used for four-door vehicles in the past.) The car is essentially a DB9 coupe that has been stretched by 11.8 inches, built off the same aluminum VH architecture as both the DB9 and the two-seater V8 Vantage. It uses a 480-hp, 5.9-liter V-12 engine mated to a ZF manu-matic transmission and weighs just 309 pounds more than the two-plus-two-seater DB9 coupe. Aston hasn't confirmed that it will build the car, but the Rapide looks like a serious proposition to us, especially in view of the detailed specifications given, the finished state of the car on display, the success of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, and the decision by Porsche to build the four-seat, four-door Panamera. We'd be surprised if Aston's 2008 model line didn't include this sedan.

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