At the 2006 Detroit auto show, Aston Martin wowed the world with its four-door Rapide concept. Four years later, the automaker has begun deliveries of its first production 2010 Rapides.
The first production Rapides left the factory earlier today en route to Aston Martin’s 125 dealerships in 34 countries around the world. The storied British marque is set to deliver even more of the luxurious $200,000 four-door cars to waiting customers in the coming weeks.
After being sold by Ford in 2007, Aston Martin’s new owners immediately gave the Rapide the green light for production after it debuted to thunderous applause in 2006. Since then, Aston Martin’s engineers have been working hard to get a production model ready. Aston Martin revealed the production-intent vehicle at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show.
Not quite one year after its unveiling, the production Rapide is being shipped out to customers. The hand-built car is Aston Martin’s first four-door car since the Lagonda, which ended production in 1991. The car is intended to compete with Porsche’s new Panamera and lead the company into a new segment.
The Rapide is based on a lengthened version of Aston Martin’s VH (vertical-horizontal) chassis architecture that underpins the DB9. The new four-door also uses the DB9’s 5.9-liter, 470-horsepower, 443-pound-foot of torque V-12 for propulsion. Unlike the DB9 however, the engine is coupled to an updated version of Aston Martin’s Touchtronic 2 single-clutch automated-manual transmission.
Source: Aston Martin