The official information and the latest images of the Rapide 4-door coupe, presented by Aston Martin at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The model - based on the bonded aluminum VH architecture - will go on sale in early 2010.
The Vertical / Horizontal (V/H) architecture – a platform technology derived from the aerospace industry employing aluminium which is bonded rather than welded to create a lightweight and ultra-stiff chassis.
The use of lightweight materials has resulted in the Rapide’s projected weight gaining only 190 kg over its DB9 sibling delivering a target kerb weight of 1950 kg.
The front mid-mounted 6.0 litre V12 engine produces 470 bhp (477 PS / 350 kW) with peak power being delivered at 6000 rpm and 600 Nm (443 lbft) and peak torque at 5000 rpm. The 0-60 mph time is 5.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds).
The brake discs are made from two materials, cast iron and aluminium (dual cast brake system), which reduces unsprung mass with a brake that is 15-20% lighter than a standard cast iron brake.
Director of Design, Marek Reichman who led the in-house design team which penned the Rapide said: “Like a race horse standing still, you can see its power and elegance, the shape of Rapide’s rear haunches are muscular conveying the power that lies beneath while its low stance produces a powerful look.
“There is a real sense of proportion with this car, akin to a tailored suit; the new double grill gives more presence on the road while the iconic signature side strake has been lengthened through to the rear doors to enhance its lateral proportions in a subtle, yet elegant way. The car’s purity makes it look right from every angle.”
The opening angle of the doors has been increased to 70 degrees to allow easy ingress and egress.
Adding to the sense of proportion, Rapide’s low roof linecombined with uniquely styled 20” wheels contribute to its sporting stance, and the iconic side strake, housing the side LED indicators is elongated to meet the rear doors. The pillarless sideglass helps convey Rapide’s coupe lines.