What is it?
The Rapide will be Aston 's first production four-door car when it goes on sale in 2010.
It will, says Aston , still deliver the brand's core values of elegance, high performance and luxury.
Just about everything. Although the Rapide takes the same styling cues as Aston 's other models, no panels are shared. The sleek design sticks closely to Aston's original concept car, which was unveiled at the Detroit motor show in 2006.
Underneath, the Rapide is based on a stretched version of the company's existing aluminium underbody architecture, to provide seating for four and decent luggage space.
A 470bhp version of Aston 's 6.0-litre V12 engine should allow it to blend supercar performance with its limousine credentials.
The distinctive 'swan wing' front doors – that open both upwards and outwards – should wow passengers and bystanders alike.
How much will it cost? The Rapide is likely to cost a lot more than one of its key rivals, the Porsche Panamera. The Panamera starts at around £73,000. Prices for the Rapide have yet to be confirmed, but they're likely to be double that, or more.
Production of the Rapide starts in Austria – yes, Austria, rather the UK – later this year. The first lucky customers can expect their car to arrive in early 2010.
One of the desirable four-door cars around? We'd say so.
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