With the first customer cars expected in early 2010, Aston Martin have released an official photograph and further details of the new Rapide, their 4 door luxury car.

The car was first revealed as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006 and is looking like being one of ”the” cars for the next year. Unlike the Porsche Panamera or Bentley Flying Spur, the Rapide is just a stunning car that doesn’t look like a re-designed coupe. Granted it’s an Aston, which means the overall look isn’t revolutionary compared to its stablemates, but it is rather a looker.

It will have four full-sized seats, so not the tiny buckets they had in the DB9. Large boot and generous space all round will allow it to tour across countries with four people with ultimate ease.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez said: The Rapide will be the most elegant four-door sports car in the world. It completes the Aston Martin range conveying our established attributes of Power, Beauty and Soul.

In 2010 there will be an Aston Martin for every type of sports car customer regardless of the demands of their lifestyle. The Rapide is the most versatile, bringing a new benchmark of luxury and refinement to both driver and passenger.

A few signature Aston Martin traits are carried over from the preceding coupes. The swan wing doors which rise upwards and outwards are there, as well as bodywork that flows effortlessly, which photographers around the world will be happy about. It’s one of the few cars that seems to look as good as the coupe version; traditionally the better looking model in a range. The only part that doesn’t personally work for me is the way the rear door meets the back window, but that is a harsh critic.

Sadly the Rapide won’t be built in the UK, rather being constructed at a new production facility in Graz, Austria managed by the acclaimed vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr and coordinated by a fully integrated Aston Martin team from the UK. The new production facility is closely modelled on the Gaydon factory and will combine a sophisticated modern production line with the Aston Martin traditional hand-finishing skills, a proud blend of craft processes and attention to detail. The interior will further develop Aston Martin’s skilful use of genuine high quality materials, applied appropriately and effectively to ensure that form always follows function.

Rapide will exceed expectations to deliver elegance and practicality in a form that will allow driving enjoyment and comfort beyond anything that exists today, says Dr Ulrich Bez, The Rapide will exist in a class all of its own, a true Aston Martin with the high performance and dynamic excellence that defines the brand, and a luxurious sporting grand tourer without equal.

For more information please visit Aston Martin www.astonmartin.com.