Aston Martin Rapide Sedbergh

Powered by the 470bhp 6.0-litre V12 engine from the DB9, the Rapide in Sedbergh will use a Touchtronic 2 gearbox to drive the rear wheels, helping it to complete the 0-60mph sprint in less than five seconds.

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Aston Martin Rapide

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It's finally here! Aston Martin has at last unveiled the production version of its brand-new four-door sports car, the Rapide.

First shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006, the car was presented by Aston boss Dr Ulrich Bez earlier today. And to show off its spacious and elegant interior, he was joined inside by two impeccably presented Afghan hounds.

But despite the car’s extra row of seats and its surprisingly large 750-litre boot space (when the rear seats are folded flat), he was keen to impress that it upholds the firm’s sporting traditions.

Powered by the 470bhp 6.0-litre V12 engine from the DB9, the Rapide will use a Touchtronic 2 gearbox to drive the rear wheels, helping it to complete the 0-60mph sprint in less than five seconds.

With its unique ‘swan wing’ doors that rise upwards and outwards, the Rapide will be one of the most striking entrants into the emerging four-door supercoupé market, where it will take on Bentley’s Flying Spur and the Porsche Panamera.

Deliveries are set to begin in 2010, with prices starting at around £150,000.

However, it seems that Aston Martin will resist the current trend for developing electric or hybrid models. Dr Bez said that real-world driving would show up the limitations of battery-powered cars, which he said would not become genuine competitors for combustion-engined models until 2020. Instead, he called on the motor industry to support hydrogen fuel-cell initiatives.

Aston Martin Rapide