Aston Martin Rapide Caught Undisguised  

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Ever since the Aston Martin Rapide Concept was shown back in 2006 at the Detroit Motor Show we have been pleading for the British manfacturer to build a production version and with these first spy shots of a near production ready model it appears we are going to get our wish.

Plans for the production version were originally shelved by previous owners Ford when they decided to sell their majority stake in Aston Martin, but when the consortium headed by David Richards took over, one of their first decisions was to confirm production for the Rapide.

The DB9 provides the platform for the new Rapide as well as its 450hp V12 engine, although this is expected to be tuned to pump out 480hp. From the prototype caught we can see the styling stays very similar to the concept, although there is a slightly modifed rear end.

The debut is likely to be sometime during 2009 and will be launched as a 2010 model when it do battle in a hugely competitive market against the likes of the Porsche Panamera, VW Passat CC, Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS.

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