Gaydon, 15th April 2009. The Aston Martin Rapide has moved into the final stages of its development programme, on course for a public debut in late 2009, with the first customer cars due to be delivered in early 2010.First revealed as the Aston Martin Rapide Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006, the Rapide is one of the most eagerly awaited cars of the year. As Aston Martin’s first true four-door production sports car, the Rapide encapsulates the core values of the brand within a elegant, high-powered sports grand tourer, with four full-sized seats, generous accommodation and luggage space and trademark Aston Martin performance.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.”The cohesive design language and elegant form of the Rapide ensure it is a perfect complement to the other cars in Aston Martin’s line-up. From the outset, the Rapide was designed with no aesthetic compromise. “We wanted to make the most beautiful four-door sports car in the world,” Aston Martin’s Director of Design Marek Reichman stated when the concept was first shown.The Rapide will offer performance purity and the same level of sporting ability as all modern Aston Martins. Powered by a version of Aston Martin’s 6.0 litre V12 engine producing 470bhp and 600Nm of torque and, hand built at the company’s engine facility in Cologne, the Rapide’s rear wheels are driven through a highly responsive Touchtronic gearbox. Performance figures have yet to be revealed, although early indications are that the Rapide will offer class-leading performance and dynamics, alongside new levels of refinement and luxury.The Rapide will be built at a new production facility in Graz, Austria managed by the acclaimed vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr and co-ordinated 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.www.astonmartinmedia.com.