On Monday the 9th of January 2006 at the Detroit Motor Show, Aston Martin stunned the automotive world by unveiling an unbelievably elegant 4 door hatchback concept called the Rapide. The production ready Rapide was eventually unveiled over three years later in September 2009 at the 63rd Frankfurt Motor Show, with production starting shortly afterwards at the Aston Martin Rapide Plant by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. The Rapide was quite ground-breaking as both the first Aston Martin built entirely outside of the UK and the first production 4 door Aston Martin since the William Towns styled AM Lagonda, which ceased production in 1989. Although not badged as a Lagonda, the Rapide is certainly a true descendant of both the DB4 based Lagonda Rapide of the 1960’s and V8 powered wedge Lagonda from the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Based on a longer VH platform, the Rapide retained the 470 bhp V12 engine from the DB9 but had a distinctive style of it’s own, sharing no panels from the DB9 whatsoever.
Our car is the actual Rapide Concept from 2006 and retains many unique features that didn’t make it into production. These include the chess board and wine chiller in the boot, the transparent lightweight polycarbonate roof which could be made opaque at the flick if a switch, the carbon ceramic brakes, the smart Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece in the centre console and the LED headlamps.
She has been brought back to working order for the AMHT by HWM Aston Martin Walton-on- Thames, the world’s longest serving Aston Martin dealership.