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First Aston Martin Rapide rolls out of the factory

Fri, 07 May 2010 00:00:00 -0700

The first Aston Martin Rapide left the factory on Friday amid considerable fanfare, and the sultry sedan will soon begin arriving in 125 showrooms in 34 countries.

This culminates the long road to production that began in concept form at the 2006 Detroit auto show. The production car was shown at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009. Power comes from a hand-built 6.0-liter V12 making 470 hp.

The four-door Aston Martin generated a bit of controversy, but like the Panamera for Porsche, the Rapide signals a new direction for the company and could lead to profits and long-term stability.

The Rapide was quickly approved by Dave Richards and his new ownership group after they bought the company from Ford in 2007.

The base price for the Rapide is $199,950. Just 666 examples are coming to the United States.

By Greg Migliore