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Aston buyers stirred, not shaken, by Rapide

Nearly here: First deliveries of the Rapide take place in Australia in July.

Rapide loosens wallets as buyers queue for Aston Martin’s fluent four-door

23 Feb 2010

THE first of five exclusive Aston Martin Rapide previews around Australia for prospective customers and current Aston drivers paid dividends for the British marque in Melbourne at the weekend when “a number” of enthusiasts placed deposits to join the sales queue for the $366,280 four-door sedan.

So far, more than 20 of Australia’s allocation of between 30 and 40 Rapides from the global production of 2000 units are already spoken for, and New Zealand has accounted for several more.

Aston Martin’s regional operations manager Marcel Fabris told GoAuto that the four-day preview – which included an event for NZ customers who were flown in for the occasion – had surpassed the company’s expectations.

“A number of orders were taken during the event and we have a number of very strong leads to follow through in the coming days,” he said.

The company’s Melbourne dealership, Trivett, even scored a drive-by sale last week before the official event when a customer spotted a banner for the Rapide on the window as he drove past and stopped for a look. With the Rapide show car already in the showroom in readiness for the weekend program, the customer was soon sold on the new model and signed on the dotted line.

The star of the previews for the V12 four-seater is Aston Martin’s Frankfurt motor show launch car, which is now in Sydney for a similar show this Thursday (February 25), before heading off to the Brisbane preview on March 9, the Gold Coast on March 11 and Adelaide on March 23.

Then it will be back to Melbourne for the first open public display at the Australian F1 grand prix at Albert Park on March 25-28.

Based on Aston Martin’s DB9 coupe, the liftback Rapide is built only to customer order at Magna Steyr’s Austrian factory. Five dealer demonstrators are scheduled to lob in Australia in June before customer deliveries start in July.

The Rapide is powered by the same 350kW/600Nm V12 as the DB9, driving through a rear-mounted ZF six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission.

Longer by 254mm than the DB9, the Rapide nevertheless retains the coupe-like silhouette of the two-door model.

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