Crave loves Aston Martins with a passion, but one of the biggest issues with the DBS we tested recently was the fact it only had two seats. We had to ferry our burgeoning harem of wannabe Bond girls in the boot, for goodness' sake. Thankfully, Aston Martin has addressed this perplexing issue with the Rapide.
This four-door luxury sports car was unveiled officially at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Rapide will occupy a similar market segment to the Porsche Panamera and will be gracing high streets in Wiltshire and Cheshire from early 2010, prompting kids to re-evaluate their stance on being dropped nowhere near the school gates.
We've just returned from the Aston Martin stand where, having planted bums in all four seats, we can confirm it's a pretty special automobile. Up front, it's typical Aston Martin -- power, beauty, soul and all that jazz -- with sporty, race-inspired seats that should keep occupants snug during enthusiastic B-road assaults. The back end is where things get really interesting. Each of the rear seats affords a remarkable amount of space and headroom, plus you get ISOFIX child-seat fastening points, twin 7-inch video displays, plus face-height ventilation and heating systems.
Like all the best family cars, the Rapide's rear seats fold down to create extra room for those trips to Ikea. It even comes with its own array of bespoke luggage and an optional Rapide baby seat, which matches the interior design of the car.
The Rapide uses the same 470bhp V12 engine found in the Aston Martin DB9, so it'll do 0-60mph in around 5.1 seconds and top out at 188mph. Fuel economy has yet to be confirmed for this car, but we're expecting it to be slightly worse than the 17mpg combined offered by the DB9.
The Rapide should hit the streets in the spring of 2011 for approximately £150,000. We hope to bring you a full hands-on test (with babies and everything) in the near future, but in the meantime, check out our gallery for more pics and information.