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>> Aston Martin finally has a real bona fide four-door, the Rapide. We've seen it before in concept form, but here's the real deal, the production car ready to do battle with the Porsche Panamera and to some degree the Mercedes CLS -- all cars that have four doors but which don't really fit the term "sedan." This is basically a DB9 stretched and pulled in several directions. And to do that, just about all the sheet metal is new, but you definitely recognize it right off the bat. Power is from a hand-built, 6-liter 470 horsepower V12, out to Aston's TouchTronic automatic transmission. The navigation head unit is harddrive-based. Audio comes from 1000 watts of Bang and Olufsen shaping and amplification. And the USB jack will not only handle MP3s and WMAs off your thumb drive, but also full detail WAV files. In back, the twin headrest video screens will take your mind off the fact you're pretty much shoehorned in there. Priced around a quarter million dollars, give or take. Should be available in the U.S. end of 2010.
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