www.edmunds.com Caught weeks ago in the cold of the Arctic Circle, the 2010 Aston Martin Rapide is now undergoing high-speed tests on the Nürburgring test track in Germany. And like the previous prototypes, this Rapide test mule has only minimal camouflage. The lack of a cover reveals an interesting new design twist — a roof that's nearly all glass. There are a few pieces of equipment attached to this particular prototype, but it's a relatively unobstructed design otherwise. A few other luxury sedans have similar setups, so this appears to be an emerging trend in the segment. Like the current range of Aston Martin coupes, the Rapide sedan sounds as good as it looks. Not a surprise really, as the Rapide will use essentially the same 5935cc V12 as the DB9. Output is expected to jump significantly, though, so expect to see the final number approaching 500 horsepower. The corporate ZF-built six-speed automatic transmission is the likely gearbox and it will send the power to the rear wheels. Production of the 2010 Aston Martin Rapide is expected to start in Graz, Austria, in late 2009. Supplier Magna Steyr will build up to 2000 Rapides a year under contract with Aston Martin.
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