click above for more high-res spy shots of the Aston Martin Rapide on ice

Spy photographers have officially found Aston Martin's preferred location for sub-zero testing. Following two spy shots of the new four-door Rapide filling up, we have this new batch of snaps showing the Rapide auditioning for a spot in the Ice Capades. Actually, Aston's newest model is likely undergoing testing for both its traction control system and how well the car handles cold weather.

The photographers from KGP also pointed out for us what has changed on the Rapide so far, which, as we remarked last time, is surprisingly little. The sideview mirrors are now larger and located on the A-pillar, whereas the concept's delicate mirrors were placed on the fenders. The concept also featured side turn markers located in the Rapide's front fender vents, though it appears the production vehicle will relocate the turn signal to below the vents on the fenders themselves.

This niche segment of four-door luxury coupes will soon be populated by the original founder, the Mercedes-Benz CLS, as well as the Rapide and the Porsche Panamera. While the CLS has long been considered a pioneering and breathtaking design, the Rapide will certainly hold its own in the drop-dead-gorgeous category. Then there's the ugly duckling Panamera, which we hope has the technological prowess to make up for its aesthetic pitfalls.

[Photos: KGP Photography]

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