Aston Martin Rapide – Click above for high-res image gallery
Aston Martin doesn't have a great track record with four-doors. After acquiring Lagonda in 1948, the legendary David Brown took the DB4 – which bore his initials – and turned it into the Lagonda Rapide. Only 55 examples were ever made. A decade and a half later, the first name came back as the oddball Aston Martin Lagonda, of which just 645 examples were produced over its fifteen-year production run. The Lagonda SUV concept which debuted at the last Geneva show was lambasted so widely that it was pulled after the first press day and hasn't been seen since.
Aston chairman David Richards, for one, is keen to leave that unfortunate record in the past. The Lagonda initiative has reportedly been shelved indefinitely, but if the Rapide sells as good as it looks, they just might succeed in reversing that particular fortune.
The production version of the concept unveiled at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show certainly has the looks department locked down. A few concessions have been made in the three-year run to production readiness, including bigger side-view mirrors and a less tapered roofline to offer more interior space – especially for the rear passengers. But those few details – which promise to make the car more usable and, dare we say, practical – hardly detract from the car's beauty. But don't take our word for it. Check it out for yourself in the gallery of live shots below and the press shots in the gallery below that, along with the press release after the jump.