Aston Martin Rapide – Click above for high-res image gallery

Aston Martin has finally hung a price tag on its long-awaited four door, the Rapide, in its U.K. home market. As you might reasonably expect, it won't come cheap, starting at £139,950 or about $233,000 USD. Given pricing disparities between international markets, that's not necessarily an indication of what the Rapide will command Stateside, but we note that the Rapide costs nearly twice what Porsche asks for its base Panamera – and over £40K ($66k USD) more than even the impossibly quick Panamera Turbo. Though the cars weren't exactly designed as competitors, there's little doubt that the two four-passenger sloping-roof models will be cross-shopped by interested parties, along with other quick luxocrats like the Maserati Quattroporte and Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

For that £139,950 price tag, though, buyers will be getting a largely handmade and finely-crafted automobile powered by a 470-horsepower V12 engine. For what it's worth, that's 30 horses less than the Panamera Turbo, but it's wrapped in less divisive sheetmetal and it'll undoubtedly be far more exclusive.

Initial Rapide deliveries in Great Britain are expected to begin in the spring of 2010, but if you're interested in having an example of your very own, you'd best queue up now. Check out the updated gallery with new high-res images of the 2011 Aston Martin Rapide below, and the official press release is after the jump.



[Source: Aston Martin]


PRESS RELEASE:

ASTON MARTIN ANNOUNCES RAPIDE PRICING

Gaydon, Warwickshire 4 November 2009. As the eagerly awaited Aston Martin Rapide four-door sports car goes through final engineering and testing phases before being launched in quarter one 2010, Aston Martin confirms UK pricing.

The price of the Rapide will start from £139,950 in the UK which features an impressive level of standard specification including: Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio system tailored specifically for Rapide, heated memory seats, dual cast brakes and Adaptive Damping System.

The Rapide is Aston Martin's first production four-door sports car encapsulating the practicality of a car with extra doors and fusing it with the trademark sports car dynamics synonymous with modern Aston Martins.

Customer deliveries will commence at the beginning of quarter two 2010, and it will be the first sports car to be hand-built at the Aston Martin Rapide Plant in Graz, Austria. The new 17,000 m2 building has been designed to reflect the quality levels established in Gaydon since 2003 permitting the fusion of modern technology, advanced manufacturing processes and hand-built craftsmanship. Each Rapide will take approximately 220 man hours to build and will benefit from timeless craft skills just like the existing range; DBS, DB9, V12 and V8 Vantage do at Gaydon.

It is anticipated that +/- 2000 Rapides will be built in the first year attracting a high proportion of new customers to the brand. Core to this trend is the mix of huge attention to detail throughout the car, ample accommodation for up to four adults and the spacious boot (317 litres with seats up, and 886 litres with seats down) while maintaining Rapide's elegant beauty and sports car profile.

The Rapide is on sale now available to order from the Aston Martin dealership network around the world.