It's been nearly three years since we first caught a glimpse of the Aston Martin Rapide at the Detroit Auto Show. During that time, Aston has expanded its lineup to include the DBS, a refreshed DB9 and a new V8 Vantage, each of which was strictly an evolution of an existing model. However, the Rapide will be the first all-new Aston in years, and judging by these recent spy shots, a production version is right around the bend.
Unlike earlier prototypes that lacked door handles and production-ready side glass, this newest mule actually allows occupants to get in all four doors and nixes the vented plexiglass panels. The character line that stretches from the fender vent into the rear doors is a new development that wasn't included in the concept, and we finally get a clear view of the upkick in the rear window, along with the bumper-integrated dual exhausts. Expect the Rapide to make its production debut sometime next year and hitting dealers in late 2009 or early 2010.