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With Aston Martin now no longer wholly owned by Ford, they are free to look elsewhere for help with powertrain technology. There have been rumors for the past couple of months that future Astons might use Mercedes Benz powertrains in place of the current Ford-designed V-12s and V-8s. The onset of carbon dioxide emissions limits in Europe and Aston's limited resources means they're looking to some of their competitors to help. Fortunately Mercedes happens to have a new mild hybrid system that mig

Click above for high-res gallery of the Aston Martin Rapide

With sales of Aston Martin's existing sports and GT lineup continuing at a strong clip, the question of where to build the new Rapide four-door becomes more problematic. For a company that is still relatively low-volume (7,000 cars last year) like Aston, investing in tooling for more capacity is difficult. That's where contract builders come to the rescue. Aston is reportedly talking to Pininfarina, Karmann, Magna-Steyr and Valmet about assembling the new car, with a decision due by the end of t