A potential third model line was previewed at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2006. Unveiled as a running concept, the Rapide appeared as a stretched, long wheelbase DB9 with 4 door, 4 seater hatchback coachwork. Despite the “Rapide” tag, the car was never intended to be a Lagonda - Aston Martin was keen to describe it as a 4 door sportscar. Critical acclaim followed and the Rapide was quickly confirmed for production.
The subtly restyled production Rapide was subsequently unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, 2009 and series production began at the Magna Steyr specialist facility in Graz, Austria following the New Year in 2010. The Rapide is the first AM to be built outside the UK; a controversial decision made at a time that Gaydon was working to full capacity. Deliveries to excited customers began in spring 2010.
The Rapide is the most prominent car in the quickly evolving premium 4 door supercar market; a worthy successor to the 1960s DB4 based Lagonda Rapide and the iconic 1970s and 1980s Towns Lagonda.
As if to prove the point that the Company regards the Rapide as a sportscar, a stripped out but otherwise near standard visualisation prototype was entered for the tough ADAC 24 hour motor race at the Nürburgring and achieved 34th overall and 2nd in class.