RSportsCars Automotive Editor
Aston Martin has tantalized the automotive media and well-heeled car buyer of late with two exciting new models destined for production. Details on the Aston Martin One-77, a true supercar with a base price of EUR 1 million, and the new 4-door Aston Martin Rapide are trickling out at a painfully slow pace. Final release date information for either the One-77 or the Rapide has been speculated but never confirmed by the British luxury marque.
The One-77, with its limited production run of 77 units and its stratospheric base price, will be only within reach of the jet set. Conversely, the Rapide is an important model for Aston Martin in times when nearly every automaker is struggling to sell cars. No Rapide price information is available yet, and the only officially released images of the final production car are renderings. This has not prevented the auto news world from engaging in rampant speculation, though.
Here's what we know about each new Aston Martin model so far.
Aston Martin One-77 - Controversial style and price, heart of a grand touring supercar.
The One-77 is perhaps the last thing Aston Martin needs on its plate right now, or alternatively one of the greatest decisions the historic British road and race car company could have made. Its styling is certainly different than other high-end models of the world. Though it carries classic Aston Martin genes to a new level, in excecution it has garnered more than a few head scratches.
Look at, for example, the manner in which the headlights integrate with the front fenders and airdam. The heavily smoked lenses are actually split between two separate pieces of aluminum, a detail which the eye sticks on, and not in a good way. The crease at each extreme front corner is perhaps more emphasized than necessary, and takes away from the overall clean and muscular appearance of the car.
Other design decisions are big hits. The huge--and we do mean huge--rear haunches wrap rear tires thicker than anything M3 or 911 Turbo. The meshed outlet just aft of the front wheel wells, housing dual side-exit exhaust tips on each side, is a well-excecuted and clever design detail. Star Trek-y wrap around tail lenses might be pushing it on a car no one can afford, but on the Aston Martin One-77, it works.
Power will come from a 7.0 liter V12, that much we know. Official figures have not been released yet, except for the fact that the One-77 will have a top speed of more than 200 mph. Several reports have pegged the power output in the ballpark of 700 bhp. The One-77 release date is a reported late 2009, though Aston Martin has said they are already in talks with potential buyers for all 77 models to be issued.
Aston Martin Rapide - The grand touring sedan with effortless grace and style.
Details at present for the Aston Martin Rapide sedan are even slimmer, save two official renderings which closely echo the 2006 Rapide concept, and some spy shots that confirm the renderings as accurate.
The Rapide is being built on Aston Martin's VH architecture, which underpins the DB9 Volante and the Vantage. A 6.0 liter V12 engine will power the Rapide, though no other conclusive specifications are in the wild yet.
As for the bodywork, the Rapide is infinitely more attractive than the Porsche Panamera, which will likely be its closest competitor upon its release date, somewhere in late 2009. True to the 2006 Rapide concept in most of its design details, the released renderings reveal a glass roof which converges seamlessly with the rear liftgate. Though the Rapide carries the styling of a sedan rather than any sort of wagon, the lifting rear glass should provide some greater utility and visibility.
When looked at as a total package, the Rapide is a design hit, though not as bold as something like the Lamborghini Estoque concept. It should compete well with the Maserati Quattroporte, as well as upcoming offerings from Porsche and Lamborghini.
Check back at RSportsCars.com with our Aston Martin listings as more price information and official details on these exciting, expensive grand touring models are released!