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 |  Sep 16 2009, 3:51 AM

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After first debuting a concept version at the North American International Auto Show back in 2007, Aston Martin chose the Frankfurt Auto Show to debut what it calls “the most elegant four-door sorts car in the world.”

The Rapide joins the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte in an emerging segment of performance-oriented sedans.

The Rapide is powered by a front-mounted V12 engine, which Aston says is 6.0-liters, but it really closer to 5900ccs. Power is rated at 470hp at 6000 rpm with 443 ft-lbs of torque coming on strong at 5000 rpm. And if we know Aston, it probably sounds like a wicked beast at about 4000 rpm.

The Rapide will be offered exclusively with a six-seed automatic transmission.

As for the design of the car, it’s all Aston up front and even the rear maintains Aston’s signature subtle duck-tail spoiler, which is integrated into the rear hatch. And of course, all four doors flip slightly upward, just like the rest of the Aston fleet. The cabin of the car seats four with 10.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats or 26.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

“Rapide is the culmination of the Aston Martin range of sports cars, a car that seals the revival of a truly admired marque,” said Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez. “There is now an Aston Martin for every taste and for every use. With Rapide, the entire family can enjoy their Aston Martin together in unison, in an invigorating yet comfortable environment, sitting low, with plenty of visibility from every seat and with new levels of comfort, refinement and entertainment.”

GALLERY: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide

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GALLERY: Official Aston Martin Rapide Photos

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Official:

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