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World's ‘most elegant four-door sports car' launched in Kingdom
By Saudi Gazette Staff
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 01 - 2010

The launch of the new 4-door Aston Martin car model Rapide in Saudi Arabia on Sunday is a clear barometer of a strong local economy that has not only weathered the regional financial maelstrom yet withstood global recession.
A recent industry report forecast that there is a “rising demand… for ultra-luxury cars … in a large and increasingly sophisticated (Saudi) market.”
The Kingdom's car market is expected to grow by 30 percent in 2010 from $9 billion at present, the report noted, adding that over 675,000 cars are expected to be sold in 2010. And the launch of luxury cars in the Kingdom is not at all extraordinary as the craving for expensive cars has long been etched in the local psyche, especially among the affluent.
Unveiling the stunning Rapide at the Jeddah Aston Martin Showroom, Ali Hussein Alireza, managing director of Haji Husein Alireza, dealer of Aston Martin cars in the Kingdom, said “since we introduced Aston Martin cars to the Saudi market, we noticed the great demand on various models of such great brand such as Vantage, DB9 and DBS and other models, but we have not expected such great passion for the new car. We shall do our utmost to meet their orders.”
He further said “as the marque's first production four-door sports car, this (Rapide) has to be one of the most demanded products ever by our clients. This car has changed the concept of luxury sports cars with its beautiful design.”
With a price starting from $233,174, the first two customer deliveries of Rapide are scheduled this year. First shown in 2006 in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show, the Rapide projectreceived an immediate green light from Aston Martin's new shareholders in mid-2007 following the sale of the marque by the Ford Motor Company. In a little over two years, Aston Martin's design and engineering team have delivered a new car from the ground up.
Alireza added “such great passion for the Rapide was not a surprise to us, as the car still retains all core Aston Martin attributes even though it can accommodate four adults in luxury and comfort. It also retains dynamic performance with its hand-built 6.0 V12 engine.”
At the heart of every Aston Martin lies an evocative engine providing effortless power and torque. Rapide features a hand-built 6.0-liter V12 engine producing 470 bhp (477 PS / 350 kW) with peak power being delivered at 6000 rpm and 600 Nm (443 Ibft) peak torque at 5000 rpm. A specifically tuned six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission features as standard, allowing the driver to change gear automatically or manually via the steering column-mounted magnesium paddles.
Alireza assured “utmost care to our clients, and shall ensure that they receive their cars that they have booked earlier and enjoy driving this marvelous car.”
Aston Martin Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez said “Rapide is the culmination of the Aston Martin range of sports cars, a car that seals the revival of a truly admired marque.


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