Aston Martin forced to scale down Rapide production

June 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

While some experts will say the worst of the global recession is over, it’s still doing damage in many key areas – supercars included. The latest injury to this exclusive car market is Aston Martin’s Rapide sports sedan which is struggling to achieve the sales that were expected.

According to recent reports, production of the Rapide is being slashed to 25 cars per week, that’s 1,250 per year. When the four-door was released it was expected to sell at least 2,000 units a year. Considering that the British carmakers annual production load is around 8,000 cars a year total, the Rapide’s poor sales are having an affect on Aston Martin. Continue reading “Aston Martin forced to scale down Rapide production” »

Lagonda crossover canned in favour of larger Rapide-based sedan

September 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Aston Martin has been a bit unsure about how to best use its Lagonda nameplate which has been worn by various four-door models during the brands history.

Recently Aston could have badged its Rapide four-door sedan as a Lagonda model, but chose not to. Instead, the Lagonda badge was resurrected for a quite bizzare crossover concept that was poorly received at its unveiling at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

After the Geneva Motor Show reports indicated that the Lagonda concept was heading back to the design studio in an attempt to make it less offensive. Now, new reports indicate a different approach altogether. Apparently the crossover has been scrapped entirely, but there are still plans for that Lagonda badge.

In response to customer complaints that the Rapide was lacking in rear-seat legroom, Aston Martin is now planning to enlarge its four-door coupe into a more accommodating body that will use the Lagonda name. Sources state that the sedan’s arrival is at least four years away, so long-legged passengers will have to keep waiting to enjoy decent rear legroom in an Aston Martin vehicle.

Lamborghini still considering Estoque production

August 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Lamborghini have recently been left behind by rivals like Porsche and Aston Martin who have moved into the four-door coupe market.  But there is hope yet and Lambo’s stunning Estoque concept vehicle may still be built.

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said last week that “a four-door car would be a very feasible approach” to a third model for the brand.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the Estoque which was initially thought to be headed almost directly to production after its concept debut at the 2008 Paris auto show. But shortly afterward Lamborghini stated that the car was not approved for production, and that there were no plans to build it.

Now it looks like the Estoque may get a second lease on life, thanks more sales for luxury vehicles and Lamborghini’s fresh desire to produce a higher-volume vehicle. Winkelmann did say that any new model in the Lamborghini range would have to produce significant sales, and that currently there are still no plans to build the Estoque.

In terms of competitors, Porsche’s Panamera is doing surprisingly well, having already sold over 25,000 units, making it Porsche’s second-hottest-selling model behind the volume-leader Cayenne. So it’s possible that the Estoque could provide a similar bump in figures for Lamborghini. While the Estoque wouldn’t compete directly against the Panamera it would likely take on the Aston Martin Rapide, in terms of both price and performance. The Rapide’s 6.0-litre V-12 engine is bigger and badder, but not as strong, pumping out just 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It costs roughly $200,000 USD.

The Estoque concept was powered by a 560-horsepower 5.2-litre V-10 engine under the bonnet and could also be priced in the $200,000 USD range and could enter production as early as 2012.

Aston Martin Rapide concept

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The Aston Martin Rapide at the North American International Auto Show in 2006 was presented as a four-door, four-seat coupe to compete with the Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Maserati Quattroporte