Report: Aston Martin readying more powerful Rapide model

Thanks to a world where 470 horsepower is under-powered, Aston Martin is said to be readying a high-performance version of its Rapide sedan.

Aston Martin's lineup has ballooned in recent years to now include 14 different models, but that product expansion doesn't look to be over just yet. The British automaker is said to be putting the final touches on an even higher performing version of the Rapide sedan.

Although the Rapide's 470 horsepower 6.0L V12 never left us wanting for power, Aston Martin is now behind the power curve in the luxury sedan segment, trailing rivals like the 518 horsepower Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and the 550 horsepower Porsche Panamera Turbo S. As such, the Rapide is reportedly in line for a power bump for the 2012 model year.

The "base" 470 horsepower Rapide model will remain on offer for 2012, but Aston Martin will also add an up-level 510 horsepower version of the car, likely under the name Rapide S. That additional power is expected to drop the Rapide's 0-60 time from 5.1 seconds to 4.7 seconds. However, the Rapide's 188mph top speed is expected to remain unchanged.

A few styling tweaks are also in store for the 2012 version of the car, but don't expect anything too significant.

The Aston Martin Rapide currently lists for just a hair under $200,000, with the performance S version likely to add another $30,000 to that bottom line. The new Rapide flagship could bow at this fall's Frankfurt Motor Show, with sales commencing in late 2011 or early 2012.

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