It’s hard to believe but one of Aston Martin’s most popular models, the Rapide luxury four-door coupe, is not actually manufactured by Aston Martin. Instead, production of the Rapide is handled by independent vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria.
The decision to outsource production of the Rapide to Magna Steyr was made because Aston Martin’s facility in Gaydon, UK just prior to the car’s introduction was already near capacity, with close to 8,000 cars rolling out of the factory that year. Additionally, Magna Steyr had a great deal of experience building luxury cars from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
However, it has been revealed today that production of the Aston Martin Rapide will move to Gaydon in the second half of next year. The Gaydon site is now more established, more flexible and more efficient, and it’s because of this Rapide production can be handled there.
While Aston Martin’s overall volume has not changed significantly over the past couple of years, the automaker produces a far richer model mix--eight model lines (plus five variants) compared to three model lines (plus two variants) in 2008--so Rapide production in Gaydon is now possible.
By the time production of the Rapide ramps up in the UK, we should be seeing an additional variant, the rumored Rapide S, offered for sale. This is expected to be a slightly hotter version of the Rapide, complete with a 510 horsepower 6.0-liter V-12 borrowed from the V12 Vantage and DBS.