After spies caught the Rapide on the road for the first time in years just last week, clear pictures of the Aston Martin concept-to-production show the car being put through the paces.

Alright, so what's up at Aston Martin?  After previous owners Ford unveiled the Rapide Concept two years ago in Detroit, the project was shelved.  Now that the new owners have moved in to the Gaydon headquarters, the Rapide was gassed up, then taken out for a winter cruise not even a week later.

We at WCF feel blessed to know that Aston Martin is serious about re-acquainting the public with the Rapide.  With a DB9's platform and V12 engine - tuned to 480 horsepower - the Rapide should make a huge dent in the sales of the Audi A7, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes CLS, Mercedes S, and the Porsche Panamera.

Four swan doors, four seats, five meters long, 5.2 seconds to 100 kmh means this car will make your head turn as it blows by you.  The Aston Martin Rapide should see production in 2009 for the 2010 model year.

Gallery: Aston Martin Rapide Spied On The Road