Aston's chairman Ulrich Bez has been going to some lengths to distance the Rapide from its ostensible rivals, arguing that it has a different ethos and is not designed as a rival. The price may now offer a clue as to why.
But for that heavy chunk of change the Gaydon chaps will give you a handmade 6.0-litre V12 with 470bhp and 443 lb ft of torque. Only the flagship Turbo S version of the Panamera beats it, and even then only by 30bhp.
The elegant Rapide will go on sale in around April/May of 2010, and Aston expects to build around 2000 of them in the first year. That is admirably ambitious, but it may run in to some trouble competing against a more powerful Panamera that's a full £40k cheaper even in full 'bells-and-whistles' form.