The Aston Martin Vanquish sits proudly at the pinnacle of the luxury British car maker’s sports car line-up and points to an exciting and confident future for the historic brand. Visvas Paul D Karra gets behind the wheel of this breathtaking new super grand tourer which represents the zenith of design and engineering.
Centenary celebrations are not ubiquitous affairs and neither do everyone get an opportunity to produce a world-famous marque like an Aston Martin Vanquish to mark a special occasion. That is the reason why everyone (from office colleagues to church choir boys) let out squeals of delight when they learnt that OER was getting the Vanquish for a day-long test drive. Its not surprising that the Vanquish produces a desire in everyone to be seen with it. Not only because the Vanquish is known to be the James Bond car but also because along with advanced engineering, the car has most beautiful lusty design ever. Our incorrigible official photographer who usually maintains a stoic poise while taking pictures of cars was bowled over by the red Vanquish and couldn’t contain his clicks.
The design represents the latest take on Aston Martin’s iconic visual language. Vanquish unquestionably sees the brand continue its enviable tradition of producing some of the most beautiful sports cars in the world. Styling cues such as the elegant new waist, elongated side strakes and LED rear light blades are derived from the One-77 supercar. The design shows a clear and coherent lineage from its heritage while providing an equally clear pointer to the luxury car brand’s vibrant future.
If we come down to the brass tacks, Vanquish definitely separates the men from the boys as it features the next generation of the renowned VH architecture. And yes, its certainly not for the weak hearted. Aston Martin says it’s not a Grand Tourer, it’s a Super Grand Tourer with a massive all new AM11 Gen4 naturally aspirated 6-litre V12 – produces a power peak of 565 bhp and 620 Nm of torque. Mated to the proven Touchtronic 2 six-speed automatic gearbox, the Vanquish races from 0-100 kmph in just 4.1 seconds in that unmistakable singular roar which signals that an Aston Martin is on the road. This is the most powerful production engine in the company’s manufacturing history yet, outmuscled only by the strictly limited edition £1.2mn One-77 supercar.
Clothing an engine of such immense power required a body of phenomenal rigidity and razor-sharp agility. To achieve this level of performance, AM used aerospace engineered carbon-fibre with a combination of the latest engineering methods, innovative technologies and typically understated classic British design to make the muscular new Vanquish a true super GT. Each body panel on the car is constructed from carbon fibre because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and flexibility of form. Meanwhile torsional rigidity is improved by more than 25 per cent. To take full advantage of its precise and rigid new architecture, the Vanquish employs a battery of sophisticated technologies including, for the first time on an Aston Martin, a motorsport-derived Launch Control system. This works to deliver the optimum take-off from a standing start – balancing throttle, gearbox and various traction aids to deliver a perfect ‘launch’.
The steering wheel’s typical circular shape has been made straight on the sides giving better hand-grip and somewhat resembles the wheel of an F1 car. Moreover, the important controls like the switching modes are all conveniently located on the steering wheel. Once on the move, the Vanquish boasts a plethora of dynamic aids including Dynamic Stability Control and Positive Torque Control to help harness its fearsome potential and deliver a rewarding, controlled, refined Grand Tourer experience.
The latest iteration of Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS) allows the driver to switch between three distinct damping modes: Normal, Sport and Track, delivering instant adjustment of the car’s ride and handling characteristics.