Power boost for reborn Vanquish
VANQUISH S RECLAIMS ROLE AS SERIES-PRODUCTION FLAGSHIP; NEW AERO, UPRATED CHASSIS AND INTERIOR REVAMP COMPLETE THE PACKAGE
WITH THE DB11, AM-RB 001 and a brace of Zagato-bodied specials grabbing attention and headlines, news of the Vanquish S has rather crept up on us.
Direct replacement for the outgoing Vanquish, the Vanquish S effortlessly steps into the role of Aston’s seriesproduction flagship. A boost in power, sharper front and rear-end treatments for improved aerodynamics, revised chassis settings and a host of distinguishing details make for the most comprehensive refresh since the second-generation Vanquish was introduced in 2012.
Though it has always looked the part, the Vanquish has been something of a slow-burn success. It took a big step forward when it received the latestgeneration eight-speed Touchtronic gearbox, but with the Vantage range becoming faster and increasingly focused – most notably the ferocious V12 Vantage S – and the new DB11 combining higher headline power outputs with superior GT credentials, Aston’s ‘super-gt‘ was in danger of falling between the cracks.
Now, thanks to a freer-breathing inlet system and revised ECU mapping, the 5.9-litre naturally aspirated V12 now develops a nice, round 600PS (or 592bhp in old money), up from 573PS (565bhp). With a greater volume of air flowing through the inlet manifolds and into the engine, the way it delivers that power promises to feel more intense, pulling harder all the way to the red line with a greater appetite for revs. Aston claims 0-62mph in 3.5sec, a couple of tenths quicker than the outgoing car, though the top speed is unchanged at 201mph.
Complimenting this sharper and stronger delivery, the Touchtronic III transmission has had its electronic calibration revised so that it delivers faster gearshifts for more incisive response, but attention has also been paid to low-speed smoothness and refinement, as befits a car that attempts to straddle the roles of GT and supercar.
To underline its newly honed responses, the chassis has been subjected to a detailed suite of changes. Damper internals, spring rates and anti-roll bar bushes have all been re-tuned to give the car a greater sense of control and agility, while preserving the same degree of compliance for a supple ride at low speeds and on less-than-smooth roads via the three-stage adaptive damping system. We’ll be intrigued to discover how the Vanquish S drives, for it has always felt as though there was some pace and poise waiting to be tapped.
Visually, the Vanquish has always been a cracker. With the shift to Vanquish S, the beefy looks have been further amplified. The result is a more aggressive, less modest machine, but one that marks itself out as the boldest car in the range. The most obvious changes are to the front and rear ends, with a more angular front splitter and prominent rear diffuser, complete with new quad-tailpipe exhaust. Both contribute to a meaningful reduction in lift with a minimal penalty in additional aerodynamic drag, and, of course, give the Vanquish S its own distinctive look.
As ever, an extensive choice of options and the possibility of further personalisation give almost limitless scope for creating a car tailored to each customer’s needs and tastes. Of the new options, the most appealing and striking are the new lightweight forged five-spoke
diamond-turned wheels, which really do look spectacular. Unpainted carbonfibre bonnet louvres are another option, while a choice of painted graphics packs (as opposed to vinyl) give the opportunity to add another layer of individuality and attitude to the overall look of the car.
Inside, there’s an equally impressive – and slightly bewildering – range of options. Aston’s designers have been experimenting with complex embroidered patterns and finishes for years now, so it’s no surprise to see another new design make its debut in the Vanquish S. Called ‘Filograph’, this dynamic new quilt pattern makes a bold statement, as do new materials and finishes, such as the Satin Chopped Carbon Fibre facia, which has the effect of marbling. Bridge of Weir Caithness leather creates that supple and aromatic driving environment for which Astons are renowned. No question, the Vanquish S promises to be a fabulous place in which to cover the miles.
Available as coupé and Volante, prices for each model start at £199,950 and £211,950 respectively. Production has already started and a few fortunate customers will receive their new cars before the end of 2016. However, deliveries will begin in earnest in 2017. Look out for our first drive of the Vanquish S in the next issue of Vantage. New diffuser said to help reduce lift; new five-spoke, diamond-turned alloys just look sensational; ‘Filograph’ quilting makes a similarly bold statement inside
‘It’s a more aggressive, less modest machine, one that marks itself out as the boldest car in the range’