New Aston Martin Vanquish first ride

24 Sep, 2012 10:00am Owen Mildenhall

We get a high-speed ride in the all-new 565bhp Aston Martin Vanquish

Verdict

The original 2001 Vanquish was a milestone that helped re-establish Aston Martin as a maker of desirable GTs. And the new car lives up to the illustrious badge. It’s no revolution, but it promises to be the best incarnation yet of the DB9 model lineage. It’s faster, lighter and better-looking than the old DBS, and its improved cabin and reworked engine show how Aston continues to evolve its large GT cars. We really can’t wait to drive it.

It’ll be a few weeks before we get to drive the all-new Vanquish, but Aston Martin chief engineer Chris Porritt has whet our appetite – by taking us out for a passenger ride in the brightest prototype he could find. We fastened our seatbelts and held on tight.

The Vanquish takes over from the DBS as the ultimate Aston sports car. It slots into a simplified line-up above the DB9 – which itself has been updated to replace the Virage – and blends styling cues from the stunning One-77 with the unmistakable DB9 shape.

The sculpted roof, bonnet vents and bold side strakes help to deliver a delicately aggressive look. At the rear, the distinctive tail incorporates a clever fixed wing, while the rear light clusters are another nod to the One-77.

Under the skin, the Vanquish has the same VH architecture as the DB9, but significant use of carbon alongside the bonded aluminium structure improves torsional rigidity by 25 per cent.

The famous 6.0-litre V12 engine has also been heavily revised to produce 565bhp and 620Nm, making this the most potent full-production Aston yet. It’s also mounted 19mm lower in the chassis, which Chris points out results in a lower centre of gravity and sharper handling.

Even from the passenger seat, it’s clear that there’s a broader spread of torque and a greater sense of urgency at higher revs.

Wider tyres front and rear ensure the chassis is capable of dealing with the extra performance, while the adaptive damping now has three settings: normal, Sport and Track. As with the DBS, a Sport button sharpens throttle response, opens the exhaust baffles and quickens the shift of the six-speed Touchtronic auto.

We’ll reserve judgement on the driving experience until we get behind the wheel, but even riding shotgun, the power, grip and poise of the Vanquish leave a lasting impression.

Perhaps the biggest leap forward, though, is inside. The dash’s inspiration comes from the One-77 and, without losing the traditional ambience, the Vanquish cabin has moved into the 21st century.

Modern touchpad buttons, which vibrate when pushed, replace the old joystick on the dash, while the infotainment system is simpler. New leathers and seat quilting also make the Vanquish feel opulent. There’s almost limitless potential for cabin personalisation, too.

All too soon, our time with the Vanquish is over; we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

Disqus - noscript

Why does Aston Martin think that offering 565bhp is enough for a £180,000 sports cars. The Ferrari FF produces 720bhp and the McLaren MP4-12C over 600bhp.

Power isn't the be all and end all but when you are in this price range you would expect to be on par. The one-77 has a 7.3 version of the V12 and produces 750bhp. So, running the maths, the 6.0 V12 should be able to make 600bhp.

Vanquish is in Ultimate Sport GT class. Not in Ultimate sport class. Just get inside, drive on track and than go to the restaurant in the city center and you will understand the difference. When you want to have "only" fast car just take Noble, Gumpert or Caterham R500.... This car is better for daily driving than FF and have amazing sound and interior so it's nicer to drive than proper McLaren.

My 2012 5.0 with a few bolt-ons can run that fast, for $268,128 less. With plenty of money for upgrades!

You make a good point. On another note, I hope English is not your mother tongue because your grammar is not good.

A truly gorgeous and elegant GT made for grounded - and financially stable - adults to enjoy on the streets. Yellow is really not its colour. I would defy anyone to drive this car and not completely fall in love with it.

is that a Jag?

Another stunner from AM. Agree with JayDub about the colour. At least Porrit didnt wheel out a 'body in white' car.....the kitchen appliance version. I'll probably puke when I see a white one. Has the world suddenly become devoid of choice? White surely is the [non] colour when you cant decide. YUK. Wonder how easy white cars are to sell second hand.......... AM are now using more light weight materials. When will this translate into weight reductions in the car. Without a doubt, as dearly as I love these cars, they will be way too lardy, still. McLaren did it with the MC. Imagine the Vanquish weighing in at 1.6 tonnes. That would completely upset the opposition, except McLaren who have now set the bar very high for every other GT maker.

Key specs

  • Price: £189,995
  • Engine: 6.0-litre V12
  • Power: 565bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62: 4.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 183mph
  • Economy: 20mpg
  • CO2: 330g/km (est)
  • Equipment: Ceramic brakes, sat-nav, Bluetooth, leather trim, launch control, limited-slip differential, adaptive damping
  • On sale: January 2013
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