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In-depth reviews

Aston Martin Vanquish (2014-2018) review - Engines, performance and drive

A roaring 568bhp V12 that loves to rev, and a well-honed chassis, make the Vanquish a joy

Despite its carbon-fibre skin, the Vanquish is only 1kg lighter than the DBS it replaced, so it feels fairly similar from behind the wheel. But that’s no bad thing. There’s an extra 58bhp to play with from the 568bhp 6.0-litre V12, which means storming acceleration – especially at high-revs – while the exhausts emit a deep-chested roar. A six-speed auto comes on cars before the late-2014 updates, at which point an excellent eight-speed auto was introduced. It drops the 0-62mph time from 4.3 seconds to 3.6 seconds, while top speed is an impressive 201mph.

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Three stage adjustable dampers, with noticeable leaps between each mode, allow you to tailor the Vanquish’s character – from comfortable long-distance GT to a rock-solid track car with just a push of a button. The updates in 2014 brought stiffer suspension settings but the Vanquish remains surprisingly comfortable. There is a fair bit of tyre roar though but it’s surprisingly relaxing for such a potent supercar and the sound from the exhausts in sport mode is fantastic. 

The new Vanquish S take things up a notch with more power, more aerodynamic add-ons and snappier gear shifts. Weirdly, the suspension has actually been softened in the more hardcore S, but it means the Aston keeps its beautiful ride quality and great body control. A new exhaust system gives it a very distinctive howl as you rip through the rev range. 

Engine

The 6.0 Aston Martin V12 is legendary, if nothing else for its glorious soundtrack, which could famously be made even more entertaining (or intrusive!) by removing a single fuse that controlled the exhaust bypass – a feature designed to muffle the noise at lower revs.

That isn’t an option on the Vanquish, as the fuse controlling the exhaust bypass also protects the anti-lock brake system. However owners are able to buy a sports exhaust instead.

That disappointment aside, Vanquish owners are likely to have few other complaints about their engine. It makes its full power at a heady 6,750rpm and a walloping 630Nm of torque at 5,500rpm, both of which factors encourage you to use the full rev-range.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is the rear transaxle type for optimum weight distribution, and it features super-quick shifts in just 130milliseconds, adding to the powertrain’s brilliance.

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