A brand new, beautifully crafted steaming hunk of carbon fiber has been dropped in the automotive industry. Alright, this kind of description doesn’t give much justice to our noted subject, but it is wholly accurate. The “Vanquish” nomenclature has been resurrected and applied to what enthusiasts knew as the “AM310” concept that was revealed at last month’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Positioned as the successor to Aston Martin’s hot DBS model, the new Vanquish blends the modern (and inherently classic) spirit of the Aston Martin brand with homages to the rest of its lineup in a stunning and advanced package. Before anything else, let’s take a look at this bodywork.
Design Director Marek Reichman and his team took the approach of blending feats from other Aston Martin models in a package that is still distinctly successive of the DBS; what lies underneath is another story. Firstly, the front end presents us with a familiar but very well refreshed face. Take this comment or leave it, but this Vanquish benefitted greatly from a fresh dose of botox and fillers. It’s sleek headlamps are complemented by LED’s that function as eyebrows for an even more aggressive look. The familiar Aston Martin grille shape is joined by a tastefully high-spirited carbon fiber front spoiler that is nicely complemented by painted pieces within its grooves and curves.
As you travel further along the car you notice body panels that have a significant amount of depth to them. The travelling swoop from the headlights to the rear panels fluctuates its width, eventually plunging down and tapering inward; these are unmistakable cues from the One-77. Once to the back you’ll continue to see One-77 leads in the taillights and upright, rounded rear end that blends nicely with the rest of the body work and makes this super GT look light on its feet despite its beefier proportions elsewhere. In fact, “For the rear spoiler, Dr. Bez [Aston Martin's CEO] asked us to make something that looked like it was impossible to make, and it was for the first six months,” said Ian Minards, Aston’s director of product development.
And to mention “light on its feet” is potentially an understatement. Interestingly enough, the Vanquish is a like a negative of the One-77 in that it has a largely aluminum chassis with a carbon fiber body. When all is said and done the new Vanquish comes in at about 3700 pounds, which is 50 pounds lighter than the One-77, 136 pounds lighter than the outgoing DBS, and 180 pounds lighter than our DB9 Volante.
Dive inside and the feast for your senses continues in Aston Martin fashion. The fact that there is more headroom, legroom, and storage capacity is all fine and well but the real points of interest are the appointments and miniscule but effectively differentiated ergonomics. Leather and alcantara drip off of every panel and seat cushion, with elegant stitching and quilting adding that extra, distinctly British touch. Top it off with a ridiculously powerful Bang & Olufsen sound system, fancy navigation, haptic controls and a One-77 steering wheel and you’re good to go in the most style in the industry.
Dive deeper inside, under the hood, and you’ll find a heavily re-worked 5.9-liter V-12 from the DBS. Aston Martin managed to squeeze out 55 extra horses for a total of 565, with 457 lb-ft of torque. Performance is expected at a 0-60 of about 4 seconds with a top speed in the neighborhood of 180 to 190 mph. For now, AM’s Touchtronic2 six-speed auto is the only tranny of choice, but some believe that a six-speed stick isn’t completely out of the picture; in our opinion, this likely won’t come to fruition, but you’ll be the first to know.
As keepers of a beautiful DB9 Volante, we’re no strangers to the passion and style that is inherent in an Aston Martin. And with full confidence we can note that the 2014 Vanquish is one of their most beautiful examples. This is the car that marries unbridled luxury with industry-leading structural technology and muscular performance. This is a car that offers more luxury than its guts suggest, and more guts than its luxury suggests. Expect the new Vanquish in early 2013, but don’t hesitate to get yourself into our DB9 Volante well before that.