The new Aston Martin Vanquish has been unveiled, returning a model name to the British marque's line-up for a car that will sit above the Vantage, DB9 and four-door Rapide.
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The new Vanquish grand tourer was previewed by the AM310 concept in May and features the first ever carbon-fibre body panels on a series production Aston Martin. It will be released in Australia in December with a confirmed price tag of $473,340.

Aston's new range-topping model - if you don't include the limited edition One-77 - also debuts the company's next-generation VH architecture that is now stiffer and now employs bonded aluminium and carbon-fibre.

The car also sees a body comprised of aluminium, magnesium alloy and the aforementioned lightweight woven material, a titanium bonnet, aluminium front grille, a carbon-fibre splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser, and a significantly upgraded version of Aston’s staple 6.0-litre V12 engine.

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The styling has been influenced by both the Aston Martin One-77 supercar and AM310 concept car revealed at this year's Concours d'Elegance in California. This is seen in the car's waist, elongated side strakes, LED rear taillights and new 'Aero Duct' rear spoiler that's also made from carbonfibre.

The extensive use of the material helps the new Vanquish keep weight down and rigidity up to such an extent that the new car is 25 per cent stiffer than the outgoing DBS it essentially replaces.

The re-engineered, hand-assembled naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine debuts Aston's use of dual variable valve timing and has benefitted from a revised block, new head, enlarged throttle bodies, a revised 'big wing' intake manifold and fully machined combustion chambers.

This combines to see 421kW of power at 6750rpm and 620Nm of torque at 5500rpm, making the new Vanquish Aston Martin's most potent full production model yet - only being outmuscled by the 559kW and 750Nm of the limited edition One-77 supercar. The Vanquish has enough poke to shift its 1739kg from rest to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds before hitting a top speed of 295km/h.

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Working together to help control the grunt is Aston's Touchtronic 2 six-speed paddle-shifted automatic gearbox, a three-stage adjustable suspension with selectable modes ranging from Normal to Sport to Track, and an array of safety systems including dynamic stability control (DSC) and positive torque control (PTC) that acts to prevent the rear wheels locking up under engine braking.

In another first for the brand, the new Aston Martin Vanquish also features launch control.

Huge, third-generation Brembo carbon ceramic matrix (CCM) brakes feature 398mm ventilated front discs with six-piston callipers, while the rear sees 360mm discs and four-piston calipers. Both sit under 20-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber.

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Dimensionally the Vanquish is 10mm longer (4720mm), 50mm wider (2067mm) and 24mm taller (1294mm) than the DB9. This means more space and comfort for those lucky enough to sit inside the GT car where seven hides' worth of leather, an Alcantara headliner, power heated front seats and a 1000W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 15-speaker audio system all reside.

A 6.5-inch LCD display screen features sat-nav and iPod, iPhone, USB and Bluetooth integration. And of course there's the obligatory Aston Martin trademark glass engine start button. Driver, passenger, curtain, pelvis and thorax airbags are all standard.

Proving its wares as a somewhat practical luxury performance tourer, the Vanquish has 140 per cent more storage space than a DBS and a boot listed at 368 litres – more than 60 per cent larger than the DBS's boot. If extra luggage space is required, or you just want to carry fewer passengers, Aston Martin offers the new Vanquish in both a 2+2 or 2+0 configuration.

Other option highlights include matt black-finished exhaust pipes instead of the standard chrome, while buyers who can't get enough of carbon-fibre can pay more for a roof panel, side mirror caps and door handles made from the (exposed) lightweight woven material. There are also carbon-fibre gearshift paddles.

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Aston Martin chief executive officer Dr Ulrich Bez said, "The Aston Martin range is stronger now than at any time in our 99-year history. The new Vanquish represents the perfect way to signal the beginning of our centenary celebrations next year."

Aston Martin dealers in Australia will begin taking orders this month for the new Vanquish that comes at a five per cent price premium over the current $450,800 Aston Martin DBS.