The all-new Aston Martin Vanquish replaces the DBS as Aston’s flagship model and marks the return to the nameplate of the original V12 Vanquish first unveiled at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show.
The second-generation Aston Martin Vanquish actually represents the fourth-generation of the company’s modular VH architecture and includes plenty of inspiration from the Aston Martin One-77 supercar.
Here’s CarAdvice’s guide to all you need to know about the 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish.
Led by Aston Martin design director Marek Reichmann, the Vanquish design team set out to create a modern-day interpretation of the range-topping Aston Martin GT car.
Side-by-side, the all-new Vanquish is a genuine evolution of the Aston Martin DBS model it replaces and has more in common with the One-77 than its predecessor.
The new Vanquish while retaining that aggressive stance of the original model is leaner and even more elegant than the DBS – pointing to its improved dynamics and agility.
The entire skin of the car (that’s all body panels) is carbonfibre and there’s a near-continuous ring of exposed carbonfibre around the base of the car from the front splitter and side skirts to the beautifully integrated rear diffuser.
The extensive use of carbonfibre on the Vanquish also means less actual body panels and fewer gaps between panels. For example, there’s no panel gap on the C-pillar joint, which creates more elegance through smoother lines.
Elements of the One-77’s design language are clearly evident in the flowing waistline and extra-long side strakes that begin as carbonfibre and morph into a distinct character line. The side mirrors are also left as fully exposed carbonfibre, as is the roof itself on specifically optioned versions of the Vanquish.
The rear aero duct on the boot lid of the Aston Martin Vanquish deserves special mention. It takes one craftsperson two full days to create the single piece and represents a specific challenge from Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.
The challenge for the engineers was to create a functional rear aero duct that looked “impossible to make”. The final result is a thing of beauty, form and function, without any joint lines.
Inside, the Vanquish borrows even more DNA from the Aston Martin One-77.
The entire centre stack in the Vanquish looks to have been lifted directly from the Aston Martin One-77 supercar and is a significant improvement over the DBS, both from a design and functionality standpoint.
For the record, it takes more than 70 man-hours by experts and craftspeople to build and trim one interior. That doesn’t include the seven leather hides that are used inside the cockpit of the Vanquish.
It’s a far more luxurious and contemporary look and feel inside the Vanquish compared with the outgoing DBS, highlighted by the superb quilted finish on the seats, produced by a unique machine developed specifically for Aston Martin.
Aston’s trademark glass starter module and gear mode selection buttons remain, but most of the other switchgear are new capacitive glass touch buttons or Aston Martin’s new Driver Information Module – also inspired by the One-77 interior.
The same goes for the rear tail-light blades and optional leather/Alcantara steering wheel – close derivatives of those o the One-77.
Interior storage space on board the Aston Martin Vanquish has been increased by a massive 140 per cent over the DBS.
Driver and passenger space grows, too, with leg room increased by 37mm, elbow room by 87mm, shoulder room is up by 25mm, and while knee room is extended by 50mm.
It’s also more practical, with boot space of 368 litres, or more than 60 per cent larger that the DBS, regardless of whether buyers specify the 2+0 or 2+2 interior as per the previous version of the Vanquish
The 6.0-litre V12 might share the same 5935cc displacement as the DBS, but Aston’s engineers have carried out some serious re-engineering on this engine.
The V12 is now fitted with a revised block, new cylinder heads and new manifolds, featuring double variable valve timing systems.
The result is that power is up by 48kW to 428kW, while torque has been increased to 620Nm (up from 570Nm) over the DBS. The V12 is mated to Aston’s ‘Touchtronic 2’ six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
The all-new Aston Martin Vanquish will do 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds (using the new launch control feature) and on to a top speed of 295km/h.
For the first in an Aston Martin there is a launch control system on board the Vanquish, which effectively balances throttle, gearbox and the vehicle’s various traction aids for the quickest possible standing start. The system doesn’t use a clutch, so is able to be used repeatedly without causing any damage.
There’s also a Sport button on the steering wheel that instantly sharpens the throttle and shift times.
HANDLING & RIDE
The latest-generation VH architecture is not only light, but it’s also 25 per cent torsionally stiffer than the DBS for what Aston claims is highly responsive handling.
Engineers have also used carbonfibre in the rear structure, as well as reducing the weight of the aluminium front structure by 13 per cent using hollow cast aluminium, rather than solid cast aluminium.
The engine also sits 19mm lower into the body of the Vanquish, further lowering the car’s centre of gravity and improving its stability under high loads.
Serious effort has been made to control the car’s weight/balance, the result of which is a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution for the Vanquish.
The Aston Martin Vanquish is equipped with an adaptive damping system, which allows drivers to choose between three distinct ride modes: normal, sport and track.
The damper settings are set by an electronic control unit that measures readings from the car’s systems including vehicle speed, steering wheel input, throttle position and brake pressure.
Putting the power to the ground are new-generation Pirelli P-Zero tyres in split sizes (255/35 up front and 305/30 at the rear) on 20-inch forged alloy wheels.
Stopping power for the Vanquish is courtesy of third-generation Brembo carbon ceramic matrix brakes all round, with six-piston calipers (from the One-77) on the front wheels and four pots at the rear.
Aston Martin Vanquish Specification
Wheels and Tyres
CarAdvice attended the international launch of the Aston Martin Vanquish in the UK. Stay tuned for our first-drive review, coming soon.