“What's not to like about the Aston Martin Vanquish? It packs a sensational V12 engine and has looks to die for.”
The Aston Martin Vanquish is a replacement for the DBS, and sits at the top of Aston's range (not counting limited run models like the One-77 and V12 Zagato). The layout is typical Aston – there's a huge V12 engine at the front driving the rear wheels and the low-slung bodywork has similar proportions to the DBS. The body panels are all carbon-fibre though – a first for Aston – and the engine has been tuned to produce 565bhp and use around 10 per cent less fuel. The interior has also been completely redesigned, adding a user-friendly infotainment interface and hi-tech touch-sensitive buttons. For those millionaires interested in style, sophistication and ferocious pace, a Vanquish is the default choice.
Power from the 6.0-litre V12 has been increased by 55bhp to 565bhp, so 0-62mph takes 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 183mph. The steering reacts faster to your movements than before and the engine sits slightly lower, so the handling is more stable. A new launch control mode allows you to make the most of the performance, by controlling wheel spin and letting you blast away from a standstill with maximum acceleration. Push the sport button on the steering wheels and it sharpens throttle response and opens a set of valves in the exhaust, which lets you hear the V12 engine in all its glory as you blast down the road.
The suspension has three distinct settings – Normal, Sport and Track - so you can change the character of the car from a comfy cruiser, to a rock-hard racer at the touch of a button. Even in its softest setting though, you tend to get bounced around the interior like a pinball on bumpy roads. However, the huge amounts of power and luxurious interior mean that the Vanquish is the perfect car for long cross-continent trip – as long as you can stomach the fuel bills.
Aston Martin doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but its latest models are far better than in years gone by. Each Vanquish takes around 250 to 300 hours to build by hand, so you can be sure the quality is high. There were no major recalls for the DBS, so no major mechanical problems are anticipated for the Vanquish.
Let's face it, you don’t buy a car like this with practicality in mind, but the Vanquish has definitely improved compared to its predecessor. The dashboard has moved forward by 20mm, to create more space for front passengers, and there's a 368-litre boot – that's 60 per cent bigger than the DBS and enough for two sets of golf clubs. The rear seats are extremely cramped and only really for children (even then only for short trips), but if you’d rather have more luggage space, Aston will remove the rear seats as a no-cost option.
Value for money
When you consider that final special editions of the DBS, like the DBS Carbon, cost £186,582, the Vanquish's £189,995 price tag doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Especially when you find out that the body is constructed entirely from expensive carbon-fibre, there's more technology and gadgets packed into the interior and it's faster than ever before. Standard equipment is generous too, and includes things such as a 1,000W Bang & Olufsen stereo, sat-nav and a fully leather-lined interior. A host of optional extras, such as different 20-inch alloys, bits of extra carbon-fibre trim and a rear-parking camera are also offered. Order them, and the total cost could easily spiral out of control.
While other manufacturers are turning to smaller turbocharged engines to deliver more performance and reduce fuel consumption in one swoop, Aston Martin has stuck with what it knows. The benefits of a 6.0-litre V12 engine are clear – it sound fantastic and the effortlessly smooth power delivery is unrivalled, but fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of around 20mpg and 330g/km in this day and age is a difficult pill to swallow – even if that is a 10 per cent improvement over the DBS. A tank of unleaded for the Vanquish will set you back roughly £110. A three-year unlimited mileage warranty is included as standard, although a number of extended warranty packages are also available. Buyers should be aware though that repairing the carbon-fibre bodywork will be extremely expensive, and servicing costs will be well above the norm, too.