First Drive: 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish

After nearly an eight-year hiatus, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish returns to reclaim the top stop as the king of the Sports GT world. Evolving from the recently departed, and wildly fantastic, DBS, the second generation Vanquish leaps forward borrowing on many of the technologies and styling cues, both internally and externally, from the $1.5-million dollar Aston Martin One-77 Supercar.

The design of the new Vanquish finds the perfect balance between modern and forward thinking elements while maintaining heritage styling cues that make it unmistakably an Aston Martin. Take, for example, the addition of the Vanquish’s new Aero Duct on the deck lid, an unique passive engineering feature designed to counteract lift of the cars rear while travelling at speed, takes one person nearly two days to complete a single unit.

Every body panel on the Vanquish is constructed entirely of high-grade carbon fiber, a first for an Aston Martin production vehicle. The use of carbon fiber throughout the body is due to it’s incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio and its flexibility of form, allowing for an increase of torsional rigidity by more than 25 percent over that of the DBS, allowing for a great responsiveness and predictability in the Vanquish’s handling.

Powered by an all new, hand-assembled, 6.0 liter V12 matted to a performance honed six-speed transmission, the Vanquish produces 565hp and 457 lb/ft of torque, which will accelerate the car from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 183 mph. Utilizing a proprietary torque converter borrowed from the One-77, the transmission seamlessly shifts through gears without hesitation or pause.

Keeping the Vanquish glued to the road are 20-inch light weight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber that were specially developed for the car, with 255/35ZR20 in the front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear. Utilizing the latest iteration of Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System, the driver is able to change the suspension, body rigidity, throttle response, brake position, and steering response by simply switching through three distinctive modes: Normal, Sport, and Track, taking the car from a comfortable cruiser to a track-day dominating monster. Helping instill confidence in braking are Carbon Ceramic brakes at all four corners, with the same calipers used on the One-77.

Inside, you’ll find exactly what you would expect from Aston Martin. An interior where nearly every panel is covered in the finest leather, requiring over 70 hours of expert craftsmanship, and seven leather hides, to complete the sport cars luxurious interior. The engineers at Aston Martin have managed to create 140 percent more storage space over the DBS.

One of the most defining interior improvements for the Vanquish is the introduction of the new center stack and infotainment system, another direct descendent of the One-77, which proves to be significantly more user friendly than it’s predecessor found in the DBS. Completing the package is a 1000w Bang & Olufsen 13-speaker audio system that can compete with the best home theater systems available. However, we much preferred the natural aural notes produced by the Vanquish’s incredible engine and exhaust.

So while it took nearly eight years for us to receive the new Vanquish, the wait was certainly well worth it. Embracing its multiple personalities allows the driver to feel equally comfortable with the Vanquish on crowded city streets or on long haul drives. And then, when the situation calls for it, provide immediate confidence swallowing up miles of twisted pavement at speed. These are claims for which most of its Italian counterparts aren’t as able to easily make.

And that is, of course, the defining difference with Aston Martin. While the Italian rivals show up to the dinner party in their purple velour dinner jackets emblazed with Swarovski crystals begging for attention, the Aston is more than content simply knowing that he’s the one hosting it. While other super cars pride themselves on being aggressive, the Aston Martin Vanquish prides itself on being assertive. 

Finally, when you consider the immense amount of technologies taken directly from the $1.5mm One-77, and the fact that this is one the most well rounded supercars ever built, at a starting price of $279,995, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish is a bargain that will make any one who is fortunate enough to get their hands on one more than pleased with their purchase.  

 The Aston Martin Vanquish is currently available for pre-orders now with first expected deliveries to take place in early 2013. 

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