Vanquish: Gentlemen’s Exotic
By Joshua Stone
From the first glance, the Vanquish is unlike any supercar on the market today. This “gentlemen’s exotic” is a truly elegant statement in design. Aston Martin has focused on the details of this car. For example, the rear fender, quarter panel, and window surround are all one enormous piece of carbon fiber. The trunk and spoiler are one piece as well, and the bumpers have minimal cuts and gaps for a striking, streamlined appearance.
The real magic starts on the inside. This coupe’s leather seats other amenities have more than 100,000 individual stitches in its luxurious quilted-leather interior. On the dash, every piece that looks like it should be metal is – from the air vent surrounds to the control knobs. The gorgeous herringbone carbon fiber console trim pairs the look of precision old-world woodworking with modern composites. The instrument cluster is crafted like a fine Swiss timepiece. Every inch of the interior feels attended to – from the alcantara trim around the windshield and pillars, to the unbelievable stitched leather headliner and quilted leather seats that extend to the rear deck. And the seats themselves are among the most comfortable around.
The Vanquish is a Grand Touring car, and I could easily imagine spending hours on end enjoying the drive and having nary a cramp from the bolstered and plush thrones. The attention to detail has no equal in the market, even compared to cars costing nearly $100,000 more than this top-of-the-line Aston Martin. Even the background of the Aston Martin name on the badge is black, versus green on the other cars, a detail proclaiming the Vanquish as the King of the Aston Martin family.
The Sounds of Vanquish
The new navigation and audio system in the Vanquish is by Garmin and Bang and Olufson. The system was easy to navigate, but the temptation of hearing that V12 symphony was too much for me to pass up. There is a sport button on the steering wheel that sharpens throttle response, alters the shift programming and, most importantly, opens a valve in the exhaust to let the wonderful engine sing. And sing it does. While 565 horsepower may seem a bit low in these days of horsepower wars, what it lacks in sheer power it makes up in flexibility and instant throttle response and, of course, that signature V12 wail.
What a Ride!
I had reservations about the automatic transmission, but it’s quite comfortable around town and shifts very fast in manual mode. While not as quick as a dual clutch or involved as a traditional manual, the six-speed automatic rear mounted transaxle is perfect for this application. It is as comfortable tooling around town in traffic as it is up and downshifting on your favorite curvy road. As for handling, body motions are very well controlled in normal, sport, and track modes.The big grand touring coupe is stiffly sprung but never harsh. While usually reserved for racecars, huge carbon ceramic brakes haul this car down from speed with confidence, while remaining quiet and easy to modulate with great pedal feel.
A Welcomed Surprise
In conclusion, this car surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to find such a flexible and truly capable machine. To have this car as a track car would belie its true purpose. The Vanquish is engineered to swallow long distances without even a hiccup, and embarrass many exotics while doing so. This is truly an elegant expression without issue in daily driving. Good trunk space, a comfortable cabin, and amazing yet flexible performance highlight this remarkable car. If this is any indication of the new direction of the Aston Martin brand, the future looks very bright indeed.