Fifty years ago, Callum sent his doodles to Jaguar. Now he’s the design boss…
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The Top Gear car review:Aston Martin Vanquish S
For:Good ride, sublime V12 and beautiful styling. Carefully thought through engineering enhancements.
Against:All-new DB11 exists, and some will still mumble it's all a bit samey.
What is it?
This is the new £199,950 Vanquish S - a sharper, more polished version of the Vanquish capable of 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and 201mph. It’s also the final outing for Aston’s Ford-derived 6.0-litre V12, here tuned for an extra 27bhp over the Vanquish it replaces, although the 465lb ft torque figures stays the same. The DB11 will be followed by an all-new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 Vantage in late 2017, and then a new twin-turbo DB11-based Vanquish in 2018, so this is the last gasp for naturally-aspirated Astons.
We can see why the release of the new Vanquish S (a 595bhp 2+2 GT), following just months after the launch of the new DB11 (a 600bhp 2+2 GT) could cause much head scratching.
Andy Palmer, Aston’s CEO, says it “takes things a step further, confidently asserting itself within the Aston Martin range and distinguishing itself from the new DB11.” A spokesman clarified further, calling the DB11 Aston’s GT car, and the Vanquish S its super GT. It should be a more focused kind of car then, but considering it’s based on older chassis and powertrain tech than the DB11 and costs £45,050 more, it’ll need to be spectacular to earn its keep.
The chassis has been given the full Matt Becker treatment (Aston’s head of ride and handling, poached from Lotus). Spring rates are up ten per cent, but with retuned dampers to bring the front and rear ends in harmony with each other. A thicker rear anti-roll bar has been added to keep the back of the car more planted, the hydraulic steering has been revised, but keeps the same ratio, and a new rear muffler amplifies the V12’s swansong.
There’s also a new aero package, including winglets on the edges of the front bumper to direct air away from the wheels. That means less overall drag, less front-end lift (to you and I that equals less understeer) and a fraction more aggression to the Vanquish’s visage.