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Aston Martin Vanquish S (2017)

2016-11-21 Read: 21x

The Aston Martin Vanquish is one of those cars that truly doesn’t need words to tell its story. This page could simply be an image gallery, and it’s doubtful that anybody would complain. The Vanquish’s lines are still as mesmerizing as they were when the second-generation car launched for the 2013 model year. But Aston Martin just announced an “S” version of its “super GT” that’s better in just about every way, so you’re going to want to peel your eyes away from those photos for a few minutes.

Following the hype of its first product in collaboration with Daimler, the twin-turbocharged V-12 DB11, Aston Martin wanted to remind people that the Vanquish still exists. The British firm added another number to the power dial, tightly relaced the car’s underpinnings, and fitted some figurative cuff links and a pocket square to brighten its look a bit.

Most characteristic of the Vanquish is its beautiful body, which Aston barely touched. Distinguishing the S from the original are the revised front splitter and rear diffuser that now give onlookers a peek under its skin with exposed carbon fiber. Aston says the new shapes provide a “meaningful reduction in frontal lift,” although it did not specify real numbers. The Brits also added a dual twin-tip exhaust setup and optional carbon-fiber hood louvers, five-spoke 20-inch diamond-turned wheels, and painted graphics packages.

Under the hood, the naturally aspirated 5.9-liter V-12 remains, but it has been squeezed to make a claimed 580 horsepower at 7000 rpm, 12 more than before, thanks to larger intake manifolds. The twelve-cylinder puts down 465 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, helps the car jump from zero to 62 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds, and has its sights set on a target max speed of 201 mph. That’s three-tenths quicker to 62 mph than Aston’s claim for the non-S Vanquish. (In our hands, the 568-hp Vanquish sprinted to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.) The company says it also worked on the eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic transmission to refine shift quality while making them quicker, too. To ramp up the Vanquish’s sporty feel, engineers retuned the suspension, dampers, spring rates, and bushings.

The experience all comes together when drivers step into the cockpit, which appropriately looks like entering a black-and-white Matrix in these press photos. It offers gorgeous choices like Filograph quilted leather upholstery, the Satin Chopped Carbon Fibre finish for the center stack, or Sumptuous Bridge of Weir Caithness leather. It might be worth buying just so you can walk up to somebody and ask if they’ve ever touched Sumptuous Bridge of Weir Caithness leather. The branding is completed inside with Vanquish S embroidery on the headrests.

Although this announcement is happening at the doorstep of the L.A. auto show, Aston Martin chose to separate from the crowd and debut the Vanquish S closer to the beach at a private event in the Pacific Palisades. The S is available in coupe ($297,775) and convertible Volante ($315,775) models and will start rolling into U.S. customers’ driveways in April.

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