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LA show: Aston lobs Vanquish S

Power share: Aston Martin’s Vanquish has been given a 23kW shot in the arm with a 5.9-litre V12 that now produces a beefy 444kW, although US versions will only get a 12kW boost.

444kW tune-up and carbon kit earns Aston Martin Vanquish the coveted S badge


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16 Nov 2016

ASTON MARTIN is giving its Vanquish flagship super coupe a better chance of living up to its name with a new higher-performance S version that has been rolled out at the Los Angeles motor show ahead of an Australian arrival in April next year.

To earn its S stripes, the Vanquish 5.9-litre V12 has been given a performance upgrade of 23kW and 10Nm, taking peak output to 444kW/630Nm and slashing its zero to 100km/h acceleration from 4.1 seconds to a bristling 3.5s, while top speed breaks the magic 200mph (320km/h) barrier at 324km/h.

The British car-maker says most of the power increase is attributed to new larger-volume inlet manifolds that allow the naturally aspirated engine to ingest more air near the 7000 rpm max power mark.

The extra power is handled by a revised version of the eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic transmission that sends power to the rear 10-spoke 20-inch wheels. Rubber is courtesy of Pirelli in the form of 305/30 P Zeros at the rear and 255/35 ZR20 at the front.

Like the sub-S Vanquish, suspension is purist’s double wishbone in each corner, but the new variant has been given a chassis tune for a “keener edge in the more sporting suspension modes, without compromising its ability to deliver supple ride quality on demand,” says Aston.

Its adaptive dampers, spring rates and anti-roll bars have all been tailored for the S, but drivers have the option of selecting a number of driving modes depending on the required ride characteristics.

The mechanical S upgrades are complemented by a visual update for the Vanquish exterior, including unpainted carbon-fibre front splitter and rear diffuser to reduce lift.

Carbon-fibre can also be optionally applied in the form of bonnet vents, mirror caps, roof panel, side strakes, grille and exterior door handles. The exotic material also forms one of the centrepieces of the interior with an unusual and eye-catching satin chopped fibre fascia trim.

Other exterior customisation options include stone-textured quad tailpipe finishers, five-spoke wheels, gloss black brakes and window surrounds, as well as extra badging.

Kerb weight is kept to a minimum of 1739kg with extensive use of unconventional materials. Door structures are formed of cast magnesium, and all panels are carbon-fibre. The body structure uses a combination of carbon and extruded aluminium.

The Aston Martin Vanquish S has a cabin to match the showy exterior with a range of Filograph quilted leather or what the company calls Sumptuous Bridge and Weir Caithness leather to customise interiors.

Kit includes a 100W Bang & Olufsen 13-speaker sound system accessed via a 6.5-inch LCD display, plus digital radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer said the introduction of the Vanquish S offered customers a more exclusive and advanced option while at the same time distancing the flagship from the recently launched DB11.

“In its second generation the Vanquish maintained that momentum with huge engineering advances such as its all-carbon fibre bodywork and compelling, contemporary styling,” he said.

“Now, the Vanquish S takes things a step further, confidently asserting itself within the Aston Martin range and distinguishing itself from the new DB11. A spectacular machine in every sense, the Vanquish S is a magnificent addition to our range.”

Pricing for Australia is yet to be confirmed, but in the other confirmed markets of the UK, Europe and the US, the Vanquish S ranges from the equivalent of $A330,000 to $A390,000.

If the model does come Down Under, it is likely to wear one of the highest prices globally. The standard Vanquish sells here from $484,995 before on-road costs.

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