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Aston Martin aims to Vanquish Ferrari

Aussie tough: Vanquish development included hot weather testing in Australia.

Aston Martin's new flagship is a 300km/h V12 fire-breather with performance to burn

12 Oct 2000

LOOK out Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Aston Martin has unveiled its new flagship, the 300km/h V12 Vanquish, and it has you directly in its sights. Due to go on sale in Europe in autumn, 2001, the front-engined rear-drive Vanquish is claimed to be the "most sophisticated and technologically advanced" Aston Martin ever.

The 6.0-litre V12 produces a whopping 336kW at 6500rpm and 556Nm at 5000rpm. It is linked to a six-speed gearbox operated via a Formula One-style paddle shift.

Aston Martin claims Supercar performance figures: 0-60mp/h acceleration in 4.5 seconds, 0-100mp/h in less than 10 seconds and a top speed of 306km/h.

Available as a two or two-plus-two coupe, the Vanquish is lighter, stiffer and stronger than the V8-engined Vantage model it replaces.

Aston Martin claims the Vanquish pioneers a series of world firsts in its design and construction, utilising carbon-fibre, extruded aluminium and composite materials to provide torsional rigidity and occupant crash protection compatible with a modern Formula One car.

The Vanquish was styled by Scot Mr Ian Callum, the same man responsible for the look of the HSV Commodore range and who has now shifted to Jaguar.

Mr Callum is not the car's only Aussie connection as hot-weather testing was also conducted at Ford's You Yangs proving ground in Victoria. Aston Martin is owned by Ford.

Aston Martin claims the Vanquish will have "world-beating chassis dynamics" courtesy of double wishbone front and rear suspension, huge disc brakes with anti-lock assistance and massive 19-inch wheels and tyres. A limited slip differential and traction control provide further assistance.

Its interior appointments are similarly impressive with leather and Alcantara trim, powered front seats, air-conditioning, six-speaker stereo with six-CD autochanger, alarm and immobiliser, trip computer and tyre pressure sensing system all standard.

Customers are invited to the Newport Pagnell factory, in the UK, to select the body colour and Connolly hide upholstery they desire. Each Vanquish will take eight weeks to build with annual production expected to be 300 cars.

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