Gaydon, Warwickshire: Make no mistake, the second-generation Aston Martin Vanquish is a big car. It’s 4745mm long on a 2740mm wheelbase, 2067mm wide and 1295mm high, and despite its body being made of extruded aluminium, magnesium castings and carbon fibre, it weighs close to two tons ready to go.
So, it’s not a sports car; it’s a grand tourer in the grand tradition, if you’ll forgive the alliteration, even more so when uprated to Vanquish S status by the factory’s Works department at Newport Pagnell, and now also in convertible Volante format.
Extra clout comes from a tweaked version of the all-alloy, quad cam, naturally aspirated 5935cc Vanquish V12 with revised, bigger-volume inlet manifolds and a freer-breathing stainless-steel exhaust system with four tailpipes. Power is up from 424kW at 6650 revs to 444kW at 7000 while peak torque is unchanged - 630Nm at 5500rpm.
The factory quotes 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds (which is downright scary for a car this size) and a top speed of 323km/h - just over 200 miles per hour in Olde English - driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed Touchtronic, for the coupé and the new Volante won’t be far behind.Sharper edge
The suspension (double wishbones all round - one would expect nothing less from Aston Martin) has been uprated with stiffer anti-roll bar bushes, and revised spring rates and adaptive damper internals, specifically intended to retain the comfortable cruise mode of the standard Vanquish in the Normal drive mode while giving it a distinctly sharper edge in Sport and Track modes.
The Vanquish S Volante looks the part as well, with its own aero package, all in clear-lacquered carbon fibre, including a revised, more prominent front splitter and a deeper rear diffuser moulded around the four big tailpipes, all on 20 inch gloss black alloys shod with 255/35 front and 305/30 rear Pirelli P-Zero radials.
The cabin has been blinged up with satin-chrome switchgear and trim elements, an optional carbon-fibre fascia panel, embroidered Vanquish S logos on the head restraints, special sill plates and a Vanquish S plaquer on the centre console. Special leather from Bridge of Weir Caithness adds an extra touch of luxury, as does a new, optional, quilted stitching pattern called Filograph.
The first Vanquish S Volante is expected to arrive in South Africa in about four weeks; firm pricing will be announced then.