By Dave Abrahams

Gaydon, Warwickshire - This is actually the second time that Aston Martin has turned up the wick on its iconic grand touring flagship to create a Vanquish S, with more power, tauter suspension and crisply updated styling, but it has never lost sight of the fact that the Vanquish is not now, and has never been a sports-car.

So what we have here is a superlative long-haul express, its naturally aspirated six-litre V12 breathing more deeply thanks to a revised, freer-breathing intake system with larger volume inlet manifolds, boosting peak power from 421 to 441kW, with sharper throttle response throughout the rev range - more so as you get closer to the redline.

The eight-speed Touchtronic transmission has been remapped to take advantage of this, with faster, smoother and more precise gearshifts at low speeds, while the suspension, damper internals, spring rates and anti-roll bar bushes have also been re-tuned to give the Vanquish S a tauter, more intense ride in Sport mode, while still providing a supple, mile-eating ride in Comfort mode.

Very cool indeed

According the gentlemen of Aston Martin Works, the sexy new clear-lacquered carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser are not just for show; they significantly reduce front-end with minimal extra drag. But they do look very cool indeed, and can be made to look even cooler with optional carbon-fibre bonnet louvres, forged five-spoked engine turned wheels and a choice of special graphics - no Cyril, not go-fast stickers, but beautifully spray-painted designs.

There are more options available for the interior trim, including a new quilted leather upholstery design called 'Filograph' in buttery-soft leather from Bridge of Weir Caithness, with the Vanquish S logo embroidered on the head restraints, and a fascia panel in satin-finished, chopped strand carbon fibre.

The new Vanquish S will be available in both Coupé and Volante convertible layout with prices starting from £199 950 (R3.57 million), for delivery from December 2016. It will be available in South Africa to special order only from the second quarter of 2017, with pricing starting at around R5.5 million.

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