British Remains
Aston Martin Vanquish
Words | Norman Wong
Photography | Kimio Ng

Big V12, 007, immense power, luxury comfort and an exceptional soundtrack. The new Vanquish continues to deliver the qualities of a true British sports grand tourer with an enhanced power plant under the lightweight guise inspired by the traditions of Aston Martin.

We find out how this tuned-up gentlemen racer drives, how it compares with the outgoing Bond Car and the welcome back of the “Vanquish” name tag.

The torrential rain didn’t stop us from bringing the new Aston Martin Vanquish to a road test, getting soaked in the process and having our cameras exposed to all kinds of nasty environmental hazards. Most of you (and ourselves) will probably think it wasn’t really a good idea to put the 573hp grand tourer to test in the rain. With so much power on tap for the back wheels, any slip on the wet tarmac would’ve costed us a fortune. Nevertheless, the drivability of any car is truly tested in poor road conditions.

As we climb the power curve, we find that the delivery is a little bit more linear than its 517hp DBS predecessor, though the overall engine and steering responses, when compared to DBS, are more refined but less rapid and direct. The solid yet compliant suspension offered a steady, comfortable ride, especially when traveling under unfavorable road conditions caused by the adverse weather. There was no noticeable noise, harshness and vibration felt inside the cabin. The final portion of the test – punching the car into sport mode, and instantly all the controls are optimized and honed. Exiting the motorway, the new Vanquish is still comfort-biased with a heavier unsprung weight, softer brakes and most of all, a less impulsive transmission compared to its competitors. It is a civilized front-midship sports saloon with a monster block driving the two rear wheels.

Driving back into the city traffic, we are then afforded a little more time to inspect our immediate surroundings. Interior-wise, the Vanquish offers a more refined interior and significantly more space in the 2+2 cabin. Evidently, the capacity of the boot has also been raised, 60% larger than that of the DBS – perfect for your golf clubs, or a few contraptions from Q at MI6 home base. Overall, this rear-wheel-drive GT is an easy car to handle with rigid suspension that provides enough support for carving through country roads whilst also conforming to the banal task of city commuting.

The return of the Vanquish continues to defend the dignity of British GTs and truly stays within the traditions of Aston Martin: the lavish expression of curved lines, beautifully hand-stitched interior and trim, the smell and touch of full-grain leather, and most importantly… this would certainly be something 007 would proudly call his own. The only suggestion we would make on improving the car? Give it a stick, and three pedals in the footwell.

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