Aston Martin Vanquish


Aston Martin Vanquish

Aston Martin Vanquish

Jermey Clarkson compares the Vanquish with the Ferrari 575M Part 1

Part 2

At the concept stage the new V12 Vanquish was previewed at a series of international motor shows in North America and Europe during the first half of 1998. Such was the response to Project Vantage that immediately following its public unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in January 1998 the decision was taken to proceed with production.

Built at Newport Pagnell, the Vanquish, Aston Martin’s flagship model.

The drive-by-wire throttle system is fitted to the second generation 460 horsepower 6.0 litre V12 Aston Martin engine. Finger tip controlled Formula 1 style paddles enable gear changes to be completed in under 250 milliseconds – less than the blink of an eye.

Advanced electronics also permit the close ratio six speed manual transmission to be programmed to operate automatically with the added facility of a special program tailored to winter driving conditions.

The main body structure utilises carbon fibre, aluminium and composite materials bonded together to form a monocoque safety cell. All the exterior body panels are constructed from aluminium with each individual panel hand tailored to the central structure to ensure a perfect panel fit. It provides high standards of efficiency, structural integrity, torsional rigidity and occupant crash protection. The main body structure of the V12 Vanquish including the floor and the front and rear bulkheads is formed from aluminium bonded and riveted around the central transmission tunnel which is constructed entirely from carbon fibre. Single piece composite inner body side sections with carbon fibre windscreen pillars are also bonded to the central structure to create a high strength safety cell.

The precise, computer controlled, manufacturing processes which have been developed in Cupertino with Ford Research Laboratories and Nottingham University for the construction of the composite sections and the carbon fibre windscreen pillars are unique to the production of this latest Aston Martin.

A steel, aluminium and carbon fibre subframe carries the engine, transmission and front suspension and is bolted directly to the front bulkhead. There is a further deformable composite structure which employs the distinctive Aston Martin mesh air intake grille as a stressed member located ahead of the engine and front suspension to provide additional crash protection and accommodate the engine, transmission and air conditioning radiators and intercoolers. A completely flat surface has been developed for the underbody enabling air to be channelled into a Venturi section at the rear to assist high speed aerodynamics.

At the rear the composite floor, parcel shelf and side rails of the luggage compartment are also designed to provide additional deformable crash protection together with the extruded aluminium side impact beams located in the doors.

All of the exterior panels, including the roof, bonnet, boot lid, front and rear wings and doors are produced from “super-plastic-formed” and pressed aluminium. However each individual panel is tailored and bonded to the central structure by hand to ensure a perfect fit and finish.

International award winning designer Ian Callum’s elegant, classic body design reflects the pedigree, heritage and tradition of Aston Martin. Every carefully detailed feature is evidence of the craftsmanship and quality which is invested in its construction. With the capacity to continue to turn heads the design of the V12 Vanquish is already established as a modern classic. If you can’t afford a full scale model you should have at least a die-cast version in your collection.

The V12 Vanquish is available as either a two or two plus two seat coupe with each and every model hand-built, finished to the individual requirements of its customer. The V12 Vanquish benefits from a exhaustive test program with 50 prototypes that covered more than a million miles. In order to assess the integrity and durability of the bonded structure an environmental wind tunnel was employed to subject a Vanquish body to temperatures ranging from minus 40°C to plus 81°C.


Engine: All alloy twin overhead cam 48 valve 5935cc 60° V12. Compression ratio 10.5:1. Visteon twin PTEC engine management controlling fuel injection, ignition and diagnostics. Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system.
Transmission: Six speed manual gearbox with Auto Shift Manual/Select Shift Manual (ASM/SSM) electro-hydraulic control system. SCP/CAN interface to engine management control system. Limited slip differential 3.69:1
Steering: Rack and pinion, variable power assistance 2.73 turns lock to lock. Column tilt and reach adjustment.
Front – Ventilated cross drilled steel discs 355mm diameter with four piston service caliper.
Rear – Ventilated steel discs 330mm diameter with four piston service caliper.
Conti Teves vacuum assisted anti-lock braking system. Electronic brake and engine intervention traction control system.
Front – Independent double aluminium wishbone. Coil springs, monotube damper and anti-roll bar.
Rear – Independent double aluminium wishbone. Coil springs, monotube damper and anti-roll bar.
Body: Two door style with 2+0 or 2+2 seating. Extruded aluminium and carbon fibre bonded monocoque. Composite front and rear crash structures. Aluminium skin panels. Extruded aluminium door side impact protection beam. Blade mounted washer jets. Boot space of 0.24 cu m
Wheels and Tyres: Lightweight forged aluminium alloy wheels 9J x 19 (front), 10J x 19 (rear), Yokohama 255/40 ZR19 tyres (front), 285/40 ZR19 (rear)
Length: 4665mm.
Width: 1923mm.
Height: 1318 mm.
Kerb Weight: 1835 kgs
Wheelbase: 2690 mm.
Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres, 95 RON unleaded fuel only.
Maximum power: 460 bhp @ 6500 rpm.
Maximum torque: 542 Nm (400 lb. ft) @ 5000 rpm.
Acceleration: 0-62 5.0 seconds
Maximum speed: 190 mph


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