As with all Aston Martin sports cars, the need for perfect balance, high-performance stability, nimble handling ability and minimised kerb weight define the new Vanquish. The comprehensive use of carbon fibre body panels for the first time in an Aston Martin underline the new Vanquish’s credentials as a truly innovative model.
Strenuous efforts have been made to limit the new car’s weight, contributing to its impressive performance, handling and significantly improved power to weight ratio. The combination of controlled weight, near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, a powerful new V12 engine and a performance-honed six-speed transmission combine to make the Vanquish as rewarding and engaging on the move as it is elegant standing still.
At the heart of the new car is the latest iteration of Aston Martin’s a 6.0-litre V12 engine. Significant re-engineering of this iconic V12 includes a revised block and new head including the debut of dual variable valve timing, uprated fuel pump, enlarged throttle bodies, a revised ‘big wing’ intake manifold and fully machined combustion chambers help the engine to a peak power output of 573 PS (565 bhp) at 6,750 rpm.
Crucially, too, the unit has been tuned specifically to deliver greater torque low down the rev range to make the car feel even more willing and muscular from very low revs. The result, predictably perhaps, is an improved 0-100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds. The top speed, where legal, is 295 km/h (183 mph).
As is the modern custom with all Aston Martin sports cars the engine is hand-assembled at the dedicated Aston Martin engine plant in Cologne, Germany.
The Vanquish uses the latest generation of Aston Martin’s class-leading VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminium structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. In this iteration, the Vanquish tub now includes the addition of significant carbon fibre components, as well as the use of bonding derived directly from the latest aerospace technologies.
The architecture has been re-engineered to control weight and improve packaging. With 75% new parts, the depth of re-engineering to achieve major packaging improvements cannot be overestimated.
Engineers have employed the extensive use of advanced materials and processes – some derived direct from the aerospace industry – to control weight and optimise the new car’s driving experience.
For the first time in an Aston Martin, carbon fibre is used to make every external panel. The race car-inspired technology gives benefits for weight and body stiffness but, more importantly, has been essential in realising the design of Vanquish. Two notable components are the door skin and boot lid – neither of these unbroken surfaces would have been possible without the use of carbon fibre.
“There are no restrictions on form or shape when using carbon fibre,” says Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Design Director, “and the material allowed us to wrap bodywork around the 20-inch wheels and maintain the precise relationship between the wheel and the bodywork.”
Each panel has been carefully sculpted to direct the airflow around the car, into the engine and to help cool the braking system. The carbon fibre elements are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques developed from the aerospace and motorsport industries.
The panel-making procedure also delivers an exceptional surface finish. The application of a 200 micron layer of epoxy and glass to the panel delivers a class-A surface that is in line with Aston Martin’s tradition of high-quality finishes. Inside the car, the weave patterns on the exposed carbon fibre elements have been carefully selected to present the most harmonious surfaces.