The fastest production model ever to be built by Aston Martin made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show on September 23, 2004.
With a maximum speed in excess of 200mph (321 km/h) and a 6.0 litre V12 engine developing 520 horsepower, the Vanquish S has been designed to deliver even greater performance, complemented by subtle suspension and steering changes and a number of interior and external style revisions.
"The Vanquish is our flagship model and the standard 460bhp will continue to be built," said Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez. "However, this derivative makes the car even more exceptional. The latest Vanquish S is not only the fastest Aston Martin ever, but it is the best handling too. It is the ultimate high-performance Aston Martin."
The Vanquish S has received subtle but effective changes to complement its elegant muscular body. The famous Aston Martin grille has a new rounded and more open appearance for better cooling, and an aerodynamic splitter improves high-speed stability.
At the rear, a redesigned boot lid featuring a new high mounted stop lamp reduces lift and improves balance and stability, helping to achieve an impressive Cd figure of 0.32.
These differences on the Vanquish S not only improve the appearance but also enhance performance. 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. Every carefully detailed feature provides graphic evidence of the painstaking craftsmanship and quality, which is invested in its construction at Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell site in Buckinghamshire.
Revised steering geometry provides a 20% quicker response, allowing the driver to apply a reduced input for required steering response. This enables the driver to be more precise with inputs - especially on winding roads - and more accurate feedback from the chassis.
The Sports Dynamics suspension, steering and braking package is now standard on the Vanquish S. This includes stiffer springs and dampers and shorter steering arms.
The brakes have been upgraded to incorporate larger six piston calipers and larger grooved and ventilated front discs. The rear discs are 2mm wider for improved heat dissipation. The use of floating discs ensures the driver has consistent pedal feel under heavy braking whilst a new brake pedal assembly reduces travel and enhances pedal feel.
Further development of Aston Martin’s low emissions, all alloy, quad-overhead camshaft, 48 valve, 6.0-litre V12 engine has generated an increase in power from 460 bhp to 520 bhp (388kW) @ 7000rpm and torque is boosted to 425 lb ft (577 Nm), @5800rpm.
Engine enhancements include new cylinder heads with fully machined inlet ports and combustion chambers to improve airflow, revised engine mapping and new fuel injectors.
The overall interior design is a subtle blend of traditional, classic and modern materials with Bridge of Weir leather upholstery matched to contemporary metal interior fittings and finishes. A number of detailed improvements have been made to the interior of the Vanquish S to enhance the overall appeal.
The luxurious but purposeful two seat or optional 2+2 cabin now features supportive all leather trimmed sports seats with many additional and exquisite detail touches which amply demonstrate the truly special nature of this unique hand crafted sports car.
"The Vanquish S V12 is a combination of state-of-the-art aerospace technology and hand craftsmanship," said Dr Bez. "It is the flagship model of a confident and growing company that is proud to display its heritage but is also determined to make the most technologically modern and inspirational sports cars in the world."
Illustrating Aston Martin’s continuing commitment to customer care Vanquish S customers will be eligible for a complimentary Performance Driving Course. This comprehensive one-to-one driving experience can be taken at one of three proving grounds – Millbrook in the UK, Lommel in Belgium, or Romeo, Michigan, in North America.
With the capacity to continue to turn heads, the design of the Vanquish is already established as a modern classic. Since its launch in 2001, the Vanquish has proved to be a huge success for Aston Martin with over 1500 cars built.
Styling : Power, Beauty and Soul
The Vanquish S effortlessly combines 21st Century technology and 200 mph (321 km/h) performance, with understated elegance and craftsmanship.
To build such an extraordinary car, the company has used British expertise in aerospace and race-car engineering. Conventional automotive industry materials and manufacturing techniques were not good enough for the fastest road car in Aston Martin’s history.
The lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre structure of Vanquish S is unique to Aston Martin. It is this special combination of materials that gives the Vanquish S such enormous strength and torsional rigidity for superior handling, safety and durability. This technology has become the Aston Martin signature of today; just as hand-formed aluminium panels were in the past. (The aluminium body panels are still hand finished. It is the best way to achieve a superb finish.)
As Aston Martin spearheads developments of its innovative construction techniques, so it also leads with its sophisticated engine and Formula One-style transmission. The Vanquish S uses the most powerful version ever of Aston Martin’s highly acclaimed 6.0-litre V12.
The six-speed manual transmission is operated by F1-style paddles mounted on the steering wheel column. It can change gear in approximately 250 milliseconds - or the blink of an eye.
The Vanquish S is full of technological innovation, designed to improve strength and safety. The advanced aluminium and carbon fibre body is replete with world firsts. One example is the specially developed braided carbon-fibre used for the ‘A’ posts and the engine bay cross brace. Engineers from Aston Martin invented a novel braiding process that encases a polyurethane foam core with triaxial carbon fibre. The result is an immensely strong yet light structure capable of withstanding the force of a crash or rollover.
The brakes provide enormous stopping power. The huge 378 mm ventilated front discs are gripped by new six piston calipers. The rear discs are thicker to help heat dissipation and give better fade resistance. Both front and rear discs are mounted on a patented floating mechanism designed to maintain consistent pedal feel under sustained heavy braking. The brake pads use competition friction material tuned to the disc and caliper to provide enhanced performance and stability.
Traction control monitors wheel spin and adjusts engine power accordingly. When engaged, the Wheel Slip Protection (WSP) mode operates the clutch and gearbox, auto-shifting at 3200 rpm in low-grip conditions to prevent sliding. But it is not just the mechanicals that make a car safer. The design team spent many hours in the wind tunnel honing the car’s profile to ensure stability throughout its speed range and adequate airflow for power and cooling.
V12 Power & Performance
Aston Martin’s hand-built 6.0-litre V12 is renowned as one of the finest engines in the world: enormously powerful, smooth and beautiful. It can also lay claim to being the world’s best-sounding high performance car engine. In the Vanquish S, it reaches its zenith. Maximum power is 520 bhp (388 kW) at 7000 rpm, with maximum torque of 425 lb ft (577 Nm) at 5800 rpm.
Such power delivers sterling performance. Indeed, this is the fastest-ever road going Aston Martin. Top speed is more than 200 mph (321 km/h), the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) dash is accomplished in only 4.8 seconds while 0-100 mph (160 km/h) takes just 9.8 seconds. But it is the mid-range acceleration that is truly sensational; 50-70 mph (80-112 km/h) takes only 6.5 seconds in sixth gear. Overtaking is effortless.
A key factor in the engine’s efficiency is its high-speed multiplex communications system, called PTEC (Power Train Electronic Control), which is capable of transmitting information in four one-thousandths of a second. There are two PTECs, one for each bank of cylinders, linked by a high-speed system that controls the fuel injection and spark timing.
Engine changes in the Vanquish S include new cylinder head castings with revised inlet ports and combustion chambers with revised profiles to improve airflow. A remapped engine management system, together with new fuel injectors and spark plugs takes advantage of this improved airflow. Finally, new hot forged connecting rods have been designed to handle the increased cylinder pressure.
As you would expect, the Vanquish S engine meets all emissions requirements worldwide, including California’s strict LEV (Low Emissions Vehicle) standards.
The PTEC system links constantly to the six-speed manual transmission, which is operated by an electro-hydraulic gearshift. Unlike some systems, the Vanquish S allows the driver to ‘skip’ down changes from say, sixth to fourth or fifth to second with a pull on the paddle for each gear change. A failsafe system ensures the engine will not over-rev and will automatically opt for the next highest ratio.
Despite the high-technology specifications, the Vanquish S is built in the same manner as other Aston Martins before it, one at a time, by hand. An individual craftsman takes responsibility for the creation of every car.
An Aston Martin, especially the ultimate Aston Martin, needs to delight its driver like no other car. It needs fast, predictable handling, and superb road holding. It needs to thrill, yet never surprise. The Vanquish S is one of the best handling and most predictable cars in the world. It communicates to the driver with utmost faithfulness, and yet with total entertainment.
The key to its nimbleness, and predictability, is its light yet massively stiff body structure. Nothing dulls performance like weight. The lower the weight, the sharper the response. No great athlete is overweight. Nor is a truly great sports car. The aerospace-style body structure also imparts superb torsional strength, much greater than a conventional steel body. So the car stays in shape, no matter what the conditions.
The suspension is light, and race-car like in design. Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension is used front and rear, combined with springs and dampers biased for superb handling. Precise ‘quick ratio’ steering improves nimbleness and driving precision.
Specially developed high-performance unidirectional tyres mounted on lightweight 11-spoke 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels, further improve handling.
Performance & Safety
The Vanquish S has one of the most advanced construction techniques of any road car, using composite materials and processes familiar to the aerospace business but rarely seen in the motor industry.
Each car starts as a heat-cured aluminium bonded monocoque, known as the ‘tub’, which uses a combination of extruded and folded aluminium panels that are bonded and then riveted together. The tub is bonded to a nine-layer carbon fibre tunnel, which gives the Vanquish S an extremely rigid yet lightweight backbone.
Specifications and prices
- Two door coupe with 2+0 or 2+2 seating
- Extruded aluminium and carbon fibre bonded body structure
- Composite front and rear crash structures
- Aluminium and composite body panels
- Extruded aluminium door side impact beams
- All alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935cc 60° V12. Front engine, rear-wheel drive.
- Twin PTEC engine management system controlling fuel-injection, ignition and diagnostics.
- Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active by-pass valves.
- Compression ratio: 10.8:1.
- Maximum power: 388 kW (520 bhp) at 7000 rpm
- Maximum torque: 577 Nm (425 lb.ft) at 5800 rpm
- Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds
- Maximum speed: Over 200 mph
- Six speed manual transmission with Auto Shift Manual/Select Shift Manual (ASM/SSM) electro-hydraulic control system.
- SCP/CAN interface to engine management control system
- Limited slip differential. Final drive ratio 4.30:1
- Rack and pinion, variable power assistance, 2.1 turns lock to lock.
- Column tilt and reach adjustment.
- Front: Independent double aluminium wishbones
- Coil springs, monotube dampers and anti-roll bar
- Rear: Independent double aluminium wishbones
- Coil springs, monotube dampers and anti-roll bar
- Teves vacuum assisted Antilock Braking System (ABS)
- Electronic brake and engine intervention traction control system
- Front: Ventilated and grooved steel discs 378 mm diameter with six piston calipers
- Rear: Ventilated steel discs 330 mm diameter with four piston calipers and separate handbrake caliper
Wheels & tyres
- Lightweight aluminium alloy wheels
- Front: 9J x19
- Rear: 10J x 19
- Tyres: Front 255/40 ZR19/Rear 285/40 ZR19
- AM/FM Radio With 700-Watts, 5.1 Surround Sound and 10 Speakers Total; 6-Disc CD Changer
- 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
- Driver Airbag