The current Vanquish gets one final update before being phased out in 2018

The second-generation Aston Martin Vanquish was unveiled in 2012, when it replaced the DBS V12 and revived a nameplate Aston Martin had previously used between 2001 to 2007. Although its exterior design is an evolution of the DBS, the One-77-inspired styling cues give it a unique appearance in the Aston Martin lineup. The grand tourer has already received two mild updates by 2016, the most important being a tweaked engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A more extensive facelift was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Show for the 2017 model year.

Having already launched a gorgeous version penned by famous coachbuilder Zagato, Aston Martin upgraded the standard version with notable updates on the outside and a more powerful engine under the hood. Much like the first-gen model, the current Vanquish received an "S" badge with the facelift. Usually used for higher-performance models by many brands, Aston Martin’s "S" specification usually stands for mid-cycle upgrades and extra power.

“In its second generation the Vanquish maintained that momentum with huge engineering advances such as its all-carbon fibre bodywork and compelling, contemporary styling," said Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and CEO. Now, the Vanquish S takes things a step further, confidently asserting itself within the Aston Martin range and distinguishing itself from the new DB11. A spectacular machine in every sense, the Vanquish S is a magnificent addition to our range"

The upgraded Vanquish S will be sold for about two or three years before it will be replaced by a new grand tourer based on the DB11. This version is expected to be in late 2018 or early 2019. Until that happens, let’s have a look at what the refreshed Vanquish will bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vanquish S.

Exterior

Exterior updates are far from extensive, but they do make the Vanquish S stand out.

Exterior updates are far from extensive, but they do make the Vanquish S stand out compared to the outgoing model. The most significant change is the new aerodynamic package that includes a front splitter and rear diffuser made from exposed carbon-fiber. The upgrade reduces frontal lift by keeping additional drag away from the car almost entirely. Customers will also benefit from new quad exhaust outlets and a new "Vanquish S" badge on the tailgate. The facelift also brings a few new options, including carbon-fiber hood louvers, forged five-spoke "diamond turned" wheels, and "striking painted graphics" packages. The latter should include contrasting combos such as yellow stripes over green paint, red over white, and orange over blue, among others.

COMPETING DESIGNS

Because this niche is rather tight and options include only a handful of models, the competition includes a few rather contrasting designs. First we have the Bentley Continental GT Speed (left), which is a full-blown rival for the Vanquish S as far as output, technology, and luxury go, but things are a bit different when it comes to design. Granted, the Conti is an appealing grand tourer and the kit that comes with the "Speed" badge enhances its sportiness, but the Bentley is more stylish than aggressive. No matter how you look at it, it lacks the in-your-face, supercar-like stance of the Vanquish S. All told, this debate revolves around whether you want an aggressive looking grand tourer or a slightly milder proposition that will still stand out, but won’t say "my average highway speed is 170 mph."

Then there’s the Ferrari F12berlinetta (right). Launched in 2012, the F12 is not only the quickest and most powerful grand tourer in this segment, but it’s also the only one that puts the Vanquish S’ styling to shame. The aggressively swept-back headlamps, the wide opening underneath the nose, and the sculpted engine hood place the F12berlinetta halfway between performance grand tourers and supercars. The deep crease in the fenders and the rear section remind of the classic Ferrari 250 GTO, giving the F12 yet another attractive feat that Aston Martin can’t deliver with the current model. If the grand tourer of your dreams is downright aggressive and sneaks past the classic concept of a quiet and comfortable ride, you can’t go wrong with the F12berlinetta.

2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed
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2013 Ferrari F12 berlinetta
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Interior

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Interior
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Interior updates are of the same variety, with a few cool features added to an already luxurious cabin. The upholstery received a lot of attention, with the grand tourer now being available with "Filograph" quilted seats. The dark leather is paired with white contrast stitching, while matching "Vanquish S" embroidery adorns the headrests. While drivers won’t look at the headrests while facing the steering wheel, they will notice the new and cool finish of the center stack. All knobs and buttons are now enclosed in a satin "Chopped Carbon Fiber" fascia. I don’t know what specific technique Aston Martin used to create this finish, but it’s downright awesome and I’d like to see it replace wood veneers throughout the cabin. Finally the Brits are also offering Bridge of Weir Caithness leather upholstery, which is supposed to add "a touch of luxury and tactility."

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Interior
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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Interior
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The upholstery received a lot of attention, with the grand tourer now being available with "Filograph" quilted seats.

Everything else remains unchanged, meaning you’ll benefit from the same outstanding fit and finish and the features offered up until now. As a brief reminder, the Vanquish comes with an AMi III infotainment system with a 6.5-inch LCD screen, satellite navigation, DAB radio, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth. The USB connector compatible with various audio formats will enable drivers to play their favorite tunes on the standard 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with 13 speaker. Options include various steering wheel finishes, a black hardware pack, carbon-fiber shift paddles, personalized sill plates, perforated leather door inserts, and many more.

COMPETING FEATURES AND TECH

To some extent, the interior of the Bentley Continental GT Speed is very similar to the Vanquish S. Both have the same impressive British craftsmanship and a massive center console that extends into the center stack, splitting the dashboard in two distinct elements. The main differences here lie in the less inclined center stack of the Bentley, and, of course, the different layout. The GT Speed is also loaded with fine leather, contrast stitching, and a wide choice of trim materials, ranging from aluminum to carbon-fiber. There’s diamond quilted leather on the seats and door panels, plush floor carpeting, and LED ambient lighting. You can choose between 17 different upholstery colors and you also get a revised on-board WiFi system for improved connectivity as of 2016. Entertainment comes from an eight-inch display with smartphone connectivity. The heated front seats are 14-way power adjustable, while the steering column has tilt and telescoping functions. Other features include a tilt-away function for the steering column, cruise control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, illuminated glove box, full leather headliner, and navigation.

Moving over to the F12berlinetta, the Ferrari’s cabin is a sportier proposition with a lively design enhanced by the numerous two-tone color combinations available. The narrower center console and the smaller center stack doesn’t provide the same race-inspired feel you get in the Vanquish S, but the F1-inspired steering wheel and instrument cluster make up for that. Both the standard and optional seats provide the necessary support for a day at the race track. By comparison, the Ferrari’s control layout seems a bit cluttered on the center stack and on the left side of the steering wheel, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few hours in the car. Two big LCD monitors provide all the data behind the steering wheel, while the infotainment system includes navigation, Bluetooth, voice activation, and a Harman Kardon sound system. There’s also cruise control dual-zone automatic air conditioning, illuminated glove box, Alcantara headliner, and many more. Cargo room is also pretty impressive for a Ferrari at 320 liters (11.3 cubic feet), only 10 percent less than a Volkswagen Golf hatchback.

2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed
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2013 Ferrari F12 berlinetta
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Drivetrain

As expected, the drivetrain also received a fair share of updates, starting with a massaged V-12 engine. The big 5.9-liter has been upgraded to deliver 592 horsepower, which is the exact same output of the limited-edition Vanquish Zagato. So what Aston Martin did here was to update the standard Vanquish to Zagato specs under the hood, which is a cool thing to do. Compared to the outgoing model, the Vanquish S benefits from an extra 24 horsepower, while torque remained unchanged at 465 pound-feet.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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As expected, the drivetrain also received a fair share of updates, starting with a massaged V-12 engine.

Thanks to the extra oomph, the grand tourer is tenth-second quicker from 0 to 62 mph, needing 3.5 ticks instead 3.6, but top speed remained unchanged at 201 mph, which is nothing to complain about really. The calibration of the eight-speed Touchtronic III transmission has also been revised and now delivers faster gearshifts and greater refinement at low speeds.

The chassis received retuned suspension, damper internals, spring rates and anti-roll bar bushes for a more aggressive behavior in sporty setups. On the other hand, comfort is still a given as Aston Martin claims this was achieved without compromising the car’s ability to deliver "supple ride quality on demand."

COMPETING PERFORMANCE

Just like the Vanquish, the Bentley Continental GT Speed gained a slight boost in power for the 2017 model year. The 6.0-liter W-12 gained an extra seven horsepower and 13 pound-feet, now generating a solid 633 horses and 620 pound-feet. Routed through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift, all this oomph enables the GT Speed to hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. That’s almost a half-second slower than the Vanquish S, which seems unusual given that the GT Speed’s engine packs 41 more horsepower and a whopping 155 extra pound-feet. However, it no longer seems weird once you factor in the Conti’s longer and wider body, as well as the extra 600 kg (about 1,323 pounds). Yup, the Continental GT Speed is that heavy, tipping the scales at more than 5,100 pounds. Top speed is the only department in which the Bentley wins thanks to its mind-boggling 206-mph rating.

While quicker than the GT Speed, the Vanquish S is no match for the Ferrari F12berlinetta. Not only more than 250 pounds lighter, the Italian grand tourer also benefits from a more powerful engine. The massive, 6.3-liter V-12 pumps 730 horsepower and 509 pound-feet to the wheels, enabling the Prancing Horse to hit 62 mph in just three seconds. This makes it a half-second quicker than the Aston Martin, an impressive but expected feat given the extra 138 horsepower. Its top speed is also superior at 211 mph. Needless to say the F12berlinetta delivers the best performance in this class, which comes at no surprise given that it is also the most expensive proposition.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Ferrari F12berlinetta Aston Martin Vanquish S
Engine 6.0-liter W-12 6.3-liter V-12 5.9-liter V-12
Horsepower 633 HP 730 HP 592 HP
Torque 620 LB-FT 509 LB-FT 465 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.9 seconds 3 seconds 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 206 mph 211 mph 201 mph
Weight 5,100 pounds 3,120 lbs 3,834 Lbs

Prices

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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Available in both Coupe and Volante (convertible) body styles, the new Vanquish S will retail from £199,950 in the United Kingdom, €262,950 in Germany, and $294,950 in the United States. Prices in North American have increased by less than three percent, which is a lot less than I expected. Deliveries will commence in December 2016.

COMPETING PRICES

Depending on what badge you want on your car, you could pay significantly less or a lot more. Priced from $240,300, the Bentley Continental GT Speed is less expensive alternative, but it’s also the car with the less aggressive design. At the other end of the spectrum you have the Ferrari F12berlinetta, which fetches almost $324,000 before options. Far from surprising given that it’s the quicker and most powerful proposition, and more importantly, it comes with a very desirable Ferrari badge.

Aston Marrtin Vanquish S $294,950
Bentley Continental GT Speed $240,300
Ferrari F12berlinetta $324,000

Other Competitors

Maserati GranTurismo

2013 Maserati Granturismo Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Launched in 2007, the GranTurismo is getting a little old in the tooth, but it’s not exactly a dinosaur compared to the Vanquish, which still uses a very old platform. Available in both coupe and convertible body styles and a higher-performance MC model, the GranTurismo gets its juice from a 4.7-liter V-8. The most powerful version cranks out 453 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque and pushes the MC Stradale from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 188 mph. Granted, those figures are notably inferior to the Vanquish, but you need to bear in mind that the GranTurismo comes with a smaller displacement engine with "only" eight cylinders versus the Aston Martin’s 5.9-liter V-12. And while it might not be as fast, it can definitely give the Vanquish a run for its money as far craftsmanship, luxury, and options go. The GranTurismo MC retails from $150,570, which makes it far more affordable than any other car listed in this review.

Read more about the Maserati GranTurismo here.

Conclusion

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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The Vanquish might be five years old as of 2017, but it’s still one of the most impressive grand tourers on the market. Its DB9-based design is still gorgeous to look at, while the 5.9-liter V-12 has enough grunt to give Ferraris and Lamborghinis a run for their money. Granted, the facelift didn’t do much to change the Vanquish we all know, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing with a bit of extra power and more cool options to enjoy. A brand-new version is already underway, and the Vanquish S will have what it takes to keep the company’s offerings fresh alongside the brand-new DB11.

  • Leave it
    • * Just a mild update
    • * Not as quick as the F12berlinetta

Spy Shots

August 23, 2016 - First testing session

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Aston Martin has turned up the heat on it’s ultimate Super GT to create the new Vanquish S. Sharper styling, greater potency and increased athleticism define this latest evolution of an illustrious model line. One that originated from Aston Martin’s legendary Works in Newport Pagnell and has proudly served as standard bearer for the marque’s sporting and stylistic values since 2001.

In this, the second generation Vanquish’s evolution to S specification, careful attention has been paid to the engine, chassis and aerodynamics to create a machine honed to deliver more intense thrills and even more scintillating performance.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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Central to this is the naturally-aspirated 6.0 litre V12 engine, which now produces up to 600PS (up from 573PS) and enjoys sensational throttle response, thanks to a revised, freer-breathing intake system. These larger volume inlet manifolds allow a greater volume of air to flow into the engine at high revs, creating a relentless power delivery and a stronger feel all the way to the redline.

Building on this increased intensity, the calibration of the 8-speed Touchtronic III transmission has been revised to deliver faster gearshifts and greater refinement at low speeds for a greater sense of precision and immediacy.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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Likewise, the suspension, damper internals, spring rates and anti-roll bar bushes have also been re-tuned to give the Vanquish S a keener edge in the more sporting suspension modes, without compromising its ability to deliver supple ride quality on demand.

Visually the Vanquish S can be readily distinguished by a new aerodynamic package. Fashioned from exposed carbon fibre, this revised front splitter and rear diffuser combine to deliver a meaningful reduction in frontal lift with a minimal penalty in additional drag. Combined with visually striking new quad exhaust outlets the Vanquish S has more aggressive appearance, entirely fitting for Aston Martin’s most overtly sporting GT production model.

This look can be further enhanced with a range of new options. These include carbon fibre bonnet louvres, new forged 5-spoke diamond turned wheels and a choice of striking painted graphics packs. A new Vanquish S badge sits proudly on the tailgate as the perfect piece of jewellery.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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Inside, the Vanquish S can be further personalised with a choice of spectacular new ‘Filograph’ quilted leather and the use of new materials and finishes, such as the Satin Chopped Carbon Fibre fascia panel. Sumptuous Bridge of Weir Caithness leather offers an added touch of luxury and tactility, while Vanquish S embroidery on the headrests provides a crafted finishing detail.

Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President & CEO said: “From the moment the original Vanquish was launched it became a modern icon. It propelled Aston Martin from an era of hand-built cars to one where craftsmanship and technology combined to create a new kind of great British GT.

“In its second generation the Vanquish maintained that momentum with huge engineering advances such as its all-carbon fibre bodywork and compelling, contemporary styling. Now, the Vanquish S takes things a step further, confidently asserting itself within the Aston Martin range and distinguishing itself from the new DB11. A spectacular machine in every sense, the Vanquish S is a magnificent addition to our range.”

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Interior
- image 695577

Vanquish S is available in both Coupe and Volante and recommended retail price starts from £199,950 in the UK, €262,950 in Germany and $294,950 in the US. Deliveries will commence in December 2016.

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