Monday, November 5, 2012

Review Aston Martin AM310 Vanquish

Stepping in for the DBS, Aston's new range-topping AM310 Vanquish looks to improve both performance and usability. The updated 5.9-liter V-12 adds variable valve timing; output rises to 565 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to a six-speed automatic transaxle (no manual this time). A new launch-control system helps drivers race from 0 to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds. The engine sits lower in a new iteration of Aston's bonded-aluminum chassis, which again features adaptive dampers and standard carbon-ceramic brakes. The Vanquish's body takes design cues from the limited-edition One-77 supercar and makes more extensive use of carbon fiber than ever before, including in the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, trunk enclosure, door surrounds, and roof (the last of which may be left exposed if a buyer so chooses). Weight is held to just 3613 pounds and is distributed 50/50 front/rear. Despite casting nearly the same shadow as a DBS, the new Vanquish has a roomier two-place cabin (two-plus-two seating is optional), along with more stowage and a greatly enlarged trunk. Capacitive-touch switches and a new rotary controller lend modern flair to the characteristic Aston Martin jewel-box interior.