2016 Aston Martin Vanquish S review
Late-life changes make the Aston Martin Vanquish S even nicer to drive and put a bit of necessary air between it and the DB11
The Aston Martin Vanquish S is a necessary revision. Aston Martin’s ‘second-century plan’ has just brought us the DB11 – and very nice, so it is – but it still has other cars for sale. You know what we used to say: sometimes they look a bit alike and do alike. Of them all, though, spare the biggest thought for the Vanquish, whose patch the DB11 encroached on most when it replaced the DB9. The Vanquish was Aston’s most powerful series production model and flagship super-GT, and it needs to stay on sale – and stay selling – until its replacement arrives in 2019. Some at Aston feel it wasn’t totally on-message for the segment anyway. “It was more GT than super-GT,” says Aston. One problem is that the Vanquish’s non-Aston rivals include the Ferrari F12, which is rather loud, rather urgent and rather 731bhp. So Aston has looked to inject a bit more ‘super’ into the Vanquish’s GT mix.A few tweaks, then. Given that they’ve got quite a lot else on, I don’t know where they find the time, but here it is. Power is up from 565bhp to 592bhp, and while peak torque stays the same at 465lb ft, it’s spread over a wider range. There are new exhausts and there’s more carbonfibre on the outside, including bits that reduce frontal lift, and there are suspension alterations.I say tweaks, but even the smallest changes are rather in-depth. Front and rear springs are both 10% stiffer and rear roll stiffness is up by 3%, but that’s not even approaching the half of it. The dampers have been retuned so that while the primary ride (body control) is much improved, the secondary ride (over small imperfections) doesn’t take a hit. Then the engineers started talking through the compression and rebound damping alterations and your correspondent smiled bleakly and nodded helplessly. The upshot is that there’s less understeer than before and the car feels more agile. The steering – still hydraulic – is said to offer better connection and a more progressive build-up in weight. Oh, and they’ve added an S to the name.