Review: Aston Martin Vanquish

James Bond is nothing if not consistent — shot, drowned, pushed out of an airplane with no parachute, he always comes back. And he’s always wearing an impeccable tux. That’s what makes an icon. And that rule to consistently deliver the goods — and to look good doing it — is one followed not only by Mr. Bond, but also by one of his favorite automakers.

Aston Martin has remained consistent for most of its 99-year history, producing sharply designed, poshly appointed and distinctly British sports cars for the luxury market. The company has stuck to the formula with its new range-topping Vanquish.

But consistency can be a double-edged sword. Just as you can throw out a Bond film title and your average Joe may struggle to tell you which actor portrayed 007 in that particular flick, show anyone (aside from Aston enthusiasts) a contemporary Aston Martin and they won’t be able to tell you whether it’s a Vantage, Virage, or DBS. That holds true for the new Vanquish — it’s essentially the same tuxedo with some new bits underneath.

It is a damn good-looking thing though, building subtly on the shape of the Vanquish that debuted in 2001. While similarly sized, the new Vanquish looks leaner, its lines sharper and more tapered amidships. It also borrows cues from Aston’s recent One-77 supercar (out of production after just 77 were built) including the tighter waistline, elongated side strakes, and LED light blade rear clusters. There are hints of carbon fiber, too, visible on the front splitter, side skirts, door mirrors and rear diffuser.

Every body panel on the new Vanquish is constructed from carbon fiber, a choice Aston made because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and reduction in mass (though Ferrari would disagree). Fewer individual body panels are required and the panel gap on the C-pillar joint is no longer present. A new rear Aero Duct (fancy spoiler) is fashioned via an innovative method of laying-up carbon fiber.

Because Aston does bespoke like Chevy does floor mats, there will likely be a completely naked carbon-fiber Vanquish available. (Aston already has a “cutaway” Vanquish display model in exposed carbon.)

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