The Aston Martin Vanquish. Introduced in 2001 with its sights set firmly on the Ferrari 550, it was also conceived as an indirect replacement to both the ageing and out of production Virage range and the achingly pretty but again mature, DB7 V12 GT. Building a genuine rival to the mighty Ferrari 550 was a formidable task for any manufacturer but for Aston Martin, it would need to be their best ever car to date. Luckily, they came out all-guns blazing with their all new flagship Grand Tourer. The final product was in a different league to either predecessor and a genuine rival to the mighty Ferrari 550.
The chassis was Aston Martins’s new VH (Vertical Horizontal) chassis construction, consisting of an aluminium and carbon bonded chassis with the adaptability to be used for future models of varying sizes. The chassis housed a mighty 6 litre V12 with 48-valves across a 60° cylinder bank orientation, producing 450 bhp and 400 lb·ft of torque. It is controlled by a drive-by-wire throttle and a six-speed Electrohydraulic manual transmission. In 2004, the Vanquish S was unveiled, boosting a power upgrade to 525 bhp and an increase in torque to 450 lb ft with other small technical and aesthetic detail changes.
The chassis was clothed in dramatic and beautiful body work. Penned by Ian Callum, it was surely one of his best pieces of automotive artwork and a high point in Aston Martin design. Powerful and emotional, all engorged haunches and athletic yet elegant lines it gave visions of a British Brute in a tuxedo. Of course, Aston Martin was a favoured car for a certain British spy in a tuxedo as well – and the Vanquish had a starring role in in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day, earning it the number three spot on the list of Best Film Cars Ever, behind the Minis from The Italian Job, and DB5 from Goldfinger & Thunderball.
In a poignant celebration to mark the end of the Aston Martin Vanquish run and, indeed, the closing of the Newport Pagnell factory after some 49 years of operation, Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition. Based on the 2+2 Vanquish S, these were the last fifty out off the production line, all finished in Ultimate Black and with an upgraded interior encompassing Obsidian Black hide with red stitching and personalised sill plaques.
The Vanquish S Ultimate Edition topped off a fitting tribute to an incredible period in Aston Martin’s motoring life, roundly considered as the first new generation car and a pre-cursor for the model range as we see it now.
RHD, Ultimate Black Paint, Red brake calipers, Obsidian Black interior, Satellite Navigation, Amplifier, Rear PDC, Heated front screen, Heated seats, Air conditioning, Colour coded door releases, 2 + 2 Seating arrangement.
Finished in the special colour of Ultimate Black, this Vanquish commands huge presence. The deep metallic hue shimmers beautifully as the light changes across the sculpted bodywork. The door handles are also finished in body colour giving a clean look with a smattering of chrome across the body providing elegant details for the eye to enjoy.
The 11 spoke wheels provide a bright contrast to the body and flashes of red glint through the spokes denoting the brake calipers, painted to match the red trim details of the Ultimate Edition interior. The paint work and chrome is in excellent condition as expected with the low mileage of this example.
The Vanquish S Ultimate Edition enjoyed the latest and most highly developed interior the Vanquish ever had and, in typical Aston Martin fashion, there was a considered balance of the very best traditional materials married to the latest in-cabin tech. There are rich and glossy dark trim accents to the door pulls and a bright and clean matte finish to the centre console. Most of what you can see and touch is covered in beautiful hide and the whole interior is elegantly brought together by the red stitching used for this halo model.
Of great importance is the plaque on the drivers door sill, denoting this as no 34 of 50 Vanquish S Ultimate Editions. A timely reminder of the rarity of these cars.
The interior is in excellent order with barely a mark to report anywhere. all of the trim surrounding the controls is as fresh as it was when it left Newport Pagnell.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Awaking with a howl the V12 power plant is smooth and powerful, with layers of sound to uncover as you explore the rev range. The exhaust note has been engineered perfectly; harmonious when pressing-on but quiet and with little interference to the cabin ambience at motorway speeds.
With a comprehensive service record and low mileage the engine and gearbox are in fine fettle and operation of all driver modes is without fuss or hesitation.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The lightweight forged-aluminum 19-inch wheels present beautifully, unmarked with a sparkling diamond cut finish. Model specific Yokohama rubber sits on all four corners; all showing good tread.
The brakes are more than capable of hauling up this large GT, on test drive proving strong and confidence inspiring to use. The red calipers match the subtle red stitching found inside the interior.
First registered on the 25th of July 2007, this Vanquish has only ever received the finest of care and attention by none other than Aston Martin Works Service. It’s first complementary service was carried out at 1169 miles, and it has visited Aston Martin Works Service for every required service, indeed 10 times within its low mileage. It’s most recent service was at 8405 miles on the 06/04/18.
The traditional leather bound and Aston Martin screwed book pack remains with the car, as does the Aston martin Works Service file. The MOT is in place until January 2019, so this Vanquish S is ready to be enjoyed.
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