The original Vanquish, a mixture of the raw power and sublime style that preceded it on the DB7, but only much more desirable!
The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish was yet another design coined by Ian Callum, who had previously given us the DB7, the controversial Ford RS200 and the Escort Cosworth. However, the car had a strong influence from the Project Vantage Concept prototype which made its début with a V12 engine at the North American International Auto Show in January 1998. The car eventually launched in 2001, bringing an end to the traditional
design of the Virage range which had been in production since 1989.
Underneath, the car featured a strong aluminium/carbon composite construction, bonded chassis with a 5.9L V12 engine.
The 48-valve 60° engine produces 450hp, and is controlled by a drive-by-wire throttle and a six-speed Electrohydraulic manual transmission.The standard Vanquish model had 14.0 inches drilled and ventilated disc brakes with four-pot callipers, ABS, with electronic brake distribution.
The Aston Martin Vanquish S debuted at the 2004 Paris Auto Show, with increased horsepower and performance and slight styling revisions. The engine displacement remained at 5.9L, with power increased from 450 to 520hp. Visual changes included new wheels, a slightly different nose shape, a new raised bootlid with a larger integrated spoiler incorporating the third high level brake light (in the rear window on the original Vanquish), a Vanquish S badge on the bootlid (the original Vanquish had no rear model designation) and the addition of a small front splitter (although this was mainly done for aerodynamic reasons).
The end of the Vanquish’s production run was celebrated with the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition. Aston Martin announced that the last 50 cars built would have a new ‘Ultimate Black’ exterior colour, upgraded interior, and personalised sill plaques. 1086 Vanquish S were built.
The Vanquish production ended on 19 July 2007, coinciding with the shutting of the company’s Newport Pagnell factory after 49 years of operation. With a >200mph top speed, the Vanquish S was the fastest Aston Martin ever until the V12 Vantage S was introduced in May 2013.
The Aston Martin Vanquish however is remembered most fondly for its appearance in the 2002 James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, the first Aston Martin to feature as a specific Bond Car since the V8 Vantage in 1987’s The Living Daylights. The car features many
strange features, including ejector seat, missile launcher, and, although this is very very silly, an invisibility cloak. Either way, the the V12 Vanquish was awarded the number three spot on the list of Best Film Cars Ever, behind the Minis from The Italian Job, and DB5 from Goldfinger & Thunderball. This car also appears in the video games Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and James Bond 007: Nightfire.
For me, I consider the Vanquish the last of the great Aston Martins, after this the company appears to have been caught in a bit of a loop, recycling the same car design with only engine changes to back it up.