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2002 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/4/2017

Con: Will be hard to obtain (even for those wealthy enough to buy one) due to limited production.

Research

Pro: Astounding performance, swank cockpit, exclusivity.

Edmunds Say: A British supercar that can go wheel-to-wheel with the best of Italy.

What’s New: Aston enters the rarified atmosphere of the ultra-exotic, going straight after Ferrari's 550 Maranello with its 190-mph Vanquish. In addition to the 460-horse V12 under the bonnet, the Vanquish also has a proper English cockpit, complete with Connolly leather seating.

Review: With bulging fenders filled with meaty tires, the Vanquish looks like it means business. The general effect is much like a bulldog, broad and squat, fitting for a car that hails from jolly old England.

The aggressive body is comprised of carbon-fiber, aluminum and composite elements, resulting in a stiff platform that affords excellent crash worthiness as well as a flex-free chassis.

Under the hood is an updated version of the V12 found in the DB7 Vantage. This 6.0-liter 48-valve engine makes 460 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 400 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The clutchless six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox is controlled through twin paddles mounted on the steering column. Similar to the system in the Ferrari 360 Modena, the advanced paddle shift transmission incorporates electronics matched to hydraulics to facilitate nearly instantaneous gear changes. Sophisticated electronics also permit fully automatic operation and a program for winter driving conditions. Aston Martin says the 4,037-pound car will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top out at 190 mph.

Lotus had a hand in the calibration of the four-wheel double A-arm suspension, and huge Brembo brakes with ABS are assigned to the task of reining in the serious velocity this car is capable of. Traction control is also included.

Buyers have a choice of either a strictly two or two-plus-two seating configuration. A deep center console unit separates the driver and front passenger seats and incorporates a red engine starter button, the sound system and the climate control system. The overall interior design is a subtle blend of traditional and modern materials with Connolly hide upholstery matched to contemporary metal interior finishes.

Competing chiefly against the Ferrari 550 Maranello, the Vanquish is priced similarly, meaning it will carry an MSRP of $228,000 and worldwide production will be limited to 300 cars per year.

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