Aston Martin Vanquish

Can Aston Martin's new Vanquish make our reviewer feel like 007?

Price: £189,995
Engine: 5,935c, V12 cylinders, 48 valves, 573bhp
Transmission: Six-speed automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 183mph, 0-62 in 4.1sec, 19.6mpg, CO2 335g/km

It had to be silver, of course. Only then could I indulge any James Bond fantasies that might squeeze past the steely objectivity by which I should be assessing the new Aston Martin Vanquish. The revered British marque has, again, provided transport for 007 in the imminent Bond flick Skyfall, though I don't know if that will have the ability to blend invisibly into its surroundings as the last big-screen Aston Martin did.

Even if it can, we should still be able to hear it, because a 5.3 litre, 573bhp V12 engine is hard to keep quiet.

The Vanquish is meant to be the maddest, baddest Aston Martin of all, apart from the rare and ultra-expensive One-77 which no journalist has yet driven; oh, and the limited-production V8 Vantage Zagato. There's also the V12 Vantage, which uses an earlier version of this Vanquish V12 in the smaller body normally reserved for the gentler V8 engine. That sounds quite mad, too.

A few ifs and buts there, then. But the important thing to know is that this Vanquish conforms to much the same template as all Aston Martins since the millennium, which means a powerful front-mounted engine, a structure made from extruded, welded and bonded aluminium, and a sleek body of unmistakable visual identity.

It has the hunched look, crisp edges and side strake spearing back from the wing vent already seen on the One-77, and all the outer panels bar the bumpers are of lightweight carbonfibre, whose glossy weave is exposed around the body's lower perimeter. Under the bonnet is a V12 engine of unchanged size but new components, able to breathe better than before and deliver more muscle at low speeds as well as that useful 573bhp at full chat.

Inside, the aura is familiar to anyone who has looked at the interior of a recent Aston Martin, but calmer thanks to a new centre console in which the former rows of daunting buttons have been ousted by touchscreen panels. There are two tiny, largely pointless rear seats, and a boot much bigger than the old DBS's.

I expected a fire-spitting, Tarmac-tearing monster when I set off in the Vanquish, but that is not its way. Its engine sounds magnificently crisp and rich, but the evenness of its vast power delivery makes even the searing 4.1-second 0-62mph time seem less dramatic than it should. Even the launch control function, which automatically gives the best getaway, feels oddly anti-climactic as the Vanquish just squeezes itself into hyperspace.

The automatic gearbox is partly why; its shifts are quick and smooth, whether self-generated or driver-triggered via the manual paddleshift controls, but they blunt the drama. There's a Sport mode, but it makes little difference beyond a slight alertness increase and ringing ears from the exhaust-silencer bypass.

It feels good in the turns, though, with quick, tactile steering and the fabulous balance typical of a powerful rear-wheel- drive car. The Vanquish soon takes on the nimbleness of a smaller machine, but none of the three suspension modes – Normal, Sport (again) and Sport Track – can quite cope with big undulations.

That's the only time the Vanquish feels unruly. Otherwise it's a big, beautiful, beautifully built powerhouse and a very appropriate Bond-flavoured grand tourer, but to me it's too close to what I expect the forthcoming new DB9 to be like. It should be a touch more raw. Shaken it can do, on a poor road. I'd just like to be stirred a little more.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
peopleNobel laureate was a powerful anti-Apartheid voice
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Marketing Comms / Digital Marketing Specialist

    Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role exists for a...

    Search Engine Optimisation/ SEO Executive

    £25000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

    Programme Planner

    £30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

    CREST Web Application Tester

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + BENEFITS: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: CREST Web...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

    Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

    The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor