Often described as the company that makes sports cars for the gentle folk, Aston Martin has been manufacturing cars for over a century now, continuing in times of both good and bad economic conditions. It is the brightest surviving beacon of British craftsmanship (infused with a lot of middle-east money) and engineering that still possesses the black magic to seduce both starry-eyed car enthusiasts and wealthy connoisseurs alike.
The company’s current stable consists of a modern version of Aston cars that have been around for decades, like the Vantage and the ‘DB’ series. Probably the only sports car in their lineup that is of recent origin is the Vanquish and its convertible sibling which have been in production only since 2001 (counting out cars like the Vulcan and Valkyrie as they are limited edition hypercars).
Though it’s younger than all its stablemates, the Vanquish was so beautiful when it first launched that it was the natural choice for Pierce Brosnan’s last movie as James Bond, ‘Die Another Day. Who can forget that crisp car chase scene at the end featuring the silver Vanquish and a green Jag XKR? So, it’s been a Bond car, it bears that brutish 6-liter V12 engine and is worthy of the status of an Aston Martin, but due to replanning of models and the collaboration with Mercedes, 2018 is probably going to be the last year of its production by most sources. In short, the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Convertible could very well be one of the last great V12 Grand Tourers from Europe. Today we’ll be taking a look at this Brit to see just why it’s $310k price tag makes sense in comparison to other proven supercars.
Driving and Performance
Ferraris and Lamborghinis are world renowned for their mentally unstable, high powered V8 and V12 monsters, but the art of perfecting that 12-cylinder beast is what Aston specializes in. That’s probably why their legendary 6-liter (actually 5.9, but okay) V12 is both a saving grace and a valuable relic in their top model Sports cars and Supercars.
Powering the Vanquish Convertible is that same V12, naturally aspirated workhorse that has pulled strong for so many decades. Here, it is connected to an 8-speed ‘Touchtronic’ transmission that makes easy work of the 580 hp and 465 lb.-ft of torque.
The power figure doesn’t encroach supercar territory, a 12-year-old in some corner of the world would be screaming “Aventador is faster boohoo” but this, ladies and gentlemen, is a Grand Tourer and not a supercar. This is the kind of car you would drive from France to Monaco with a bottle of champagne in the boot while wearing Versace clothes and discussing shares and markets. It is a representation of the zone where the class meets power and the Vanquish Convertible has the perfect balance of both. Also, 0-60 mph happens in a not too shabby 3.5 seconds despite being a heavyweight among lighter supercars like the Huracan or Portofino.
In terms of driving feel, the Vanquish Convertible has somewhat of a split personality disorder as in traffic and narrow roads, it feels tamed and manageable with just temporary growls being the only evidence of the monster that lies within. Putting your foot down unleashes the V12 and its evidently not happy that you kept it caged for so long and hence, runs off like a madman. Sports mode stiffens up the suspension and makes everything a lot sportier.
For those unfamiliar with Aston Martins, the brand takes great pride in their hand-crafted interiors. The cabin is a treasure chest of bespoke bits and pieces that are unique to each model all wrapped up in perfectly stitched leather.
As soon as you get into the Vanquish, you are greeted by a subtle yet gorgeous three-spoke steering wheel bearing the elegant Aston Martin badge. Unlike most other sports-car manufacturers, Aston likes to keep things simple on the steering wheel by minimizing the number of buttons and placing the only the utmost-needed controls on either side of the center, which makes it very pretty to look at.
The center console has a distinct shape that flows down to the floor from the dash like a waterfall with smooth piano black panels in the middle. To conclude with the design of the interior, it is drool-worthy and is a place you wouldn’t want to leave too soon but then practicality comes up. Remember how we said that this is a grand Tourer? It doesn’t have the functionality of one in all honesty.
The interior is sort of form over function because the folks at Aston thought that there was no need for cup holders as it would ruin the look and thought the average Vanquish buyer only goes to a 7-star hotel to get any kind of drink. On top of that, there is absolutely no point for the beautifully stitched rear seats as almost nobody could fit into them apart from small children. That might not be a problem for a typical Aston owner though, they could just have the kids be driven around in a different car.
Following are the safety features available on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Convertible:
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Front Impact Airbags
- Side-impact airbags
- Overhead airbags
- Seat belt pretensioners
- Security alarm and anti-theft device
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Speed sensing auto door lock
- Impact sensing auto door unlock
- Knee airbags
- Xenon headlamps
The Vanquish is the last reincarnation of a special breed of cars that never cared about downsizing, turbocharging or Nürburgring lap times. It’s a car designed to take the traditional car lover into ‘La La Land’ with its gorgeous, out of this world design, equally impressive interior, and breathtaking performance. You could also buy a decent Ferrari Portofino for much less with more power and just as much sex appeal, but if you buy a Vanquish, it becomes your love letter to the traditional, hand-built style of car manufacturing that produced many great Astons. Plus, you can’t be James Bond in a Ferrari Portofino, and that’s enough reasoning to buy a $300,000 Aston, right?