McGurk Aston Martin Vanquish.
The time is right for Aston Martin’s forgotten Vanquish flagship.
“It’s a beautiful car, I’d rather have one than a DB9, or a DBS,” says John McGurk. He’s talking about the Vanquish, a car, which McGurk reckons has been cruelly forgotten by the market.
The Vanquish, remember it? No, not the V12 Vanquish of 1998-2007, but the one built between 2012 and 2018. The Vanquish, the V12 range-topping model that replaced the DBS as Aston Martin’s flagship offering. Coming in both coupe and Volante forms, I’ll admit to being one of those who had pretty much forgotten it, as when new the Vanquish conceptually was arguably positioned too close to its DB9 relations to really stand out. Never sure whether to be pitched as a supercar or a GT, that mixed brief was in contrast to more singular, focussed rivals from rival brands.
Aston Martin itself described the Vanquish as a super grand tourer, in a bid to distance itself from supercar competition, but in doing so it muddied the waters to the point that when it headed the line-up the Vanquish was oft overlooked. A difficult car to place, with the result being relatively small numbers being built and lack of consciousness among buyers, both then and now.
Time changes perspective though, significantly too, the Vanquish today as a pre-owned car is a completely different proposition. And it’s a hugely appealing one. Yes, it’ll do the grand touring schtick, but there are supercar thrills there, which is hardly surprising given it’s powered by Aston’s incredible, naturally-aspirated 5.9-litre V12 which here delivered 573hp and 620Nm – the Vanquish being the last two-door car to feature a V12 without turbochargers (that engine finally bowing out with the Rapide in 2019).
With the first Vanquish that glorious, quick revving V12 allowed it to reach 62mph in 4.1 seconds and onto a 183mph maximum. Post-2014 (2015 MY) Vanquish improved on that further, with a new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, dubbed Touchtronic III, swapping out the previous six-speed auto, that helping drop the 0-62mph time to 3.8 seconds. A new final drive also saw its top speed rise significantly, too, to over 200mph, giving the Vanquish far greater credibility in the supercar world. A few extra hp – for a 576hp maximum – were liberated via reductions in back pressure and some ECU revisions, while the dynamics were also improved by Aston Martin’s chassis engineers uprating the dampers, with a 15% increase on the front axle and 35% at the rear.
Those changes were transformative, with the post-14 Vanquish a sharper, more engaging driver’s car, with better judged ratios for the engine’s performance, yet retaining the bandwidth to cover that grand touring or even daily driving angle. That breadth of ability now works massively in the Vanquish’s favour, while its more overt styling, which was always hugely appealing, still looks incredible today. It is far more distinctive and assertive look than the DB9 which it shared showroom space with for a few years, while its capacity to turn heads blows away the DBS which it replaced.
McGurk’s a big fan of the styling, saying: “every panel has got something going on, and the back end of it is unique with its wrap-around lights.” He’s not wrong, either, even parked alongside a DBS Superleggera, which replaced it, in the showroom the Vanquish still looks special, it a stand-out car that’s not so overt to be brash or overbearing, but notably more visually arresting than any of its Aston Martin relations of the time.
Rarity helps, the Vanquish built in small numbers, and with that status as one of the last naturally-aspirated V12 Aston Martins, it’s got historical significance on its side. And we all know what that eventually does to values. The Vanquish S, which the company introduced to add further focus it in 2016, saw even more power liberated for a 600PS maximum, shaving more time off the 0-62mph benchmark with the clock stopping at just 3.5 seconds. With the suspension further tuned for greater agility, it’s the ultimate Vanquish, though all are special.
A Vanquish, or a DBS, then? McGurk is quick to answer, saying Vanquish: “they’re pretty much the same price, it’s younger, it’s got a more powerful engine, it’s got more recent technology and a better interior. There’s just something about them.” He makes a compelling case, and for a canny buyer the Vanquish really shouldn’t be overlooked, because the market will get wise to it sometime, and it’s better to get in before everyone starts looking…
Take a look at the Aston Martin Vanquish for sale at McGurk Performance Cars here: Aston Martin Vanquish Volante for sale