After teasing the world with its striking AM 310 Concept at last month's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, Aston Martin has now shown a production version of the car that will go on sale early next year and be formally designated as the AM 310 Vanquish. Embodying the latest in Aston Martin design and technology, this new flagship sedan will effectively serve as an even-more-capable replacement for the outgoing DBS while offering a package that's far more affordable than the ultra-exotic One-77 model from which it borrows a number of visual and structural elements.
"Bearing the same name as the iconic AM V12 Vanquish that did so much to cement Aston Martin's reputation as a maker of great GT cars in the modern era, I believe the car unveiled today once again puts this great British brand at the top of its class," noted Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ulrich Bez at the car's formal reveal. Justification for that lofty contention is substantial to say the least. No matter where you look - body, chassis, powertrain or technology - the Aston Martin AM 310 Vanquish breaks new ground in decidedly high-profile ways.
First true series-production model from Aston Martin to be fitted with a full carbon fiber body, the AM 310 Vanquish combines a number of purposefully tweaked signature Aston cues in the front quarters with dramatically rendered lines and contouring in its profile view that first surfaced in the One-77. Its bi-xenon headlights and LED blade-style rear taillamp treatment also recall those seen on Aston's seven-figure supercar, but the trick integrated Aero Duct at the base of its deck lid that effectively curtails high-speed lift is unique to the AM 310 Vanquish.
Beneath an exterior that elegantly advances the visual charisma found in the original AM V12 Vanquish, this 21st Century successor features an all-new fourth-generation take on Aston's highly-regarded aluminum-intensive VH (Vertical Horizontal) platform architecture. Now supplemented with additional carbon fiber elements and improved bonding technologies, this latest iteration features 75 percent new components and is 30 percent stiffer than the platform in the outgoing DBS. While the wheelbase dimensions remain unchanged at 107.9 inches, the new Vanquish is slightly wider and the revamp also adds more usable space to its cabin and trunk while trimming curb weight to 3,834 pounds - nearly 125 less than the DBS.
Raising the performance ante for the Aston Martin 310 Vanquish is a comprehensively re-engineered version of Aston's existing 6.0-liter naturally aspirated V12. New full variable valve timing, higher compression, redesigned heads and freer-breathing induction/exhaust systems, bump horsepower from 510 to 565 and raise peak torque from 420 to 457 lb-ft. Backed by a rear-mounted 6-speed Touchmatic 2 automatic transaxle that delivers 30 percent quicker shifts and augmented with a new competition-derived Launch Control system, it can propel the new AM 310 Vanquish from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds and send it sprinting on up to a 183 mph top speed.
To ensure that formidable firepower gets put to best use, the chassis bits on the AM 310 Vanquish also benefit from a major upgrade. The forged-aluminum control arms now work with the latest iteration of Aston Martin's electronically controlled tri-mode Adaptive Damping System complemented by Dynamic Stability Control and Positive Torque Control. Stopping power comes from third-generation Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes and a new generation of Pirelli P-Zero tires that have been specifically developed for use on this new Vanquish wrap around equally new lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels.
Aston Martin is positioning the new AM 310 Vanquish as an ultimate Grand Touring machine, and to that end the car's inner sanctum has been recast to bring it fully up to GT-plus spec. In addition to being more spacious - whether in standard two-seat or optional 2+2 configuration - this fastidiously hand-crafted realm features more pure luxury and greater style - also infused with strong One-77 influence. While the elegant glass starter module and gear mode selector buttons carry unchanged the user interface elements have been redone to add considerably more "friendliness" to their functionality and the remaining glass buttons are illuminated and boast haptic feedback. A new state-of-the-art infotainment system matches a Garmin satellite navigation system with a 1000-watt/15-speaker Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio package and a Wi-Fi Hub5 internet while U.S models also will come with satellite radio.
"The AM 310 Vanquish is the ultimate expression of Aston Martin design ethos, engineering innovation and technical ability. It offers luxurious, continent-crossing capability and pure driving excitement without compromise," noted Dr. Bez. The Aston Martin AM 310 Vanquish will be a 2014 model when it goes on sale here in the U.S. Pricing will start at $279,995 plus destination fees, which are expected to add about $2,200 more to that figure.