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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S

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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Expert Review

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For 2018, the Aston Martin Vanquish S is the lone holdout of a seductive design dating back to when Ford owned a controlling stake in the storied British automaker. Due to be replaced next year by an all-new model, Aston Martin’s 2018 Vanquish S exotic remains the company flagship, a brilliant performance coupe that turns heads wherever it goes, even more so in its convertible Volante form. At nearly $300,000, the Vanquish S is one of the most expensive mass-produced exotic coupes on the market, and with its 580-horsepower V12, it’s also one of the most powerful. The design remains awe-inspiring, although technologically it is falling behind newer models like the Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8 and Ferrari California.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re seeking an exotic, hand-built GT with an unquestioned heritage, gobs of power and a stunning exterior, the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S coupe or Volante convertible certainly deserves a test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Exclusivity comes at a price and in the case of the 2018 Vanquish S, that price is outdated technology and performance that can be matched or surpassed by any number of less expensive exotics, from the Porsche 911 Turbo to the Chevrolet Corvette.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S coupe and Volante convertible are all that remains of the Vanquish fleet. The base Vanquish will finish out its run at the end of 2017 with an all-new design set to debut in 2019.

Driving the Vanquish S
Driving Impressions

The 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S employs a snarling V12 good for 580 horsepower, all of which is directed to the rear wheels. This combo helps the sleek British super...

... coupe dart to 60 mph in just over 3.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 201 mph. On the open road, the Vanquish S is a brilliant performer, a grand touring car that can be comfortable when needed and tenacious when the asphalt gets complicated. It’s not a car that can chase down a McLaren or Porsche on the track, but it won’t be far behind. Power from the V12 comes on steadily without hesitation aided by a refined 8-speed automatic transmission. The heated and cooled leather seats are supremely comfortable, although they can feel a bit snug. The steering, braking and cornering all happen without effort or alarm, but this car could do with better rear visibility.

MAGNIFICENT EXTERIOR
Maybe it’s because the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S’s exterior has stood the test of time, or maybe it’s that whole James Bond thing, but whatever it is that sucks us in, the Vanquish Coupe and Volante Convertible have it in spades.

V12 ENGINE
There is nothing more mechanically melodious than a perfectly balanced V12 displacing 5.9 liters and making 580 horsepower. In the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S, this engine delivers its power without hesitation, right up to the 201-mph limit.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Details
Interior

Coupe versions of the 2018 Vanquish S GT have seating for two, with the rear area designed to hold cargo. The Vanquish S Volante convertible has 2+2 seating, but the rear seats are tight and best used for storage. Materials are ultra-luxurious, from the plush leather to the carbon-fiber trim. Indeed, Aston Martin’s 2018 Vanquish S's exterior makes a statement to everyone outside, while the interior does the same for the lucky driver and passenger. Even starting up this handcrafted machine is special: Place a rectangular glass prism in a slot in the center stack and the Vanquish roars to life.

Exterior
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S photo

Clearly, there is no effort within the Aston Martin design team to brew up the flavor of the moment. Instantly recognizable as an Aston, the Vanquish S is finely drawn to reflect an unerring salute to the timelessness of the marque’s heritage. This car would have looked great decades ago and will still look great a century from now. The front end is unmistakably Aston Martin, and the form of the whole will never be confused with anything else. Vanquish coupes have a gorgeously raked roof, while the Volante convertible is of course at its best with the fabric roof folded.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

What does nearly $300,000 worth of Aston Martin buy? Plenty of ultra-high-performance hardware for sure, starting with that V12 engine. There's an opulent interior, too, drenched in fine leather and top-notch materials. A 13-speaker/1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen system will please audiophiles, and the new AMI III infotainment system with navigation helps make the Vanquish feel somewhat current -- but with a display that's only 6.5 inches, it's no Audi or Mercedes. And while parking sensors and a rearview camera come standard, forget about active safety and driving features like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control or automatic emergency braking.

Optional Equipment

As if a 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S isn't exclusive enough, you can tailor yours to the color scheme you like, right down to the shade of the brake calipers and seat belts. Ventilated seats are also available, as are a 6-disc CD changer, auto-dimming rearview mirror and universal garage-door opener (yes, those are still extra on a $300,000 British supercar). Unlike mainstream luxury brands, you won't find options like wireless phone charging, automatic parking assist and semi-autonomous driving features.

Under the Hood

The 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S is available with one engine and transmission choice: a 5.9-liter naturally aspirated V12 with 580 horsepower and a “rear mid-mounted” 8-speed automatic that can be operated with paddle shifters. Helping put the power to the ground is a limited-slip differential and a launch-control function. The engine defines all the attributes expected for a car at this level: smooth, responsive, strong. It’s likely no Vanquish owner will actually see 200 mph, but rest assured, given enough clear pavement, this thing will do it. It shouldn't be a surprise that such a big engine is thirsty. So thirsty that you'll pay $1,300 in a gas-guzzler tax.

5.9-liter V12
580 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/21 mpg

Aston Martin's flagship Vanquish S coupe carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $298,000, including gas-guzzler tax and destination. The Volante starts around $316,000. With paint schemes and trim pieces alone costing several thousand dollars, the Vanquish's price tag can accelerate as quickly as the car itself once options are added. These prices will make most people's jaws drop, but if you're seriously considering this car, it's no doubt just another number. If you're a multimillionaire on a budget, however, know that you can get more performance and features for less in any number of cars, from an Audi R8 and McLaren 570S to a Mercedes-AMG SL65. But we also realize that the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S isn't likely to be your only exotic.

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