Vanquish S Description
In production: September 2004 – July 2007
Chassis numbers: 501448 then 501507 - 502593
While the “Sports Dynamic” pack had kept interest alive in the Vanquish following the launch of the DB9, the penultimate version of the model appeared at the Paris Motor Show on September 23, 2004, when the company launched, "The fastest production model ever to be built by Aston Martin." - the Vanquish 'S'.
With a claimed maximum speed in excess of 200mph and the 5.9 litre V12 engine developing 520 horsepower, the Vanquish ‘S’ was designed to deliver even greater performance, complemented by suspension and steering changes and a number of interior and external style revisions.
The Vanquish ‘S’ received subtle but effective changes to complement its elegant muscular body. At the front it had a revised front grille with a deeper profile and 6 instead of 9 horizontal slats and an aerodynamic splitter fitted below the front bumper to improve high-speed stability.
At the rear, a redesigned boot lid reduced lift and improved balance and stability, which helped to achieve an impressive Cd (Coefficient of drag) figure of 0.32 versus 0.33 for the earlier model. It also featured a new high mounted stop lamp in the boot lid and a consequently larger rear windscreen.
Revised steering geometry provided a 20% quicker response, allowing the driver to apply a reduced input for required steering response. This enabled the driver to be more precise with inputs and receive more accurate feedback from the chassis, especially on winding roads.
The “Sports Dynamics” package previously offered as an option on the standard Vanquish incorporating improvements to suspension, steering and braking, was now part of the standard specification on the Vanquish ‘S’. This included stiffer springs and dampers and shorter steering arms.
The brakes were upgraded to incorporate larger six piston callipers and larger grooved and ventilated front discs. The rear discs were 2mm wider for improved heat dissipation. The use of floating discs ensured the driver had consistent pedal feel under heavy braking whilst a new brake pedal assembly reduced travel and enhanced pedal feel.
Further development of the low emissions, all alloy, quad-overhead camshaft, 48 valve, 5.9 litre V12 engine generated an increase in power from 460bhp to 520bhp @ 7000 rpm and torque was boosted to 425 lb/ft @ 5800 rpm. To achieve the above, new cylinder heads with fully machined inlet ports and combustion chambers to improve airflow, revised engine mapping and new fuel injectors became part of the specification.
The overall interior design was a subtle blend of traditional, classic and modern materials with Bridge of Weir leather upholstery matched to contemporary metal interior fittings and finishes. Most noticeable was the centre console, previously painted, now covered with leather as standard. The 2+0 or optional 2+2 cabin also featured supportive all leather trimmed sports seats with many additional detail touches.
So that customers could make the most of the Vanquish ‘S’ performance with the least hazard, customers were eligible for a complimentary Performance Driving Course. This comprehensive one-to-one driving experience could be taken at one of three proving grounds – Millbrook in the UK, Lommel in Belgium, or Romeo, Michigan, in North America.
From July 2006, the Vanquish was no longer homologated for sale in the USA; the last Vanquish for the US was chassis 502257 and the last for Canada was chassis 502283. This makes the 2006MY cars with the revised centre console particularly rare and desirable in North America. Despite the loss of this important market, the car stayed in production for another year for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Far East.
Vanquish S Variants
Mansory, a German based company associated with customizing high end vehicles have applied their skills to the Vanquish. Whilst every conversion is unique to the client, typical cars feature a carbon fibre splitter, tail spoiler, diffuser and sill trims. In addition the suspension could be lowered by 25mm and gigantic 20 inch fully forged Aluminium light weight performance wheels fitted with wide 275/40/20 front tyres and even wider 315/35/20 tyres at the rear.
Project Khan Vanquish
'A. Khan Design' is a British designer of bespoke automotive accessories for high end marques such as Aston Martin. Typically their cars incorporate large specially designed alloy wheels, sports exhausts and privacy glass. The signature feature of the Project Khan Vanquish was the distinctive twin stainless steel side strakes on the wing air vents .
Vanquish Convertible by Newport Convertible Engineering Inc.
Newport Convertible Engineering Inc (US) was established in 1983 to design & build convertibles representing the highest standards of automotive design quality & craftsmanship. After broad experience making convertibles from many US, European and Far Eastern manufacturers, NCE turned its attention to the V12 Vanquish. It is not known how many have been converted.
AM Works Service Transmission Conversion
The paddle shift gearbox as fitted to the Vanquish is best described as “a manual gearbox system with an automatic hydraulically activated clutch” so only two foot pedals were required. But some customers found the paddle shift system difficult and being the only option it had a negative effect on sales. Aston Martin recognised this and to ease concerns, every new Vanquish sold came with a one day session of one-to-one tuition on the Performance Driving Course. In addition to performance driving, the new Vanquish owner was taught how to cope with slow moving traffic so as to avoid excessive slipping of the clutch. The recommended way to drive a paddle-shift Vanquish in traffic was to leave a gap and engage first gear fully on moving forward.
For the small portion of Vanquish owners who would prefer to change gear using a conventional gear lever and clutch pedal, Works Service introduced its own conversion in May 2006 at the Bonham's Auction. The conversion is extremely neat with the gear leaver appearing from what was the cup holder aperture. Later cars with the DB9 type centre console need a little more work to recess the console further into the dash to allow the gear lever full movement. The 'slick-shift' was never offered as an option on new cars during initial building but was available retro-fitted after the cars had been registered for the road (in the same way as with the V600 Vantage models in the late 1990s). In the US, the ‘stick shift’ conversion can be carried out at Autosports Designs on Long Island, NY. At the time of introduction in 2007, the cost of the conversion was £13,250 plus VAT.
Vanquish S Derivatives
Vanquish 'S' Ultimate Edition
In production June – July 2007, Chassis Numbers 502539 to 502593 within the Vanquish ‘S’ series
Just 50 examples of the Vanquish ‘S’ Ultimate Edition were built at the company’s Newport Pagnell production facility in Buckinghamshire. The model represented a luxurious and unique limited edition befitting the Vanquish ‘S’ status as the ultimate Aston Martin and demonstrating the skilled craftsmanship of the team working at Newport Pagnell.
The Ultimate Edition was available by special request to customers wishing to celebrate the last of a significant car in Aston Martin’s history. It centred on changes to the Vanquish ‘S’ colour and trim. On the exterior, these changes included a unique ‘Ultimate Black’ – a striking new colour which was only ever available on the Ultimate. Inside, the Vanquish ‘S’ cabin was trimmed in a semi-aniline leather, with coarse stitching, leather headlining and black chrome finish interior fittings. Each car was also fitted with personalised sill plaques denoting the Ultimate Edition number.
The Vanquish ‘S’ Ultimate Edition retained all performance capabilities of the standard Vanquish ‘S’ i.e. the fastest ever production Aston Martin, capable of a top speed in excess of 200mph (321km/h). No additional charge was made for the Ultimate Edition, available only with the 2+2 seating arrangement - it was priced at £182,095.
Cars were split 28 RHD (23 for the UK market) and 22 LHD, mostly for the European market. Sadly, the Ultimate Vanquish could no be sold in North America. The final production car and last car ever built at the Tickford Works in Newport Pagnell, chassis 502593, has been retained by Aston Martin.
Vanquish ‘S’ Ultimate UAE
In production June – July 2007, Chassis Numbers 502581 to 502583
It is now known that in addition to the 50 Ultimate Editions made, AM built three Ultimate UAEs (standing for the United Arab Emirates) in “Morning Frost”, a colour more suitable for the intense sunlight of the Middle East. Each car had special sill plates signifying that the car was one of a limited run of three. The interior specification of the Ultimate UAE was similar to the UE with black semi-aniline leather, but with coarse white stitching, 2+0 seating and platinum steering wheel inserts. All three were left hand drive.