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  • We really, really like the new Aston Martin Vanquish. How can you not fall for a car that

  • looks, feels, and sounds like this? Some people have accused the latest Vanquish of not quite

  • delivering on its promise. There are those that say it's not quite fast enough, considering

  • it costs the very thick end of £200,000, and there are others that accuse it of looking

  • a little bit vulgar on the styling front.

  • I'm not sure I agree with that at all, not in this beautiful green of this test car.

  • There is 565 horsepower from a 6.0-litre V12 under that bonnet, and a really fast paddle-shift

  • gearbox with which to access it.

  • This car only weighs 1700 kilograms. That's a lot by sportscar standards, but not when

  • you've got 565 horsepower inside. That is why this car can do this. You can get to 100

  • miles-an-hour in less than 10 seconds, and it'll do way the other side of 180 miles-an-hour.

  • Handling-wise, wow; this car is really, really nicely balanced. It's a lovely old-fashioned-type

  • rear-wheel drive, front-engine GT car which always means you get the best balance from

  • a car, and it means you can do this in it all day long if you want.

  • Watch; there is no way that you can do this in a car like this unless the handling is

  • really correctly sorted, and it is. There is a little touch of understeer, which is

  • nice; that just gives you this safety net, and then if you turn all the right systems

  • off and you press the Sport button, you can just muck about with this car for hundreds

  • and hundreds of yards.

  • Maybe the only trouble with the new Vanquish is that there is a previous Vanquish, and

  • that car was absolutely bursting at the seams with soul, atmosphere, and charm; call it

  • what you want. I guess the only way to tell if the new car lives up to that is to get

  • the old one, as well.

  • I can remember really vividly when the Vanquish first appeared, and it just seemed like such

  • a monster at the time. If you look at the numbers that it produced and what it cost,

  • it really was a bit of a monster. It cost £158,000. This was back in 2003-04. It had

  • 460 horsepower from a 6.0-litre V12, and it weighed with a driver onboard, over 1900 kilograms.

  • It really was a big old beast of a GT car, and it still feels like that.

  • Do you know what; there's something about the old Vanquish that I really quite like;

  • the engine. Do you know it's not that far off the new car? Obviously it's nowhere near

  • as powerful, but the sound it makes, the response it has, and the performance it delivers, particularly

  • in the mid-range, I don't know, it doesn't feel that old to me in a straight line.

  • It still feels properly fast, this car, but there are elements, lots of elements I'm afraid,

  • that really do feel absolutely from yesteryear. This switch-gear is . . . even 10 years ago,

  • you could pick holes in it because you could go, "That's from a Fiesta, that's from a Jaguar

  • XK-8, and that's from a Focus." 10 years later, time has not treated the interior of the Vanquish

  • very well. It feels like an antique in here.

  • The dials; I can't really see what they say, but they look beautiful. Bottom line, you

  • downshift a couple of gears with the rather old-fashioned paddle-shift; manual, auto gearbox,

  • put your foot down and this is what you get. That is still properly fast.

  • Overall, the driving experience, I don't know; it really does feel . . . if you were being

  • polite, you'd call it quaint. If you were being honest, you'd call it a bit of a dinosaur.

  • Sometimes there's a place for dinosaurs in this world, and this car is not without charm.

  • It never was, and it never will be, because it's really the last big, hand-built, hairy

  • lairy, not-very-competent Astons. You have to love it for that, even though in every

  • way imagine it gets mullered by the new car.

  • Conclusion: There is no getting away from it. The old car feels old, and the new car

  • feels crazy-sharp, absolutely bang up-to-date. I'd underrated the latest Vanquish a bit until

  • now, but having spent this day in it, I think that it's sensational. I think it's a really,

  • really good GT car worth every single one of its £190,000. I didn't think I could ever

  • say that.

We really, really like the new Aston Martin Vanquish. How can you not fall for a car that

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Aston Martin Vanquish: meet the ancestors -

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    Aston Jeremy posted on 2014/06/18
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