Aston Martin Unveils New V12 Vanquish

The Aston Martin Vanquish AM 310 is the fastest produciton car the company makes.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

The car James Bond made famous has arrived for 2012 with a new look and new power.

Of course, different versions of Bond made various car models famous. Roger Moore brought attention to the Lotus. Pierce Brosnan drove BMWs. But, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig settled in behind the wheel of a legendary British model – the Aston Martin.

Craig rolled a Vanquish off the road in Casino Royale, and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets his hands on the latest addition to the Aston family –  the AM 310. While the original Vanquish was a pop culture hit and automotive industry hit, Aston upgraded their 6.0 liter V12 and added styling cues from the Aston Martin One-77 super-car.

To update the Vanquish, Aston Martin dropped in a new and improved, naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 has engine putting out 565 horsepower (573 PS). That makes the new Vanquish makes it Aston Martin’s fastest production car to date. In face, in the whole Aston line, only the One-77. With a front-middle mounted engine and real wheel drive, the new Vanquish shares the classic racing pedigree of the Zagato and other elite Astons.

The engine is harnessed by the same Touchtronic 2, six-speed automatic transmission. Like Maserati, Aston Martin takes some heat for their gearbox. There are critics who say the transmission isn’t worthy of the engine in such cases, but I believe those are like art critics who nitpick a beautiful painting. The transmission is fine. The gearbox works. Everybody can calm down – considering the car goes 0-60 in 4 seconds and tops out at 183 mph.

All of that power and name value comes for an MSRP of only $24,000. Actually, no it doesn’t. I just wanted to see if the fact checker is paying attention. In fact, you’re looking at a price tag of $279,995 to take a V-12 Vantage home. What drives the price that high – besides the Aston badge on the hood?

There’s a pile of elite engineering and manufacturing in the Vantage. Each body panel on the car is made out of carbon fiber. That costs a lot of Pounds Sterling, but it also adds strength to the chassis while greatly reducing weight. The rest of the car is bonded aluminum and magnesium alloy.

Guiding the Vanquish down the road is the job of speed-dependent, electronically controlled rack and pinion power-assisted steering up front. The rear features independent double wishbones. The brakes are ventilated carbon ceramic discs in the front and the back.

All of those components come together with extra safety essentials such as  Dynamic Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, Positive Torque Control, Traction Control and Launch Control.

But, the obvious charm of the new AM 310 Vanquish is its external styling. Aston Martin admits it took some of its visual cues for its new car came of its top of the line One-77. The aggressive nose forward design gives this powerful machine the look of a classic, if oversized roadster. There’s no way this car will go by anyone who pays attention to cars will let this thing go by without twisting their head around to see it.