Speed / October 2017

Aston Martin Vanquish S: The Ultimate British Supercar

The Aston Martin Vanquish S was born from pedigree and bred for purpose: speed – luxurious but unadulterated speed.

Jared Zaugg took to the open roads of California to put the Aston Martin Vanquish S to the test.

If you don’t have access to a private racetrack or live near roads without speed limits (ie, Germany or the Isle of Man), read no further, the Aston Martin Vanquish S is not for you.

One of the first things you’ll notice as you nestle down into the opulent, quilted leather bucket seat and grab hold of the plush, stitched leather steering wheel is the speedometer. Whereas the speedometers on 90% of the world’s automobiles show 70mph – the speed limit on most American freeways – at 12 or even 1 o’clock on the dial, the Vanquish S displays this insignificant figure down at 7 o’clock. That’s right, the ‘legal redline’ for this English sportscar appears within the first percentile of the speedometer’s reading. That’s because the top speed is listed at a mind boggling 240mph. I don’t know about you, but that’s about 100mph more speed than I could hope to use even on the Autobahn.

I’ve been generously handed the keys to the flagship model from the storied British brand for an extended weekend trip up the California coast. And in true secret agent style, the glistening black supercar is waiting for me at the airport’s curbside valet. Low, muscular, refined and ferocious looking, not a person walks by without noticing this attractively menacing sculpture.

When it comes down to it, any motoring enthusiast will have smiles for miles in any Aston Martin. Upgrade to the Vanquish model and grins and prestige grow. Upgrade further to the ‘S’ edition (signifying Sport) and, well, you’re at the pinnacle. As if the super grand tourer that is the Vanquish could get any grander, the ‘S’ increases the already massive horsepower of its V12 engine to 580, giving it in excess of 60mph more speed than the regular Vanquish for all those who feel 180mph just isn’t fast enough.

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Jared Zaugg

Jared Zaugg is insatiably curious and a raconteur by trade. As a marketing and branding consultant focusing on the intersection of lifestyle, motoring and culture, he has a weakness for the classics that resulted in the book Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! (Gestalten 2015).