It's hardly the blowout price of late-night TV commercials, but the Aston Martin DB9's $155,000 base sticker looks like a bargain compared with the range-topping Vanquish at $236,000, particularly when the two cars are so close in spec and appearance. It begs the question: Why pay more for a Vanquish?
The new Vanquish S provides a riposte, the main thrust of which is an additional 60 hp for its superb 5.9-liter V-12 (now 520 hp to the DB9's 450). New cylinder heads with modified combustion chambers, new fuel injectors, new spark plugs, and new forged-steel connecting rods are features that help account for the power boost.
The Vanquish S hurtles to 100 mph-less than half its claimed maximum-in just under ten seconds. Acceleration that makes you gasp and squeal with delight is complemented by an inspirational howl as the power curve's 7000-rpm peak is approached. Clearly, Maranello is not the only place where they know how to make magnificent V-12 music.
Moving that much closer to the 100-hp-per-liter mark has not made the engine peaky. It now delivers 425 lb-ft of torque-the standard engine packs 400-and about 80 percent of that grunt is on tap at 1000 revs. This, allied to revised final-drive gearing, provides performance that's appreciated in nip-and-tuck situations on the open road.... Read full article