Aston Martin has announced two exciting developments for both new and existing customers of the company's flagship Vanquish S. Just 40 examples of a new Vanquish S Últimate Edition will be handcrafted at the company's Newport Pagnell production facility in Buckinghamshire. The model represents a luxurious and unique limited edition befitting the Vanquish S's status as the ultimate Aston Martin and also celebrates the skilled craftsmanship of the team working at Newport Pagnell.

The Últimate Edition will be available by special request to customers wishing to celebrate the last of a significant car in Aston Martin's history. Initial feedback suggests the whole allocation of this special edition will be sold within weeks of launch. The Últimate Edition centres on changes to the Vanquish S's renowned colour and trim. On the exterior, these changes include a unique ‘Últimate Black' – a striking new colour which will only be available wîth this car. Inside, the Vanquish S cabin is trimmed in a semi-aniline leather, wîth coarse stitching, leather headlining and black chrome finish interior fittings. Each car will also be fitted wîth personalised sill plaques denoting the limited edition number.

The Vanquish S Últimate Edition retains all performance capabilities of the standard Vanquish S – and accordingly its position as the fastest ever production Aston Martin, capable of a top speed in excess of 200mph (321km/h). No additional charge will be made for the Últimate Edition, available only wîth the 2+2 seating arrangement, priced at £182,095.

For existing Vanquish customers, Aston Martin's world renowned Works Service department are to offer a new transmission conversion for owners of the company's flagship model, adding to their reputation for an unparalleled level of personalisation. Serving as a further example of the depth of bespoke services available via Works Service, existing Vanquish owners will now be able to order a transmission conversion from the car's existing Auto Shift Manual (ASM) system, to a conventional stick-shift manual.

Working in conjunction wîth the company's Special Vehicles Operations team from Gaydon, Works Service has developed the system over the last 12 months, before previewing the conversion to selected Vanquish customers. Since its launch in 2001, the Vanquish has been equipped wîth fingertip controlled, Formula 1-style paddles which enables almost imperceptible gear changes in under 250 milliseconds. Advanced electronics also permit the close ratio six speed manual transmission to be programmed to operate automatically. Drivers wîth a preference for a conventional stick-shift transmission will now have the option of this new Works Service-only modification which is available to order immediately, wîth prices commencing from £13,250 (+ VAT).

Vital Stats
Engine : 5.9 L., 12-cylinder
Power: 520 hp
Torque: 425 ft-lbs

6-speed Manual
Established as a modern classic, the Vanquish's muscular 2+2 epitomises Aston Martin's core values of power, beauty and soul. It is the ultimate sports car for the discerning owner. Since its launch, the Vanquish has proved to be a huge success for Aston Martin wîth over 2000 cars delivered to customers around the world. In 2002 the Vanquish graced the screens of millions, starring alongside 007 in the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day.'


Located at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, Aston Martin Works Service offers a factory-backed workshop wîth the experience necessary to care for any Aston Martin or Lagonda wîth unparalleled skill and attention to detail. With more than 40 years experience, the Works Service team offers accident repair, servicing, maintenance and even full restoration capabilities to Aston Martin and Lagonda owners. In 2006 more than 2000 customers called upon Works Service expertise, a number which is expected to be surpassed again in 2007.

Source - Aston Martin
Playing a huge role in returning Aston Martin, a classic British carmaker, to both financial success and technological sophistication, the Vanquish surely delivered. Like any proper Aston Martin, the Vanquish not only had drop-dead gorgeous styling, but also a certain spice with muscular fenders and a wide, squat stance. It is considered to be the most masculine of Aston's classic design. Loosely based on the Virage/V8 platform, the V12 Vanquish instead featured thoroughly modern technology.

Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, Aston Martin was originally called Bamford & Martin when the two had joined forces the previous year to sell cars made by Singer from premises in Callow Street, London. At this location they also serviced GWK and Calthorpe vehicles. Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton and the two men chose to make their own cars.

The first car dubbed Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini. Martin and Bamford acquired premises at Henniker Place in Kensington and produced their first car in March 1915. Unfortunately production couldn't begin due to the outbreak of World War I. Martin had joined the Admiralty, and Bamford joined the Royal Army Service Corps. All machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.

A grand tourer, the Aston Martin Vanquish was designed by Ian Callum and was manufactured by Aston Martin. Introduced in 2001 the Vanquish was Aston Martin's flagship vehicle. Appearing as the official James Bond car in the movie ‘Die Another Day' the Vanquish rose to worldwide recognition. In 2007 the Vanquish was taken out of production. The Aston Martin DBS V12 temporarily replaced it at the top of Aston's lineup, pending the 2010 replacement.

In the wake of a GT concept car, the Project Vantage concept car let to development of the Vanquish. The Vantage concept was introduced with a V-12 engine at the North American International Auto Show in January of 1998. In 2000 the production model was debuted and the series production began in 2001. It wasn't until 2005 that the car received any major updates when the Vanquish S model debuted at the 2004 Paris Auto Show. The S model came with more power, new wheels and slight styling revisions.

The Vanquish Ultimate Edition was introduced to celebrate the end of the Vanquish production run. Aston Martin announced that the final 40 cars built would have a new ‘Ultimate Black' exterior color, personalized sill plaques and upgraded interior. The Ultimate Edition was the first Vanquish available with a conventional stick-shift manual transmission. In July of 2007 production of the Aston Martin Vanquish was ended and coincided with the company's Newport Pagnell factory after 49 years of operation. The final car was the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition in black.
A high-performance coupe, the Aston Martin V12 was produced from 2002 until 2006. The original model was joined by the more powerful S Variant in 2005, and only the S model was available for the final year of production. The V12 Vanquish main body structure included aluminum sections bonded and riveted around a central carbon-fiber transmission tunnel. To keep the weight down Aston utilized carbon fiber A-pillars, all-aluminum suspension and aluminum body panels. Despite all of this, the Vanquish still weighed in at little more than 2 tons.

Designed at Ford Research in the U.S. was the V12 engine in the Vanquish. The Vanquish's V12 engine shares some of the components and design elements with the 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6. The engine even shares the same bore and stroke dimensions and for this reason many people incorrectly dismiss the V12 as just ‘two Duratecs linked together'. It is correct though that the AM V12 shares components with the ‘Duratec' engine design. The standard Vanquish's 6.0-liter V12 produced 460 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque.

The powertrain of the Vanquish was also quite innovative, with a high-performance 6.0-liter V12 engine that first made 460 hp, and later 520. To get that power to the rear wheels there was an automated-clutch, six-speed sequential-shift manual gearbox that utilized F1-style paddle shifters. The V12 Vanquish also came with 19-inch wheels with performance tires, power seats and a 10-speaker in-dash CD changer audio system. Also standard a navigation system, multi-level heated seats and Bluetooth connectivity on the 2006 V12 Vanquish S, as well as the Sports Dynamic suspension, steering and braking package.

The inside of the V12 was finished quite lushly in the best leather hides and offered a nice variety of color options. The center control stack was revised in 2006 to match the current, newer batch of Aston Martin's. Earlier on the Vanquish had borrowed much of its switchgear from the Ford family parts supply. There was quite a substantial amount of room inside the Vanquish when compared to other exotic sports cars and the Vanquish was available with a choice of 2+2 or strictly two-seat interiors.

Only 300 hand-built V12 Vanquish models were produced each year and each model is fully customizable to the customer's requirements.

By Jessica Donaldson

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