Update: We've just caught the new 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish testing on the Nürburgring in full production skin. Powered by a 5.9-liter V-12 engine, it is expected to produce over 550-horsepower. The cost? About $300,000. See the . - Jen Degtjarewsky for R&T
The rumor machine has been spinning, but at last here is proof positive that Aston Martin will be recalling the famous Vanquish name for next year's new top model. Seen here testing in Italy without camouflage, the new car, code named AM310, was shown at the Ritzy Italian car-polishers gathering, the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este last month as an unbadged concept car. This, though, is the first confirmation of the name, which we can see at the rump of this new supercar. We understand Vanquish was one of a series of old `V' names being considered for the new car, which included Vantage and even Vignale.
The original Vanquish was launched in 2001 and was the first Aston produced by the current chief executive, Ulrich Bez, who delayed the launch because he didn't like the dashboard air vents. With its hand-built carbon-fiber and aluminum construction, it was the last all-new model to come out of Aston Martin's old Newport Pagnell works. Ian Callum's outrageous styling dripped testosterone, its 420 bhp gave it a genuine 200 mph capability and its booming exhaust note demanded attention. It also cost $245,000 (£158,000) at launch.
Vanquish ceased production in 2007 and to be honest its DBS replacement never managed to recapture its combination of style, price and performance. The company, now based at Gaydon in Warwickshire, will be hoping that the new Vanquish recaptures the magic and the imagination of film directors and pop stars. The old Vanquish appeared in James Bond's 2002 'Die Another Day' and 2003 remake of 'The Italian Job', received name checks in Lil Kim's 'Lighter's Up' and The Pussycat Dolls 'Don't Cha', as well as appearing in countless music videos and video games.
The new Vanquish will be a replacement for the V12 DBS. It borrows some of its style from the $1.87 million One-77 supercar, particularly the sculpted sides, the side mirrors now mounted on the doors and rear lamps. The company has been stung by criticisms of the weight of its supercars and under the skin, engineers have been looking seriously about saving pounds with exotic materials such as carbon fiber on its bonded, welded and riveted VH aluminum platform, which underpins all its current models.
While the familiar "Cleveland" twin V6-based V12 engine will be retained for the new Vanquish, it will be boosted to produce a lot more horsepower than the current DBS's figure of 510 bhp. The rumor machine suggests the German-built engine will muster a figure closer to 600 bhp. We also understand that the facia design, now 10 years old and looking it, will also get a lift for the new Vanquish, although the crystal oblong ignition key (called the Emotional Control Unit – yuk!) will be retained – it is a favorite of Bez. One feature of the old Vanquish that looks as though it won't be making a comeback are the under-bonnet chimneys, which jetted hot air out of the engine bay and gave the driver a permanently heat-hazed view out of the windscreen. Looking at these spy shots, chimneys are out for next year.