17 March 2004

Aston Martin will improve its £163,000 flagship model with a power hike and new interior later this year. The revamp will freshen the 2+2 and stimulate interest in the Vanquish in the wake of the excellent new DB9.

Aston is targeting a power hike of 10 per cent for the 460bhp 5.9-litre V12 – taking peak power to around 510bhp, possibly enough to drag the 0-60mph time down to 4.0sec and nudge the top speed beyond 200mph. The original Autocar road test back in 2001 rated the Vanquish’s top speed at 196mph.

‘It’s no good doing something like a three per cent hike, it has to be a more substantial increase,’ said Aston boss Uli Bez.

Aston is also going to uprate the braking system and add chassis improvements to boost the handling dynamics.Dealers have already approached customers around the UK to assess the likely demand for an improved Vanquish and have mentioned a power hike to ‘between 510 and 530bhp’.

Aston tested the feasibility of fitting the DB9’s centre console into the Vanquish with the Bertone Jet 2 concept (pictured right) shown at Geneva last week. It fitted beautifully and is a marked improvement on the current Vanquish’s pared-down fascia, created in an era when cash was much tighter.

Aston boss Bez has also confirmed that the revival of the Lagonda name is a strong possibility. ‘We will consider reviving the Lagonda brand in the longer term, say three to four years,’ he told Autocar. ‘I must stress that there is no plan, no work and no design going on, but we must consider it. I thought of badging the Jet 2 as a Lagonda, but in the end decided against it.’

If the Lagonda badge had been applied to the Jet 2 concept car, a different grille and graphics would have been grafted onto the concept to distinguish it from an Aston Martin, Bez said.

Meanwhile, the finished Bertone Jet 2 Vanquish-based four-seat sports estate could, in fact, end up in production, after a positive reception at this month’s Geneva Motor Show. Bez told us: ‘The Jet shows that after the DB9 and Vantage V8 launch there is still the possibility of another future for Aston Martin. We must decide what it means to Aston Martin to stretch the proportions, see if we can lift this idea into our regular programme. But we are in no hurry to do anything.’

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals