What is it?
There is more to this new model year Aston Martin Vanquish than a new transmission, but if just looking at what it does for the car on paper gives an idea of the improvements it brings, out there in the real world the change is more dramatic still.
The reason Aston Martin appears to have been so far behind the curve fitting the now ubiquitous ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox to the Vanquish (and indeed the Rapide S) is that until now none has been available for a transaxle application. But now Aston Martin has designed its own casing into which ZF’s tried and trusted internals are fitted.
So just take a look at the numbers. With the old gearbox the Vanquish was good for just 183mph. Now it’s got another couple of ratios and can accelerate until it runs out of puff, it’ll do 201mph.
Meanwhile the closeness of the lower ratios and the extra speed of response have carved 0.3sec from the 0-62mph time. This may not sound like much, but down here in exotic world below 4sec, it matters.
The gearbox will also make owners feel slightly less like ecological master criminals. It’ll still only do 22.1mpg, but that’s a better than 10 per cent improvement over the 19.6mpg of old, as is the reduction in CO2 emissions to under 300g/km.
None of this is going to make your company car tax bill less painful to open, but the additional range it provides will be more than usually welcome given the car’s long distance aspirations and inadequate 78-litre fuel tank.
Aston Martin has also gone to work on the suspension, raising the front damper rates by 15 per cent and those at the rear by 35 per cent, a move that comes coupled with a thicker rear roll bar and new toe and camber settings.
Bespoke new Pirelli P Zero rubber mounted on lighter alloy wheels that remove a total of 7kg of unsprung weight from the Aston complete the picture.