Aston Martin V12 Vanquish: PH Buying Guide


The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish had a slightly faltering start to its life. Born as the Project Vantage in 1998 as a replacement for the ageing Vantage range, the resulting Vanquish was supposed to have appeared at the Birmingham Motor Show in 2000. However, Aston boss Ulrich Bez took exception to some of the more obviously Ford-sourced interior trim and pulled the car from the show.

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Yes, you could really could get a Vanquish in 2001
Yes, you could really could get a Vanquish in 2001
By the time the production Vanquish appeared in 2001 with a Β£158,000 starting price, the Ian Callum-styled coupe was eagerly anticipated and much needed. Gone was the old Vantage model's V8 motor and steel tube-framed base in favour of a 5.9-litre V12 and bonded aluminium chassis that made extensive use of carbon fibre.

With 460hp as standard, the Vanquish came with a six-speed manual gearbox but no clutch pedal. The shifting was automated via an electrohydraulic, paddleshift operated gear change, though it could also be left in automatic mode. Aston Martin Works later offered a conversion to a full manual for those owners who preferred complete control over the gear selection process.

The Vanquish was a steady seller for Aston, racking up 1,489 sales, but in 2004 the Vanquish S was introduced that offered a 520hp motor and subtle changes to the front grille, splitter and rear spoiler. These helped cope with the S model's new 200mph top speed.

520hp Vanquish S arrived in 2004
520hp Vanquish S arrived in 2004
At the end of the Vanquish's life, the final 50 cars were the Ultimate edition model finished in metallic black paint and with unique trim and fittings. When the last rolled off the line in July 2007, it marked the end of Aston Martin production in Newport Pagnell. In total, 1,086 S models were made.

Now the Vanquish is very much a rising modern classic thanks to its limited numbers, beautiful looks, V12 engine and even a bit of movie fairy dust from its appearance in Die Another Day. Prices are rising and where you might once have snapped up a Vanquish for Β£40,000, today you will be looking at spending from Β£70,000 for a car with full history and reasonably low miles. For the very best late 2007 Vanquish S with low miles, you'll be looking at Β£100,000.


PHer's view:
"Looks, style, comfort, a V12 engine, huge performance and even some luggage space. All that and it's a pukka James Bond car. How can you not like the Vanquish?"
J Blythe


Buying Guide Contents:
Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling Chassis
Body
Interior

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Comments (36) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Camlet 27 Dec 2015

    I remember test driving the Vanquish when it first came out. I had already bought in 1999 a second hand 550 Maranello, but with the new Aston, a change was on the cards. I had already owned the Jag derived straight 6 supercharged DB7 Volante, a stunningly beautiful car with a fairly useless drivetrain. I was sad to see the DB7 go, but looks weren't everything (I wasn't going to miss the Ford Granada switch-gear and MX5 door handles either.)

    When the all new V12 Vanquish arrived, I was ready to switch back to Aston Martin.

    I couldn't wait for the Aston dealer to arrive at my home for the drive, and when he finally pulled up in the brand new stunning Aston Vanquish, looking wonderful in its Aston metallic green spec, I was ready to write out the cheque without stepping foot into the car.

    But then came the drive. Like the DB7, the drivetrain was awful, especially in traffic. With the gearbox at the back, every shift resulted in a clunk. While the sound of the exhaust was glorious its overall dynamics were poor.

    As a sweet GT, the Vanquish is more than fine. Stunning to look at, with an exhaust note to die for. But as a supercar V12, it wasn't even close to the Maranello.




  • mikearwas 27 Dec 2015

    Camlet said:
    I remember test driving the Vanquish when it first came out. I had already bought in 1999 a second hand 550 Maranello, but with the new Aston, a change was on the cards. I had already owned the Jag derived straight 6 supercharged DB7 Volante, a stunningly beautiful car with a fairly useless drivetrain. I was sad to see the DB7 go, but looks weren't everything (I wasn't going to miss the Ford Granada switch-gear and MX5 door handles either.)

    When the all new V12 Vanquish arrived, I was ready to switch back to Aston Martin.

    I couldn't wait for the Aston dealer to arrive at my home for the drive, and when he finally pulled up in the brand new stunning Aston Vanquish, looking wonderful in its Aston metallic green spec, I was ready to write out the cheque without stepping foot into the car.

    But then came the drive. Like the DB7, the drivetrain was awful, especially in traffic. With the gearbox at the back, every shift resulted in a clunk. While the sound of the exhaust was glorious its overall dynamics were poor.

    As a sweet GT, the Vanquish is more than fine. Stunning to look at, with an exhaust note to die for. But as a supercar V12, it wasn't even close to the Maranello.



    Lovely insight. Thanks!

  • Armen 27 Dec 2015

    Pretty nice article.

    I wish the author had posted the MY2006-2007 S refreshed interior :



    I already posted this message on the forum, so here it is a good opportunity to post it again :

    The Vanquish/S (2001-2007) is already a classic and the best modern Aston Martin you can get for investment... and driving experience smile

    Why the Vanquish (and especially the S) could be considered as the "next DB5" ?

    - its timeless design mixing charisma and sexiness
    - the last ever of Newport Pagnell factory since the DB4 in 1958
    - only 2578 ever made (1086 of them were Vanquish S), so a pretty rare car
    - in the case of the S, more than 200 MPH of top speed, one of the fastest AM ever
    - one of the most beautiful engine sounds ever, no other modern V12 Aston can beat it
    - a very raw car without DSC, only a limited slip differential and traction control, pure driving experience
    - the gearbox is not an automatic with torque converter, it is a manual with electro-hydraulic clutch, which allows you to feel greatly the car while changing gears
    - iconic status because the Vanquish back in 2001 was a complete new model
    - it announced the following models of the current range
    - while all new modern Aston are good cars, they all look like the same
    - the new Vanquish 2013/2015 (which, to me, doesn't deserve the name at all...) remains a "tuned" DB9 2013, not at all a new model as the Vanquish was 14 years ago
    - it was mixing craftsmanship and modern technologies
    - it appeared in James Bond "Die Another Day" in 2002

    The Vanquish/S (2001-2007) will remain as one of the most iconic Aston Martin ever made.

    People are realizing more and more that the Vanquish is something quiet special.

    Many have been criticizing the gearbox while 99% of them never sat in a Vanquish (I repeat that many times on other forums but that's so true).
    The early models might have suffered a bit from the clutch because of the lack of magnetic sensors but that was added later. Besides, only the S clutch is available since 2005, as a replacement part.
    I can confirm here that the gearbox works perfectly fine if you know how to drive it. In fact, it works as a F1 Ferrari gearbox, the system is the same.
    One of my friends who owns a 2002 Vanquish since new, currently has 45 000 miles with his S clutch, and it is only worn at 50% so you can see how long it can last. thumbup

    Prices in the UK and rest of Europe are firming up.
    It's becoming more and more difficult to find a Vanquish S.
    No doubt that the value will keep on increasing over the next years.
    I think any car enthusiast would fall in love with the Vanquish at the first driving.
    The way it drives, the way it sounds, the way it looks… this car is just MAGICAL !!!
    Definitely, if you can get a late (2006 & 2007) Vanquish S, that's the best you could do.
    By the way, it is almost impossible to find a 2007 S at £100,000. Those are more around £120,000.

    - About rusty subframe, it is really not so common. And everytime I heard about that, it was a UK car... maybe because of the typical British weather ? biggrin
    - On non-S cars (2001-2004) and MY2005 S, coils had to be replaced around 20 000 miles, while on late S (2006-2007) they can last 50 000 miles.
    - Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are MUCH better than the original Yokohama. Much better grip (especially on the wet), much more comfortable and less noisy. They really transform the car.
    - I suggest to open the valves of the original exhaust. Originally, valves close between 1500 and 3500 rpm. When opened, you can enjoy the engine sound from idle to 7000 rpm... pure MADNESS !!!
    And downshifts get marvelous even at low speeds. Some people put the Quick Silver exhaust, no doubt it sounds perfect. To me, the original exhaust is already incredible, one of the greatest sounding cars ever made.

    Some pictures of our '07 S, the one shown at Geneva Motorshow 2007 :








  • VanquishRider 27 Dec 2015

    Camlet said:
    I remember test driving the Vanquish when it first came out. I had already bought in 1999 a second hand 550 Maranello, but with the new Aston, a change was on the cards. I had already owned the Jag derived straight 6 supercharged DB7 Volante, a stunningly beautiful car with a fairly useless drivetrain. I was sad to see the DB7 go, but looks weren't everything (I wasn't going to miss the Ford Granada switch-gear and MX5 door handles either.)

    When the all new V12 Vanquish arrived, I was ready to switch back to Aston Martin.

    I couldn't wait for the Aston dealer to arrive at my home for the drive, and when he finally pulled up in the brand new stunning Aston Vanquish, looking wonderful in its Aston metallic green spec, I was ready to write out the cheque without stepping foot into the car.

    But then came the drive. Like the DB7, the drivetrain was awful, especially in traffic. With the gearbox at the back, every shift resulted in a clunk. While the sound of the exhaust was glorious its overall dynamics were poor.

    As a sweet GT, the Vanquish is more than fine. Stunning to look at, with an exhaust note to die for. But as a supercar V12, it wasn't even close to the Maranello.



    I have no idea what that sales Rep told you but the gearbox is definitely below where you would expect to find the gearstick.

    Have the front subframe waxoiled as soon as you buy the car and corrosion should not be an issue. Most have had that problem sorted. A friend of mine even had his replaced FOC at works service just after he bought it. Most only suffered from it if they were used as everyday cars in all weather from new. Those that were kept for special occasions and not used in winter weather appear to have escaped the problem.

    The gear box is so much better than an auto. Armen is right when he says it gives so much more feel. The clinkiness is just not their in manual mode if driven correctly. It's also wise to regularly carry out the clutch learn procedure if the car is used sporadically.

    An appreciating asset? I'm pretty sure it's a safe bet. Lots of LHD examples starting to make the return journey from the states. Shows how strong the market is for quality examples.

  • RoverP6B 28 Dec 2015

    I never quite 'got' the Vanquish. Awful clunky automated manual (OK, you can convert, but it costs a bomb) and very awkward styling, a step back from the slinky DB7. Then came the DB9 and all was right once more. The DBS does the muscular supercar look so much better, and has substantially more power - that'd be the one for me, not this.

    P.S. The DB7 certainly never had MX5 door handles or vice versa. They look more like chrome-plated Ford Sierra handles to me.

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