V12 VANQUISH

Launched at The Geneva Motor Show in March 2001, the V12 Vanquish had been hinted at as early as January 1998, when Aston Martin had revealed the Project Vantage at the New York Motor Show. Built on a technically-advanced carbon fibre and aluminium platform, Project Vantage had been designed by Ian Callum, and was powered by a 5.9-litre engine driving through a six-speed gearbox with paddle shift.

That innovative platform was carried forward into production on the V12 Vanquish, which had a strong carbon fibre transmission tunnel bonded to extruded aluminium front and rear bulkheads, with a carbon/steel/aluminium subframe carrying the engine and front suspension. There were deformable crash structures front and rear.

The V12 Vanquish has its 5.9-litre engine in common with the DB7 Vantage; its shapely exterior panels were hot-formed by a process called ‘Superforming’ pioneered by Aston Martin in the late 1970s to make Lagonda components. A paddle-shift six-speed manual transmission was standard.

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