Aston Martin has revealed a series of improvements to the Vanquish and Rapide S that make them faster, more responsive, greener and more luxurious.
The big change is the introduction of ZF’s brilliant eight-speed automatic gearbox in both cars. Called Touchtronic III, the gearbox has been installed in a rear-mounted transaxle for the first time in the Vanquish, Vanquish Volante and Rapide S, and is solely responsible for the headline performance improvements.
Acceleration times plummet. The Vanquish coupe now accelerates from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds, while even the Rapide S four-door does it in 4.4 seconds. Both are half-second improvements over current cars.
The Vanquish thus becomes the fastest-accelerating Aston Martin ever.
There’s a very welcome ‘but’, too: they also become much more economical. Both now average 22mpg on the combined cycle, which is 11% better than before – and CO2 also naturally falls, to 298g/km for the Vanquish and 300g/km for the Rapide S.
Oh, and a revised final drive ratio means the Vanquish is now a 201mph car.
2015 Aston Martin Vanquish, Rapide S: the technical details
- Aston Martin has reduced the back pressure in the exhaust system: although the 6.0-litre V12 is identical, it still gains a little power. This takes the Vanquish up 3hp to 576hp and the Rapid S up 2hp to 560hp
- Both cars have a tiny bit more torque – 464hp at 5500rpm
- A latest-generation Bosch ECU offers more precise engine control and better integration between engine and gearbox. Aston Martin is the first car brand to use this new ECU
- There’s a revised steering ECU too, making the system sharper and more accurate
- The ZF Touchtronic III gearbox changes gears in 130 milliseconds and boasts driving-style-sensing Adaptive Drive Recognition software which tailors shift points to each driver
- The gearbox has four profiles – Drive and Drive Sport, plus Paddleshift and Paddleshift Sport
- Pulling and holding the shift paddle selects the lowest gear available while braking
- Both Vanquish and Rapide S have an upgraded torque tube that reduces transmission noise into the cabin
Will the 2015 Aston Martins handle differently?
Aston Martin has tweaked the handling of the new cars, with detail enhancements seeking improvements in key areas. The DSC system has been revised, again for better integration between engine and gearbox.
On the Vanquish, 15% stiffer front dampers are joined by 35% stiffer rear dampers, while both it and the Rapide S get 20% stiffer rear suspension bushes. The Rapide S has bigger front brakes and there’s a retuned brake booster for both.
Unsprung mass will also be reduced by the introduction of a new 10-spoke forged alloy wheel, which saves a hefty 7kg over the standard wheel.
What do the 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish and Rapide S look like?
Visually, it will be hard to spot the new eight-speed ZF gearbox cars; there are no styling changes to either car. There are new colour options though, including the Diavalo Red paint option that’s up to now been reserved for the V12 Zagato. There are new colourschemes inside too. Here, the remarkable-sounding Fandango Pink is on the list…
The Rapide S boasts a duotone Sahara Tan and Vibrant Red option too, plus some premium-feel headlinings.
Design director Marek Reichman said these “more bold and dynamic interior and exterior treatments are the perfect offering for customers of our latest models.
“I’m very happy to see this enhanced and extended colour palette offered to our loyal customers around the world.”
The new 2015 Aston Martins will be launched in Q3 2014 – so, very soon – with prices to be announced in the next few weeks.