The 2003 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish represents a partnership with Ford that has produced a serious and fine supercar that competes directly with Ferrari’s 550 Maranello. The Vanquish matches or exceeds its rival’s outlandish performance and offers about as plush an interior as can be found. A backseat is optional, but most everything else imaginable is included in the one trim offered. This is a rarity and an engineering accomplishment as well as something of a laboratory on wheels. The Vanquish used aircraft-style construction methods and presents an evolution in supercar construction. A fine piece of automotive history if you can get your hands on one.
Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 5.9-liter V-12
Transmissions: six-speed automated manual
Models: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
For 2003, the Vanquish sees only small alterations in the form of interior upgrades that include child seat mounting brackets, new audio systems from Linn and optional tan carpeting. A rear parking sensor system is a new addition to the options list.
The 2003 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is available in just one trim. There aren’t many made. So this one trim is not easy to get ahold of. The Vanquish offers exterior gear like 19-inch alloy wheels (even the spare is alloy), Brembo brakes, speed sensitive and rain sensing wipers, rear defogger, limited-slip differential and four-wheel independent suspension.
The Callum designed exterior is truly a work of art with sleek lines, a tough stance and the fine grille. The body of the Vanquish served as an experimental lab for Ford and the construction was more similar to that of an aircraft than an actual car. The body of the Vanquish uses rivets and adhesives- it is really glued to together, save for the door skin. A vehicle like this is sure to grab attention, even in places that are used to seeing luxury cars.
The plush cabin of the Vanquish has everything a buyer would expect from a top-end supercar. Amenities include six-way power front seats with adjustable lumbar support, Connolly leather upholstery, power locks, power windows, power steering that is speed sensitive on a tilt and telescoping wheel with transmission controls mounted on it, climate control, leather steering wheel, leather and alloy trim on the dash and door and console and a 1200-watt audio system with am/fm and trunk mounted multiple cd player with 13 speakers including a subwoofer.
While the cabin of the Vanquish won’t make breakfast, it does offer most everything luxury car buyers will want. The V12 Vanquish can be had with or without a small backseat. Prospective owners are invited to visit Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell factory in Buckinghamshire to select both the body color and Connolly leather upholstery scheme. The deep center console separates the driver and front passenger. It incorporates a red starter button. White-faced instruments and a message center will provide information in 11 languages.
Performance & Handling
The Vanquish uses a six-liter, dual-overhead-cam, V-12 engine that cranks out 460 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This power plant was developed in conjunction with Ford and employs a drive-by-wire throttle. The close-ratio six-speed-manual transmission uses fingertip-actuated Formula One-style paddles for changing gears. This gearbox can also feature an automatic mode. A special shifting program is geared for winter weather driving. The rear-wheel drive only Vanquish does win in at a hefty 4000+ pounds. Intended to compete with the Ferrari Maranello, the Vanquish’s zero-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds just edges out its Italian rival. With a top speed of 190 mph, it is just short of the Ferrari, but when is 190 mph not enough? The Vanquish has performance to spare.
The handling is befitting a car of this price and stature. The steering is well-weighted and not heavy. The Vanquish takes turns and corners so well one forgets about its size and hefty weight. The smooth ride handles everything a rough road can throw at it. A beautiful ride and a sport tuned suspension that is firm combined to make for an unforgettable ride.
The 2003 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish offers a solid compliment of standard safety equipment that includes dual front impact airbags, anti-theft alarm system, four-wheel antilock brake system, child seat anchors, electronic brakeforce distribution, dusk-sensing headlights and traction control. Side-impact airbags are not available. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have performed crash safety tests on the Vanquish. It is safe to assume with the build quality, maker reputation and safety equipment list that the Vanquish does a respectable job when it comes to occupant protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Aston Martin V12 Vanquish: 11/18 mpg city/highway
- Outrageous performance
- Posh interior
- Cachet from rarity
You Won't Like
- We’ll think of something eventually
A real supercar for enthusiasts who want the finest.
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