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Nate Chapnick | Photo: Courtesy Images | November 15, 2013
Step into Aston Martin’s newest supercar, the 2014 Vanquish.
A vehicle so exclusive its key is made of crystal, Aston Martin’s newest flagship supercar, the Vanquish, is a study in both performance and aesthetics. With a 6.0-liter V12 engine capable of generating 565 horsepower, the Vanquish rockets off the line, dominating the 0 to 60 mph sprint in a mere 4.0 seconds and topping out at 183 mph. A variety of world-class components and design elements, including carbon-fiber body panels, race car-caliber carbon ceramic brakes and a near-perfect 51:49 front-to-rear weight distribution, make the $279,995 Vanquish a standout even in the rarefied supercar field. And Aston Martin put every bit as much thought into the cabin. See how as we explore the cockpit of this singular automotive work of art.
1. Gauge Cluster
Recalling earlier Aston Martins, such as the DB2 and Atom, the rpm gauge runs counterclockwise.
Crisp white LED lighting illuminates the dials, making them easy to see day or night.
Two electronic displays welcome drivers as they start the vehicle with an elegant graphic reiterating Aston Martin’s slogan, “Power. Beauty. Soul.”
2. Steering Wheel
With squared edges inspired by Aston Martin’s venerable racing heritage, the Vanquish’s unique steering wheel both evokes agility and heightens the interior’s exclusivity cachet.
The steering wheel’s interior metallic ring with six equally spaced bevels also takes its styling cues from Aston Martin’s long history of professional racing.
3. Door Panel
Parallelogram-shaped aluminum door handles lend the car a sense of velocity and dynamism. Even more noteworthy: Once opened, the upward-aiming “swan wing” doors add a bit of refined drama to any exit.
Unlike many manufacturers, Aston Martin chose not to hide the Vanquish’s speakers, instead integrating them into the overall interior design, including the door. Audiophiles rejoice: Thirteen Bang & Olufsen speakers placed throughout the cabin provide more than 1,000 watts of premium sound.
A power-folding 6.5-inch LCD screen that provides directions and audio information remains hidden under handcrafted piano lacquer trim until opened.
5. Center Stack
The center console flows downward from the upper dash in one sweep, or what Aston Martin calls a “waterfall” design. The fascia trim is comprised of a seamless piece of piano lacquer, not components, heightening the modern aesthetic.
Unlike most starter buttons, which tend to be made of plastic even in the luxury car sector, the Vanquish offers a crystal-fob Emotion Control Unit. Insert the fob into its glass housing to start the car. Upon ignition, a red glow illuminates the engraved crystal key. Passengers won’t soon forget the experience.
For the shifting buttons Aston Martin again opts for real glass, bucking the plastic trend.
Control clusters on the center stack are delineated with polished aluminum trim.
Drivers use illuminated capacitive glass buttons with haptic feedback, similar to a smartphone’s touch screen, to control major functions such as climate, phone, audio and navigation systems.
6. Lower Console
There’s plenty of storage in the leather-lined lower console, thanks to the placement of the gearshift controls on the center stack.
While the outer sides of the lower console are often overlooked in interior car design, Aston Martin makes the most of the space by placing the controls for the power seats here, in an easy-to-reach spot.
Available at Napleton’s Aston Martin of Chicago, 217 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, 866.581.3753, napletonsastonmartinofchicago.com