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Aston range bolstered by upgrades


ASTON Martin is revealing details of a raft of important enhancements to two of the brand’s most popular sports cars: the Vanquish ultimate GT and Rapide S four-door, four-seat, sports car.

The upgrades come as part of the 15 Model Year (15MY) release which will see this model receive enhanced performance and much-improved fuel economy and emissions.

There’s a new Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox in both Vanquish and Rapide S – the first time that this gearbox has been incorporated into a transaxle layout – Aston Martin is improving every major area of the car’s performance and fuel economy. The brand’s engineers have worked with technical partner, ZF, to develop the eight-speed technology and integrate it into the latest generation of the Aston Martin VH architecture.

The 0-100km/h times for both the Vanquish and Rapide S are reduced in 15MY cars: The Vanquish drops from 4.1 seconds to just 3.6 seconds (3.8 seconds 0-100 km/h) and the Rapide S is capable of the same sprint in only 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds 0-100 km/h) – also down by a full half second from its previous figure of 4.7 seconds.

Changes to gear and final drive ratios allow the cars to be not only quicker but also more frugal, with reduced emissions too. In both sports cars the CO2 figure drops by an average of 10 percent – down to 298g/km for Vanquish and 300g/km for Rapide S – while economy is boosted to 9.1 litres/100km, on average an 11 percent improvement.

A reduction in exhaust gas back pressure as a result of ratio adjustment and other changes also benefits peak power, which rises to 418kW in Vanquish, and 406kW in the Rapide S. Peak torque is up by 10Nm too, to 630Nm.

Uprated dampers on the new Vanquish are 15 stiffer at the front and a full 35 percent stiffer at the rear. The Rapide S, meanwhile, gets uprated larger front brakes. Both cars also benefit from a retuned brake booster and amended rear suspension bushes that are now 20 percent stiffer than before.

There are also subtle but important styling enhancements, both inside and out, which  add extra visual appeal to 15MY.

Outside there’s the arrival of new ten-spoke forged alloy wheel designs, available in a variety of finishes and saves almost seven kilos in weight versus the standard wheel.

The global market introduction of 15MY sports cars begins in Q3 of 2014, with more details on market-specific pricing and options available in due course. 


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