Posted Dec 22nd 2014 12:00PM
Driveline Updates Make For A Really Special Package, But Is That Enough?
There's something really special about an Aston Martin Vanquish. It's not my favorite model in the British automaker's range – I'm more of a Vantage guy, if I'm being choosy. But every time I drive one, I feel like I'm driving a piece of royalty, nevermind the US$300,000 price tag. It's stunning to look at, even in the rather drab shade of gray pictured here. It makes an absolutely killer noise, the free-breathing V12 firing from beneath the hood and out the back with a truly intoxicating sound. And from behind the wheel, it feels like a truly proper grand tourer. Well, almost.
The one major hiccup with the Vanquish I drove last year was its six-speed automatic transmission. In a word, it was awful. Really jarring shifts, delayed manual control through the paddles, and really, just a hugely misaligned piece of an otherwise excellent puzzle. So I was happy to hear that for 2015, Aston Martin had fitted a new, ZF-sourced, eight-speed unit – you know, the transmission being used by automakers like BMW, Jaguar, Audi, and many more. I normally have zero issues with this silky gearbox. But in the Vanquish, it wasn't smooth sailing like I expected – it feels like it still needs some final calibrations. But that doesn't make this car any less special.