With the arrival of 15 model year cars in markets around the world over the next few months, Aston Martin has revealed details of a number of revisions to its updated Vanquish and four-door Rapide S.
For 2015, both cars will feature a new Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox, which marks the first time that this gearbox has been incorporated into a transaxle layout. The brand’s engineers have worked with technical partner, ZF, to develop the eight-speed technology and integrate it into Aston Martin’s VH architecture.
The 0-60 mph times for both the Vanquish and Rapide S are reduced: The Vanquish drops from 4.1 seconds to 3.6 seconds and the Rapide S is capable of the same sprint in 4.2 seconds – also down by a full half second from its previous figure of 4.7 seconds. These gains confirm Vanquish as the quickest accelerating series production Aston Martin in the company’s 101-year history.
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 ten per cent – down to 298 g/km for the Vanquish and 300 g/km for the Rapide S – while economy is improved to 31 mpg, on average an 11% improvement, on the EU’s extra urban cycle for both the Vanquish and the Rapide S under the same test conditions.
Combined with a revised final drive, the ratio changes also mean both cars are, for the first time, now capable of top speeds of 200 mph or above.
A reduction in exhaust gas back pressure as a result of ratio adjustment and other changes also helps peak power, which rises by up to three bhp to a peak of 568 bhp in the Vanquish, and two bhp, 552 bhp, in the Rapide S. Peak torque is up by 10 Nm, too, to 630 Nm at 5,500 rpm in all the cars.
The new eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic gearbox is three per cent lighter than its predecessor, and is also packaged more efficiently occupying precisely the same space within the car yet adding two further ratios over the outgoing transmission.
Away from the gearbox, each model gets the latest Bosch engine management system. The new system receives its first application in an Aston Martin that combines the AM29 V12 engine and an automatic gearbox.
Other changes include uprated dampers on the new Vanquish that are 15% stiffer at the front and a full 35% 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 claimed to be 20% stiffer than before.
There are also minor styling changes, both internally and externally. On the outside there are new ten-spoke forged alloy wheel designs that are said to save seven kilos in weight versus the standard wheel. Inside, the cars get new leather trim colour options.
Source: Aston Martin