Aston Martin has announced details of the new Rapide S and Vanquish. Both are set to benefit from a raft of improvements, including a faster 0 to 62mph time, new eight-speed geabox and improved efficiency.
The ZF Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox is responsible for most of the improvements. Gear changes happen in just 130 milliseconds, allowing the Rapide S and Vanquish to go from 0 to 62mph in 4.2 and 3.6 seconds, respectively – half second faster than their predecessors.
Besides making the Vanquish the fastest accelerating production Aston Martin ever, CO2 emissions have been reduced by to 298g/km. The Rapide S spews out 300g/km. Fuel economy for both cars is now 31mpg – an 11 per cent improvement.
The 6.0-litre V12 in the Vanquish benefits from a three bhp increase to 568bhp, while the Rapide S gets two extra, bringing the total to 552bhp. The increase in power (plus an extra 10Nm torque) helps both cars reach the 200mph club for the first time.
Other new additions include uprated dampers that improve stiffness by 15 per cent at the front and 35 per cent at the rear. Larger front brakes have been fitted to the Rapide S. A new steering ECU is said to add a more ‘precise steering response’.
A new, lighter ten-spoke alloy wheel, availability of the Diavolo Red on the V12 Zagato and various new interior and exterior trim options represent the aesthetic changes.
Aston Martin product development director Ian Minards commented: “We have a long and successful technical partnership with ZF and so it was a natural step for us to adapt and integrate their world class 8HP transmission in to our transaxle layout.
“This has been a detailed piece of work involving careful consideration of many technical parameters including gear ratios, software integration and shifting strategies. This has delivered a significant step change in both vehicle performance and economy whilst preserving the unique Aston Martin V12 driving experience.”
The five-door Rapide S and three-door Vanquish and its drop-top Volante variant will be rolled out in Q3 of 2014. A UK price and on-sale date will be announced ‘in due course’.