The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish is a hyper-luxury, high-performance grand-touring coupe, and it looks every cent worth its $280,000 price tag.
That dramatic shape is due to its carbon fiber body shell. The high-tech, lightweight material allows sculptural elements that would be impossible in steel or aluminum, like the sharply creased side strake or the through-trunk wing/spoiler. Carbon accents at the front lip spoiler, side mirrors, sills, and diffuser further lend the Vanquish a performance air.
Of course, the 565-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 under the hood does a great job of boosting the performance vibe, too. The exhaust note is fantastic, almost unearthly when the engine is wound out, and the wide, low-slung stance of the Vanquish backs up its growl. Handling, however, isn't a first priority for the Vanquish--it's clearly biased more towards touring than sporting. Not that that's a flaw; it's simply Aston's choice. The six-speed automatic transmission can be manually shifted...