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L.A. Auto Show 2016: Aston Martin Vanquish S Super GT car

L.A. Auto Show 2016: Aston Martin Vanquish S Super GT car
Aston Martin is going forward while looking backward with its Vanquish S, a carbon-laden, rear-wheel-drive supercar powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine. (Aston Martin)
What is it?

British car maker Aston Martin has a new flagship. The Vanquish S Super GT, the second generation in the modern Vanquish line, is the company's most powerful touring car.

Why it matters

Aston Martin doesn't sell a lot of its specialty vehicles, but it sells them for a lot of money. The company built only 100 2015 Vantage GTs, but they went like hotcakes at $325,000 each. They did something similar with their Zagato-bodied 2016 Vanquish — selling all 99 they made at about $700,000 each. The Super GT version of the Vanquish is a full production model, but it should move quickly, too.

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What’s new

Aston has boosted the output of its V12 engine, added carbon fiber bits, and re-tuned its Techtronic III transmission to deliver faster shifts and its suspension to deliver more responsive handling. And that new quad exhaust should sound heavenly at redline.

The competition

Aston Martin customers, whether they're buying a Vanquish, Vantage or James Bondian DB11, are quirky customers who want a two-door, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car with the performance and luxury of a Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari or Porsche -- but insist on driving something that's not a Mercedes, Ferrari or Porsche. So the company will be competing here with those brands, but also with fellow outliers McLaren and Lamborghini.

The details

The Vanquish S will be powered by Aston Martin's naturally aspirated V12 engine, a 6-liter monster that makes 580 horsepower (up from 568, and a new high figure for this model) and 465 pound feet of torque. The company says it will go zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 201 mph. Aston will offer the Vanquish S, starting in mid-December, at $294,950.

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