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Aston Martin Vanquish to become hardcore V12 supercar in 2018

Aston Martin is developing the most hardcore incarnation of theVanquish yet seen in a bid to push the grand tourer model towards the realms of supercardom.

The rear-driven model will be launched in 2018, after the upcoming newV8 Vantage, with a higher performance focus than its grand tourer forebears. Much of this boost will come from the turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, which will be ramped up so it produces considerably more than the 600bhp offered by the V12 DB11.

This will edge the next Vanquish away from traditional luxury rivals such as the Bentley Continental GT (itself soon to be replaced) and towards sharper performance offerings such as theFerrari 812 Superfast.

Aston Martin engineers have been using aDB11 mule to test the next Vanquish's underpinnings for several months but, since the start of October, their tests at the Nürburgring have included the fitment of new bodywork.

As shown by the pictures, the front lights are more curved and softer in their design than those of the DB11. But the car's front bumper features openings, hinting at the car's added pace. At the rear of the mule, sleek tail-lights are hidden by covers.

A lip spoiler has also been fitted, suggesting the final car's bodywork will generate significantly more downforce than the DB11 can offer. The car also sits on 10-spoke wheels, which look larger than the 20in ones fitted to the DB11, ahead of big diameter vented discs with six-piston calipers.

The Vanquish will use its own model of the DB11's shape, with the intention to also underpin the next Vantage. Due to its harder consciousness, the Vanquish's underpinnings will be the maximum aggressive of the trio, as illustrated with the aid of the noticed improvement automobile, which actually sits decrease and corners with much less bodyroll than the DB11.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin's CEO, has emphasised the progress made with the new structure, telling Autocar that the cars it is spawning will help the brand shed "perceptions of old technology, old platforms and the question of whether we can survive as an independent manufacturer".

Aston Martin has been busy at work with its new range of upcoming cars, most of which are being developed under the body of sibling models. The most recent example is the V8 Vantage, which is due for launch later this year. It has recently been seen with production bodywork, but sightings earlier this year were of a 'cut and shut' DB11 mule.

The company's decision to shift the Vanquish into supercar territory is part of a line-up blitz, where Aston Martin will also launch a mid-engined rival to the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S in 2021. Also planned is the DBX SUV in 2019, to be built at Aston Martin’s new factory in St Athan, Wales, and two Lagonda models: likely a saloon in 2020, followed by an SUV in 2022.

The new cars will sit beneath the brand's halo model, theValkyrie hypercar.

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