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Aston Martin's range-topping GT, the Vanquish S, is nearing the end of its run as the British marque's top dog, and to give it a proper sendoff, a special edition will be built. The Vanquish S Ultimate Edition, limited to just 40 cars, will be finished in a model-specific Ultimate Black paint. Inside, the all-black cabin will feature dark chrome accents, exclusive leather and stitching treatments, and of course, the requisite special-model plaques informing the occupants which number of the forty cars they're riding in. The Vanquish S powertrain is unchanged, and given that it's good for 200 mph, it's not as if it needed anything. Pricing will also be in line with the standard Vanquish S.

In other news relating to the Vanquish, Aston Martin's Works Service division has announced the availability of a kit that will allow existing customers to have their cars converted from the standard paddle-shifter setup to a true stick-shift manual gearbox. Pricing for that bit of surgery starts at £13,250 + VAT.

[Source: Aston Martin]

Aston Martin Celebrates Flagship Vanquish Model

Aston Martin has announced two exciting developments for both new and existing customers of the company's flagship Vanquish S.

Just 40 examples of a new Vanquish S Ultimate Edition will be handcrafted at the company's Newport Pagnell production facility in Buckinghamshire. The model represents a luxurious and unique limited edition befitting the Vanquish S's status as the ultimate Aston Martin and also celebrates the skilled craftsmanship of the team working at Newport Pagnell.

The Ultimate Edition will be available by special request to customers wishing to celebrate the last of a significant car in Aston Martin's history. Initial feedback suggests the whole allocation of this special edition will be sold within weeks of launch.

The Ultimate Edition centres on changes to the Vanquish S's renowned colour and trim. On the exterior, these changes include a unique 'Ultimate Black' – a striking new colour which will only be available with this car. Inside, the Vanquish S cabin is trimmed in a semi-aniline leather, with coarse stitching, leather headlining and black chrome finish interior fittings. Each car will also be fitted with personalised sill plaques denoting the limited edition number.

The Vanquish S Ultimate Edition retains all performance capabilities of the standard Vanquish S – and accordingly its position as the fastest ever production Aston Martin, capable of a top speed in excess of 200mph (321km/h). No additional charge will be made for the Ultimate Edition, available only with the 2+2 seating arrangement, priced at £182,095.

For existing Vanquish customers, Aston Martin's world renowned Works Service department are to offer a new transmission conversion for owners of the company's flagship model, adding to their reputation for an unparalleled level of personalisation.

Serving as a further example of the depth of bespoke services available via Works Service, existing Vanquish owners will now be able to order a transmission conversion from the car's existing Auto Shift Manual (ASM) system, to a conventional stick-shift manual.

Working in conjunction with the company's Special Vehicles Operations team from Gaydon, Works Service has developed the system over the last 12 months, before previewing the conversion to selected Vanquish customers.

Kingsley Riding-Felce, Director, Customer Care and Works Service, said: "This project underlines our commitment to adapting to customer requests, whether they are for Aston Martins from the past or modern cars such as the Vanquish S."

Since its launch in 2001, the Vanquish has been equipped with fingertip controlled, Formula 1-style paddles which enables almost imperceptible gear changes in under 250 milliseconds. Advanced electronics also permit the close ratio six speed manual transmission to be programmed to operate automatically.

Drivers with a preference for a conventional stick-shift transmission will now have the option of this new Works Service-only modification which is available to order immediately, with prices commencing from £13,250 (+ VAT).

Established as a modern classic, the Vanquish's muscular 2+2 epitomises Aston Martin's core values of power, beauty and soul. It is the ultimate sports car for the discerning owner. Since its launch, the Vanquish has proved to be a huge success for Aston Martin with over 2000 cars delivered to customers around the world. In 2002 the Vanquish graced the screens of millions, starring alongside 007 in the James Bond film 'Die Another Day.'

Located at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, Aston Martin Works Service offers a factory-backed workshop with the experience necessary to care for any Aston Martin or Lagonda with unparalleled skill and attention to detail. With more than 40 years experience, the Works Service team offers accident repair, servicing, maintenance and even full restoration capabilities to Aston Martin and Lagonda owners. In 2006 more than 2000 customers called upon Works Service expertise, a number which is expected to be surpassed again in 2007.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have an 02' Vanquish, paddle shift. The engine warning light (amber) has been on. I took it to a dealer and they said it was due to"intermittant misfires" whatever that means..the engine light is still on. Any suggestions?
      • 8 Years Ago
      #8 (seth) - The fact that Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Formula One racing, Champ Car racing, and so on, use paddle shifters should leave no doubt as to its performance superiority. Two often-repeated criticisms of paddle shifters that I have heard are:

      1) "I don't need raw performance, and I would rather have a smooth ride with smooth manual gear shifts."
      This criticism is unfounded. Even the entry-level Honda Fit has the computer logic to sense whether the driver is doing full-throttle acceleration, just coasting along, or anywhere in between. Based on this throttle input, the computer adjusts the gear shifts accordingly.

      2) "A manual stick is more fun."
      What's fun to one person, may be tedious to another. Each driver has to ask himself, "Is it fun to control a manual stick shift on a twisty canyon road? And is it fun to control a manual stick shift in heavy traffic?" Here, you have to be your own judge.

      One other consideration would be the higher purchase cost of a paddle shifter, although most critics don't bring this up for some strange reason. I suppose, if you're buying a Lamborghini, then the cost increase is minimal compared to the rest of the car.

      Hope this helps.

      • 8 Years Ago
      clutch ftw! seriously though, paddle shifters used in cart, enzo, are for absolute fastest track times. when creating a car that's fun to drive (read:grand touring) you need to have the stick option. most professional racers andretti incl keep sticks at home.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #11 (James): To summarize the information you gave, the Vanquish had a second-rate paddle shifter that did not measure up to the likes of the Enzo, the Veyron, the Murcielago, etc. If that is the case, then the solution is simple: Rather than going back to a manual shifter, Aston Martin should offer a better paddle shifter that measures up. That's progress.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wasn't going to mention this, but #2 (Erik) changed my mind. The Enzo Ferrari used paddle shifters. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 uses paddle shifters. The Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 uses paddle shifters. Formula One Racing uses paddle shifters. Champ Car Racing uses paddle shifters.

      Anyone who thinks a paddle shifter is not good enough for his Aston Martin, has more money than brains.

      • 8 Years Ago
      It's highly ironic that A-M is offering a stick-shift conversion since they were among the first to offer Automatic shifts in high-performance GT cars, beginning IIRC with the DB-7.