Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 5 years ago
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The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time

Has Aston Martin ever made a bad-looking car (no one mention the Cygnet)? We don't think so, and to mark the first pictures and information of the new Vanquish S we've pulled together the cream of Aston S models

Remind me later

1. 2017 Vanquish S

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

The latest Aston S is a Vanquish shaped with sharper angles and upgrades to the engine, chassis and aerodynamics. Power is boosted by 27bhp to 592bhp and the legendary V12 stays normally-aspirated. Freer-breathing intakes are partly behind the increase, Aston says.

Faster shifts and greater low-speed refinement come thanks to revised gearbox software, and the chassis is tauter in its sport modes than that of the standard Vanquish. At the back is a new exhaust, and you just know that the noises coming from the four exits are going to be sublime.

2. 1967 DBS

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

Let’s take it back to the start, as Coldplay once whinged. Not the start of Aston Martin, but the first of its models to emphasise the S that would become so significant for the brand. In 1967 the company built the DBS to replace the DB6, not foreseeing that demand for the latter would continue into 1970.

The first DBS marked a radical change in styling direction to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. Initially it used the then-familiar 4.0-litre straight-six used in the DB6, but to separate this and the DB6 more effectively a 5.4-litre V8 was developed, with an extra 40bhp. Here is the genesis of the S model’s extra performance.

3. 2013 Rapide S

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

Squeezing four doors and extra length into the famously beautiful Aston Martin frame was not easy. The Rapide is hardly the prettiest Aston ever built, but looks aren’t why it’s on this list. It took luxury and practicality to new levels for the brand, giving the well-heeled a car in which their children could join them. Or their golf buddies.

It’s no slouch, either, with a 552bhp V12 and a 203mph top speed – if your rear passengers don’t start screaming at you first. And when it sounds as good as it does, you’ll definitely want to use the loud pedal.

4. 2009 DBS Volante

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

Moving towards convertibles was natural progression for Aston. It’s a brand focused on noise and style, and what better way to enjoy that V12 symphony than with the roof down? Plus, when you leave your villa in the south of France you’ll obviously want nothing but clear sky above you. The DBS Volante could be the perfect Aston Martin mix.

The roof could be opened and closed at up to 30mph in an impressive 14 seconds, but we’re more interested in the rear-mounted manual gearbox that came as standard. Even the 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo can take a back seat (there are two of them), at least until you get to the beach.

5. 2014 V12 Vantage S

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

If ever bonnet vents could make us weak at the knees, these would be the ones. That long nose made so famous by the compact V8 version was somehow made to house a storming V12, and the Lord saw that it was good. As a more extreme replacement for the V12 Vantage, the S had 565bhp and was this year offered with a seven-speed dog-leg manual gearbox. Because racecar.

The V12 Vantage S is 15kg lighter than the non-S due to upgrades like carbon ceramic brakes and a better automatic gearbox. The company even added a new track-specific handling mode for the adjustable chassis dynamics system. At the helm you can reach 205mph, and you know you want to.

6. 2004 Vanquish S

Aston Martin - The 6 Best Aston Martin S Models Of All Time - Blog

This list wouldn’t be complete without a look back at one of the prettiest cars Aston has ever built; the original Vanquish S. Impossibly beautiful from any front angle you want to pick, its curvaceous lines barely hid the extra potential underneath. With 5.9 litres of V12 magic on tap the uprated Vanquish had 520bhp at 7000rpm – a 60bhp rise on the non-S.

Luxury was taken up a notch with hand-stitched leather throughout the interior. Buyers could choose to add occasional-use rear seats or not, and, as funny as it sounds now, sat-nav was made standard. Like all modern Aston S-cars, top speed smashed 200mph, but half the time owners most likely just preferred to park them up to admire them.