's V12 Vanquish is a futurist's dream, inside and out.
One glimpse of the new $228,000 460-hp “supercar,” with its sculpted bonnet blending seamlessly into a radically sleek tail section, strongly suggests a vehicle ahead of its time.
claims it is, calling V12 Vanquish the “technology flagship” of Motor Co. But eight coats of paint conceal the proof.
V12 Vanquish is the first-ever production vehicle to feature carbon-wrapped foam as a structural component. Its A pillars consist of carbon fiber woven around polyurethane cores.
The foam contributes weight savings while the weaving technique increases the carbon's sturdiness. (Individual carbon fibers, if positioned carelessly, are subject to weakness akin to wood grain.)
Jointly developed by Nottingham University in the U.K. andResearch Laboratories in California's high-tech center of Cupertino, the unique A pillars sprung from an original plan to design braided fiber cross-members for a U.S. vehicle program.
Notably, the resulting architecture doesn't just secure the windshield, it provides significant rollover protection, Aston Martin says.
“You can actually hit it with a sledge hammer and you can't break it. It's so strong. And very, very light,” says Simon Rodd, operations manager of Aston Martin Lagonda of North America.
It's also prohibitively expensive. Fortunately for Aston Martin, its customers don't usually worry about cost.
So, is Ford just showing off? Yes and no, Mr. Rodd says.
“Ford debuts this technology with Aston Martin. We build a limited number of cars, they get experience. … Then maybe, later on, five years down the road or 10 years down the road, maybe we'll see Ford Tauruses made out of this very strong, very light material.”