Aston Martin Vanquish: a day around Millbrook
With a birthday around Christmas, there is a danger you get a joint present, which, when growing up, I always thought it was a complete cop out.
However, this year, it was awesome. My other half asked me what I wanted and the response was a clear ‘I have no idea, why don’t we do something together’, which was obviously no help.
Yet December came and I opened a crisp, stiff white envelope bearing the famous wings and feathers of one of the most iconic and über cool brands ever: Aston Martin.
It was a two part gift – the first was a performance driving course around Millbrook with an Aston Martin of my choosing and the second was a car for an entire weekend, again of my choosing.
A couple of weeks ago I did the first part in an Aston Martin Vanquish, worth over £200k, around the famous proving ground, taking the car to 158mph on the mile straight and terrifying myself on the Alpine Course made famous by the crash in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
I shan’t bore you with exactly what the day consisted of; suffice to say the technology and capability of the car was amply and successfully demonstrated on skid pans, ABS brake testing surfaces, and simulated roads. The speed and distance to which the car can stop from 100mph to a standstill is astonishing.
The acceleration is something else as well. Burying my right foot in the deep plush carpet having activated the launch control was something you have to experience. Words don’t do it justice. I wasn’t expecting the power – it was like being violently pushed back into my seat as the car took off down the road.
I’ll sign off with the fact the instructor, a great guy called Andy Burgess, told me I was one of the best he’d ever seen on the simulated road circuit (and I did protest this too, but he did say he wasn’t patronising me).
It made the journey home in a 2.0 TFSI Audi a very subdued and calm experience without so much power available to me.
But with a DB9 Volante coming over the May Bank Holiday weekend – expect a further update.
If only life consisted of an Aston Martin every weekend.