Representing the end of one generation and the beginning of another, the Vanquish S and DB11 bookend two generations of Aston Martin

It’s a curious thing. Aston Martin’s more than 100-year history has brought us many exceptional GTs and supercars, but rarely have two distinct generations been available simultaneously. Such is the rate of progress, the Vanquish S and DB11 represent the beginning and end of their respective generations, yet arrive at much the same place. Question is, as a driver’s car, would the DB11 actually represent progress? This is something we wanted to fathom in this twin test, and it’s the subject of our latest ‘evo car pictures of the week’ gallery.

One look at the spec sheet and you’ll notice the conundrum. The Vanquish S, featured the same basic, naturally aspirated 6-litre V12 utilised in one form or another since the DB7 first introduced it in 1999. Despite its supercar tag, the 443kW power output actually put it 4kW below its more comfort-oriented DB11 sibling, not to mention a huge disadvantage in torque.

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So the question we wanted to ask was could the Vanquish S, despite being based on fundamentally old technology, actually be a more entertaining drive than the very contemporary DB11?

The short answer was yes, but with the caveat that although the Vanquish S was the more thrilling car to drive, its narrower spread of ability did stop it being an altogether more rounded car.

The fact that these two cars were difficult to pick between did make one thing clear, though. The progress made by the Vanquish S from its original DB9 form over the best part of 13 years only reiterates how brilliant the next generation of Aston Martin models might become. With the Vanquish’s successor (which will return to the DBS classification) already teased, we won’t have to wait long to see what the Aston Martin supercar of the future will look like, either.