After 250 miles of Monday, enduring exactly what most people expect of Ohio—dead-flat, straight pavement overpopulated with vigilant traffic enforcers—the sight of state highway 664 rolling into view through the windshield comes as a reward for good behavior. The kind of road that promises a workout, Route 664 slithers south out of Logan, carrying us toward the Hocking Hills and Car and Driver’s Midwestern driving roads of choice.
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By the time we’ve made the turn at the Lazy W airport, a Nissan Altima looms in the mirror, striving to catch up to our 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish, the brand’s elaborately detailed top-holer. Its driver tries to snag a cellphone pic, a mission that’s distracted many others during our five-hour slog from Ann Arbor. Cobalt-blue paint draws them like bees to roadside wildflowers. We’ve grown weary of the game, not to mention nervous about protecting this $300,000 car’s carbon-fiber bodywork from those charmed into inattentiveness.
A right-thumb poke at the S button low on the rectangular steering wheel (a $1020 option patterned after that on the limited-edition Aston One-77) puts the transmission into sport mode, and a bit of throttle turns sixth into third. The V-12 supplies a good amount of its 565 horsepower, and the Nissan disappears from the rearview mirror as expected.
Insert the sapphire-glass key fob into a slot in the middle of the dash. Press it home. It glows red and the V-12 fires with a quick surge of revs. Adding a bit of theater, the car powers its folding exterior mirrors outward, the nav display emerges from the dashtop, and, if you’ve parked with the Bang & Olufsen audio system still on, the tweeters rise. We turn onto Route 374. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by KEVIN A. WILSON
This review is about 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish vs. The Hocking Hills Review.