2014 Aston Martin Vanquish vs. The Hocking Hills Review

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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

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