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Swede Sensations

Taking the Volvo S80 D5out for a spin in the Scandinavian hinterlands

Author Piet van Niekerk

cargallery1

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2014 ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH
The bells and whistles

Starting price: $279,995

Perks: Taking inspiration from the smartphone world, the car’s infotainment and climate-control systems are outfitted with “haptic feedback” switches that respond to commands with a subtle vibration through their glass surfaces. Less subtle is the vibration you can achieve with the bespoke 1,000-watt, 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Engine: The 6-liter V-12 can unleash 565 horses at 6,750 rpm, making the Vanquish second in power to only the limited-edition One-77 supercar among Aston Martin’s production fleet. Acceleration from zero to 60 takes a mere 4 seconds; top speed is 183 mph.

Performance: The electric power steering (a first for Aston Martin) offers tip-top responsiveness and allows for a lighter hand on the wheel. Also upping the nimbleness factor: generous deployment of carbon fiber body panels, which are lighter and stronger than their steel counterparts.

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