After twelve years Aston Martin has unveiled its modern interpretation of the iconic V8 Vantage. The Vantage may not be the quintessential Aston Martin – a place already taken up by the DB series – nor is it the fastest car in the line-up – a position already claimed by the ludicrous Valkyrie. Instead, the Vantage is the most popular Aston Martin, and as the best-selling model in the British producer’s line-up, it is a heavily anticipated car. Over the years it has come to represent the ideal blend of luxury and performance with subliminal styling cues, and sound.
If you’d ask any kid to draw the silhouette of a race car for the road, you’d probably get something quite close to that of the new Vantage. Staying true to the traditional sharp-nosed, flat-tailed bullet shape, the Vantage has truly become a contemporary car, boasting a remarkably minimalistic design. Keeping up to date with modern style, the Vantage now features a single strip rear taillight, a feature seen on a variety of sports models, from the Porsche 911 to the Bugatti Chiron. Aston Martin has however added their own touch to it, curving the strip over the rear deck lid to the give the car an aggressive and wide stance. The new front headlights are reminiscent of the latest DB11, but have been sufficiently personalised for the car, and are said to have been inspired by the car Aston custom-designed for the last James Bond movie, Spectre. The roof of the Vantage has a similar ‘double-bubble’ shape of the beloved Vantage Zagato, and looks remarkably well on the car in combination with the bold rear diffusers.
Aerodynamic performance was central to the Vantage design concept: the front splitter directs airflow underneath the car, where a system of fences channels cooling air where it is needed, and also ensures the rear diffuser is fed with clean airflow. The design of the diffuser creates an area of low pressure air, while simultaneously preventing turbulence generated by the rear wheels from disrupting the flow of air exiting centrally from beneath the rear of the car. Together with the new side gills, which have been integrated into the body surface and bleed air pressure out from the front wheel arches, and the pronounced upswept rear deck lid, the Vantage generates a significant level of downforce – a first for a core production Aston Martin model.
Under the hood you’ll find a by 4.0-litre, 685Nm twin-turbo V8 mated to eight-speed ZF transmission. That’s enough to produce a whopping 503 horsepower – all in car that has a dry weight of merely 1530 Kg. Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible for optimal centre-of-gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, the high performance engine will do the 0-100 km/h 3.6 seconds, and keeps the fun going until 310 km/h. For the first time on an Aston Martin, the new Vantage also features an Electronic Rear Differential. This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car’s behaviour, and react accordingly to direct the engine’s power to the relevant wheel. This makes the car feel much more composed both in terms of its straight-line stability and its cornering performance. The Vantage also employs a sophisticated suite of integrated electronic systems to offer maximum control and driver enjoyment. These include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring.
Besides the exterior and the drivetrain, the interior has been heavily reworked too. Many Aston Martins are notorious for having an outdated and boring interior, but that is no longer true for the Vantage. The interior has been heavily reworked to mould comfortably and stylishly around the passengers, with an array of leather, Alcantara, and carbon fibre options available to customize the car to the owner. A high waist interior theme and lower driving position creates a more immersive driving experience, and contributes to significant gains in occupant space and headroom, compared with the outgoing Vantage.
First deliveries of the new Vantage are planned for the second quarter of 2018. The price sits comfortably at €154.000.
I am disappointed, oh dear that front. Take the Aston Martin badges off and one would never guess it is an Aston. Unsuccessfully execution of numerous German and Japanese design cues, an original and inspired design from Aston would have been appreciated.