Everyone agrees: Aston Martins are gorgeous. They are also expensive and fast. And usually lacking in cabin space and complete reliability. With the V-8 Vantage, which goes on sale here in January, Ford's boutique brand moves a little closer to the shopping mall. Not that far, mind, as production is limited to 3000 cars a year and the price will be about $110,000. As with all gorgeous and expensive things, whether that represents value depends on your priorities—and your bank balance.
The British answer to the Porsche 911 is $10,000 cheaper than anticipated in an earlier story ( C/D, April 2005) but still costs $30,000 more than the Carrera S that can beat its performance.
In a former life, Aston Martin chief executive Ulrich Bez was responsible for developing the 1994 Porsche 911 (the 993). Bez plays down the comparison with the Carrera, pointing out that it's "impossible for these cars to be the same price. We will make 3000 a year. Porsche makes 30,000."
Therefore, you can rejoice in the more exclusive machine seen here that shares almost everything—other than the V-12 engine—with the $164,500 Aston Martin DB9. Bez and his team have devised a clever aluminum architecture that can be produced in several sizes. The V-8 Vantage is arranged with the heavy components as low as possible within the wheelbase, which is 5.5 inches shorter, achieving a balanced 49/51-percent front-to-rear weight distribution.
The 4.3-liter V-8 engine—Jaguar-based but built by Aston to its own specification, including dry-sump lubrication—sits behind the front-axle line. The six-speed manual gearbox, from Graziano in Italy, is located at the rear, just ahead of the differential.
Bez calls the V-8 Vantage a "front-mid engine" car and is sure this configuration is the most appropriate for the smallest Aston Martin. It has plenty of space for two people (there's no pretense of back seats for this one) and reasonable luggage space on a ledge behind the seats and in the trunk, which is accessed through a hatchback.
The accommodations and the platform components shared with the DB9 are advantages of this layout, but the real plus is in the driving characteristics. The V-8 Vantage does everything you would expect a proper sports car to do. It is responsive, agile, and stiffly sprung. Well-judged damping keeps body movement in check. Sharp bumps shake up your insides, but on a typically undulating British country lane this Aston keeps its poise and doesn't run out of suspension travel.
As you set off, the steering feels heavy and reluctant to move away from straight-ahead, but as the speed builds, the weighting becomes just right. Through corners fast and slow the handling is resolutely neutral. The V-8 Vantage is beautifully balanced.
The 380-hp engine is enough to give a thrilling ride, even if it is outhorsed these days by a number of sedans and upscale sports coupes. Zero to 60 mph should take about 4.8 seconds or a half-second or so longer than a Carrera S's time. Eighty-five percent of the V-8's 302 pound-feet of torque is available from 1500 rpm, which makes for easy and smooth acceleration in any gear. But there is a notable step up in power delivery around 3500 rpm and in sound quality at 5000. Then it makes a glorious crackling noise, like a serious race car, that at lower revs is subdued by a flap in the exhaust system to meet noise regulations.
The gearshift, with its stubby stick and crisp movements, is good, save for the occasional difficulty of engaging first from rest. The brakes, which have Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers, need a hefty push on the pedal to demonstrate their undoubted effectiveness. A more progressive pedal would aid smoother, gentle braking.
Anyone familiar with the DB9 will notice that major parts of the V-8's interior are carried over from the bigger car. The sharply raked windshield is the same, so are the seats, the center stack, the switchgear, and the hard-to-read, finely scaled instruments. The intention had been for the V-8 Vantage to have cloth seat centers and door trim, but the initial production cars will have leather standard, like the DB9. And whereas the DB9 has a choice of wood veneers for the deep-sloping center of the fascia, the V-8 Vantage is finished with aluminum and dark gray plastic.
The doors have the same inner structure as the DB9's, but the windows are narrower and have quarter-panels with the mirrors mounted on horizontal brackets from the frame. That is to improve visibility, but the truth is that only forward vision is good and the driver can't see the car's extremities. In this respect, the V-8 Vantage has sacrificed some practicality for style, but sports cars do that, don't they?
You can't escape the beauty of this car, and it drives as well as it looks. No problems showed up in our 300-mile drive of a preproduction car, which suggests—and we say this tentatively—that Aston's build quality might have improved. So if you find the V-8 Vantage irresistible (as we did) and have $110,000 of disposable cash (we don't, sadly), there is nothing for it but to get in line. Delivery dates for some countries already extend to 2007—and by then there will also be a V-8 Vantage roadster to confuse your choice.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 3-door coupe
ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $110,000
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 261 cu in, 4280cc
Power (SAE net): 380 bhp @ 7000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 302 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 102.4 in Length: 172.6 in Width: 73.5 in Height: 49.4 in
Curb weight: 3500 lb
PERFORMANCE RATINGS (MFR'S EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 10.5 sec
Top speed (drag limited): 175 mph
PROJECTED FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city driving: 13 mpg
EPA highway driving: 20 mpg
This is an article about the model Aston Martin Vantage
2017 Aston Martin V8, V12 Vantage S get wings thanks to F1 tie-up
Two brand-new special edition Red Bull Racing models have been revealed ahead of their official unveiling, planned for this year’s opening round of the 2017 Formula One season in Melbourne. This time, though, thanks to a new relationship, they’re not Renaults but Aston Martins.
Due to make their public debut at the 2017 Australian...
The 8 denotes the number of cylinders under the bonnet. The GT12 had, you guessed it, 12 cylinders – but it also had one other large number on the spec sheet: the price. That car cost a cool £250,000, while the GT8 costs a more reasonable (but only comparatively) £165,000.
Not quite. The V8’s been massaged to produced an extra 10bhp, for a 440bhp total, and there’s 361lb ft to help haul you up ...
The day has arrived: I've sold my Aston Martin V8 Vantage. My famous bumper-to-bumper warranty companion is gone, lost to the world, and now officially owned by someone else. This means two things. First, it's time for me to total up exactly what I spent to own it. And second, the people in the Aston Martin PR department can finally break out that bottle of champagne they've been saving up.
One-off Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster revealed
Aston Martin’s bespoke tailoring service has created a one-off Vantage GT12 Roadster, revealing the car this morning at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
A one-off customer commission completed by Q by Aston Martin, the GT12 Roadster is said to take the original Vantage GT12 Coupe’s hardcore ethos, adding in “the visceral thrill of open-top...
It's not a new car. And that makes it a better car.
The 565 hp V12 isn't new. The body looks the same. There aren't changes in the suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, or tires. Even the gearbox is the same, except it's also very different.
Aston Martin has only ever offered the V12 Vantage S with a seven-speed single clutch automated manual from Graziano. The 2017 V12 Vantage S has that same g...
2017 Aston Martin Vantage GTS Is US-Only Model
After announcing that the V12 Vantage S will get a 7-speed manual transmission, the British sportscar maker has now confirmed plans to truncate their V8-powered Vantage US line-up into a single model for 2017.
Aston Martin has revealed the upcoming GT8 variant, a race-inspired limited edition much like the earlier GT12. Only 150 will be built – 50 more than the 12-cylinder sibling. And like the GT12, none of those will be coming to North America, either.The car has already been offered to select customers, with a sketch depicting the car but without finalized photos, as the manufacturer wanted to keep t...
A dogleg seven-speed manual gearbox connected a V12 in Aston's best looking body. That's a win.
Underlining its commitment to building exceptional sports cars that appeal to the most discerning enthusiasts, Aston Martin has ushered in its 17MY range by offering the sensational Aston Martin V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission.
True icons of pure performance blessed with exceptional agility, ...
Aston Martin has been one of the leading names in the British auto industry for quite some time now and has established quite a reputation based on the excellence of design, high quality and the fact that each and every automobile is exclusively hand built. However, some cars have been criticized in the recent past as having been produced below the standard that fans of Aston Martin have been used...
It's not hard to see why the V8 Vantage has been such a massive success for Aston Martin. Just look at it. It remains one of the most perfectly proportioned cars available and it's also a good bet as a used proposition, with better quality control at the high tech Gaydon plant. Sometimes the solution to a problem is so apparent with the benefit of hindsight that one wonders why it proved such a th...
Hardcore Brit gets name change after Porsche claims ownership of GT3 badge.
This means war. A month ago, Aston Martin unveiled its race-inspired, road-going V12 Vantage, christened GT3. This week, it has emerged that the Gaydon firm has been forced to take a chisel to that GT3 badge, replacing it with one reading 'GT12'.
Why? Because Porsche.
The German manufacturer claims it has exclusive ...
Aston Martin revealed the first details of its most potent and uncompromising Vantage to date: the track-inspired Vantage GT3 special edition.
With production strictly limited to just 100 examples, the new model combines all of Aston Martin's learning from its years of sports car competition around the globe to produce its most performance focused road-going Vantage.
Equipped with a new iteratio...
The crazy and the cool were never so damn good
It's the choice that dreams are made of. Before us are two cars that inspire shaky hands and moist palms. They each represent the pinnacle of performance from two world class brands, both offering a masterclass in horsepower and excess. They're priced most definitely in the 'serious' category, both hovering around the £150K mark with options. ...
The Aston Marin V12 Vantage S is arguably one of the greatest Astons ever made – certainly it’s the best Aston currently on sale (sorry Vanquish). So naturally the firm wasn’t about to rest on its laurels, and is now building a V12 Vantage S Roadster as well.
Thanks to the success of the previous V12 Vantage Roadster, which was limited to just 100 examples and quickly sold out, ...
Aston Martin is opening up a new world of exhilarating driving excitement with the announcement of the hotly anticipated V12 Vantage S Roadster.When it arrives in markets around the world later this year the new sports car will become the luxury British marque's most potent, fastest and fastest-accelerating series production roadster to date and follows in the broad tyre tracks of the V12 Vantage ...
From the big Healeys of the 1960s to the TVRs of the 1990s, we Brits have always known how to put together a properly exciting front-engined, rear-drive two-seater. Well, maybe not how to put it together, but you know what I’m getting at. Italy has supercars; Britain has the Jaguar F-type R Coupe and Aston V12 Vantage S, and we’ve climbed high into the Pyrenees to find out which is best.
Further evidence that links the exposed female body and shiny cars underlines the sensuality and attractive ladies luxury on four wheels. Blonde Andrea Brezovicova & Aston Martin Vantage it behooves greatly.
Andrea comes from Czech Republic, city Hranice na Morave. It holds the title Miss summer 2013 , which makes it ranked among "Sexy iGirls" and came before the lens of photographer Robert N...
Aston's least costly car is also its best.
Aston Martin’s V-8 Vantage is the company's least expensive car, but it looks a lot like its V-12–engined big brothers, the DB9 and the DBS. Although only car nerds can distinguish which current Aston is which, the Vantage's short overhangs, taut lines, and absence of gratuitous scoops and fins make it the best-looking of the bunch. Even in DBR9 racing g...
Among the gray bridge pylons blaze of orange gem in the form of ultra exclusive Aston Vantage N400 him. The special edition celebrating the victory on the N24 Ring in 240 numbered copies, and only 40 of them in the paint Karussell Orange.
When you combine the brands of Aston Martin and Zagato you're setting the scene for some fairly major expectations.
You might think back to that original collaboration from the early 1960s, the DB4 GT Zagato, a superb concoction of style and menace wrapping thoroughbred British engineering; Jim Clark sublimely drifting '2 VEV' at Goodwood. Then there's the V8 Zagato of 1985: I've not driven one, ...
Normally, when it comes to cars, it’s hard to get excited about anything as mundane as a button. But in the Prodrive Aston Martin V8 Vantage, one button in particular becomes something of an obsession. The soul stirring name, head turning styling, mouth watering construction and a spec’ sheet that’ll impress your 911-driving mates all play second fiddle to one little alloy disc on the steering col...
The terms "Aston Martin" and "inexpensive" have very rarely occupied space in the same sentence in years past. However, the British automaker appears to be making something of an attempt to change that. At a starting price of $99,900, the just-announced Vantage GT, which is scheduled to make its proper debut later this week at the New York Auto Show, is the first Aston Martin sports car in recent ...
Pure, unadulterated fun is what lies at the heart of the new V8 Vantage N430. Honed on the track to excel on the road, N430 - available in Coupe or Roadster form - boasts a power hike to 436 PS at 7,300 rpm that brings its output up to that of the spirited V8 Vantage S.
Ian Minards, Director of Product Development at Aston Martin, said of the new car: "N430 is all about bringing track-honed excit...
Aston Martin is taking sports car performance to extremes with the announcement of the new V12 Vantage S.
The new car replaces the outgoing V12 Vantage in markets around the world and, with the exception of the One-77 hypercar, arrives as the fastest road-going Aston Martin yet offered.
Providing the most visceral yet engaging sports car experience in the British luxury car maker's current range...