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 to. The Vantage is more than enough to restore faith in the brand.
The V8 Vantage is a fantastic car that is an absolute pleasure to drive. Reviewer after reviewer has failed to find a weakness in its makeup and so all of them have effectively determined that it ticks each and every box for the lucky owners. However, you might want to know a little more about this amazing model and so the information laid out below for you will tell you everything you need to know about the Vantage, from its stylish exterior right down to the suspension and brakes.
The performance of the this car is absolutely brilliant. Elegant and stylish, it looks the part and certainly drives like it too. Much of that is a result of the excellent and comprehensive testing program that was undertaken in the development phase of this model. This included high speed and cold weather testing to ensure the car was just as efficient and performed just as well under trying conditions. No other Aston Martin car has ever been tested to this degree before being released. There were 78 prototypes tried over 12,000 miles. It saw 48C in Dubai, -30C in Sweden and sped around the Nardo track in Italy. As such, the Vantage has seen the world, and it can help you to do the same.
The Vantage uses the unique and innovative Vertical Horizontal (or VH) architecture, and that actually helps to improve the performance of the car, thus inspiring it to go above and beyond expectation. The pressings, pressings and precision castings are all made of lightweight aluminum and the construction is second to none. Everything fits together with such accuracy that there are no weaknesses. Furthermore, the aerospace adhesives used for bonding and self piercing rivets used for fixing everything together mechanically leave absolutely no room for doubting its superiority. As everything works together so well, the performance is enhanced as a result. Light and nippy, the Vantage will exceed all expectations in this particular area. This beast of a car achieves 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and 0-100km in 5 seconds. For the smallest car in the Aston Martin range, it certainly is a powerful model.
The Vantage is a two seat roadster that would not look out of place cruising through the Tuscan countryside. Highly sophisticated and yet packing a contemporary appeal, the style of the car marked a departure from the old image that Aston Martin still seemed to carry with it. The craftsmanship and detailed features betray the fact that it is an Aston Martin but they also move the company into the 21st Century.
With a relatively long bonnet and minimal overhangs, the Vantage is perfectly proportioned and pleasing to the eye. There are no little annoying touches to spoil it though, as there are with so many other similar cars. The wide track creates the illusion of the rear wheels pushing outwards, which makes it look more powerful and highlights the quality of the bodywork, and yet it is as practical as it is stylish. The roadster and the hatchback do not normally go together at all but this functional little car manages to achieve just that.
The exterior bodywork is innovative and the car low in weight thanks to the incorporation of lightweight aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys and various composites as well as steel. This combination ensures that the car is very sturdy and protective as well as being visually appealing. All of this results in an instantly recognizable and sophisticated car. It looks beautiful from a distance, but the sleek lines, extensive detail and minimal clutter makes the car even more appealing up close. The interior of the Vantage is also incredibly stylish and that is discussed in detail a little further on.
The list of features that come as standard on the Vantage V8 is extensive and so it may take some time to go through them all. There are, of course, numerous safety features that have to be discussed but there are also convenience and entertainment features that also deserve a special mention because they seriously enhance the driving experience.
The safety features are a priority of the Vantage and are very comprehensive. As such, they effectively give the driver peace of mind that they can be completely safe no matter what happens on the road. There are dual front and side airbags incorporated into the dash and they will activate should you be involved in a collision. However, the mechanism is not as sensitive as some other similar cars so you can be confident that they will not blow up in your face should the front of the car simply touch a curb. Another safety feature as standard is the four wheel ABS system. With anti-lock brakes, driving in cold conditions may not be as nerve wracking as it would be in another similar car. The final safety features concern the safety of the car rather than of the driver. There is an inbuilt immobilizer and alarm, both of which have undergone rigorous testing and work incredibly well.
The other features of the Vantage will make your experience of the car much better. With power windows, power seats, power doors and power mirrors, you have the ability to tailor your experience to you. Everything moves quickly and easily so your comfort is assured from the second you sit in it. There is also a 160 watt audio system that comes complete with a CD player, navigation system and trip computer so the car is as hi-tech as it is traditional. Finally, for your comfort, there is automatic air conditioning and climate control. Combining the old fashioned Aston Martin feel with everything that the modern driver wants, you can have it all at your fingertips.
The fact that there is a three year unlimited miles warranty with the Vantage should tell you everything you need to know about the quality. Even though the Aston Martin models before this have been accused of being of a much lower quality that aficionados are used to, this model certainly makes the grade. The Vantage is of the highest quality and absolutely oozes style and functionality.
In addition to the extensive testing that was performed, and has been discussed under the heading of performance, the expertise invested in the Vantage is second to none. Although handmade vehicles have not been enough to guarantee Aston Martin quality in the past, this is not the case here. All niggles and minor faults were corrected via testing procedures, with 78 prototypes having come and gone before the final model was achieved. Everything was designed with quality in mind, from the incorporation of new technology right through to the visual appeal of the model.
In terms of the latest technology, the Vantage features electronic brake assist, ABS, positive torque control, stability control and stability control, all of which automatically work for your convenience, safety and enhanced driving experience. However, Aston Martin has focused on quality rather than quantity. These latest technologies are essential for improving the ride but there are none of the unnecessary elements that some car companies have incorporated to give them an advantage over the competition. This quality does not make the car more complex to handle but instead improves handling and contributes to its ease of use. In short, the quality of the Vantage could not be higher.
The engine and transmission of the Vantage V8 have been well thought out and contribute a lot to the best car out of Aston Martin for quite some time. With a 383 horsepower engine under the hood, the Vantage promises to be something special on paper but when you see how well it performs, how reliable it is and how much it improves the car then you really will want to try it out for yourself.
Taking the engine first, it is a quad overhead, 32 valve, 4.3 lit V8 engine that comes complete with variable inlet cam timing. It features 8 cylinders and has a 4300 capacity. If you understand this jargon then you should be suitably impressed about now. If not, the above points to the fact that the engine is very powerful and suits this particular sports car well as a result. It incorporates the best of the latest technology but still remains relatively low in emissions so it serves the environment well. The cam timing is particularly interesting because it is variable and thus improves the low end throttle response and efficient delivery of power, which is set at a maximum of 380bhp @ 7000rpm. The maximum torque, on the other hand, is 302lb ft @ 5000rpm.
The transmission is a six speed manual and incorporates rear wheel drive. It features a smooth shift action that is also incredibly quick so it can be used to the best possible effect for a great drive. It is linked to the engine via an aluminum torque tube and carbon prop-shaft, thus connecting the front and the rear of the car effectively and improving the handling as a result. This contributes to the smooth gear change and improves the performance of the engine and handling as a result.
The Vantage’s specs are impressive when viewed on paper, with the exception perhaps of the fuel economy. The Vantage has a length of 172.5”, a width of 73.5” and a height of 49.4”. The wheelbase is 102.4” and the curb weight is 3461lb. All of the above point to the fact that the Vantage is a compact and stylish but sturdy car that is anything but impractical. These dimensions, when combined with the car’s power, place it firmly in the sports car category rather than a model aspiring to be a sports car as some do. The one problem that is associated with the Vantage is the fuel economy. It takes unleaded and does approximately 12 miles per gallon in an urban area and 18 miles per gallon on the open highway. For a sports car, this is not that bad, but given how environmentally friendly the emissions of the car are and how much this has been emphasized, it could be better.
The suspension on the Vantage is phenomenal and featured double wishbone suspension, thus giving you that bit more control when you unleash its power. Although the double wishbone suspension is well known for its stabilizing qualities, it also has the added luxury of a rear spoiler to assist should the going get a little tough when you are out on the road with it. When combined, these two features really ensure that the car has a firm grip on the road. During the testing and development phase, the only time that the suspension was really tested was on tracks with plenty of loose and rough road whenever the speed was in excess of 100mph. With oil monotube dampers and an anti-roll bar, even when the road gets a little rough you are very unlikely to ever feel that you are going to lose control of the Vantage. It is a dream to drive, with precise movements and an intuitive feel that stems from the well designed wheel system. You can really have faith in it and enjoy the ride.
The brakes are reliable and incredibly sharp and come complete with ABS as standard so there is absolutely nothing to worry about whenever you need to use them. This had been one of the major niggles associated with the declining quality of previous Aston Martin models but the issue has been well and truly corrected here. It comes complete with ventilated 335mm disc brakes to ensure efficiency and the Brembo 4 piston calipers that clamp them assure drivers about their effectiveness as well. Well designed and rigorously tested, the brakes actually stop the car in 113 feet when traveling at 60mph. By anyone’s standards, that is impressive.
Although there have been complaints that Aston Martin has chosen either aesthetic style or comfort, you can find both here. The interior is highly stylish and very appealing but it is also incredibly comfortable. In truth, it is designed to ensure that you can enjoy every single trip in the Vantage, no matter how long or short a distance you are traveling.
The interior is completely kitted out in leather, but there are several combinations of different leathers and fabrics that you can choose from if you so wish. The idea is to tailor the interior to suit the individual’s wants and needs rather than providing what Aston Martin thinks ever driver wants. That is not to say that there is not a typical Aston Martin feature of the interior. There most definitely is and it comes in the form of the clean, sleek lines of the dashboard and the aluminum dials. This gives the car a perfect blend of the traditional and the contemporary so it is compatible with all tastes.
There is also a lovely surprise where the interior is concerned. Although the car only has two seats, there is a luggage shelf that is spacious and easily accessible. There is nothing complicated at all in the interior. Everything is where it should be, there are no unnecessary extras to confuse you, the design is well thought out and you could be forgiven for thinking that you are riding in the lap of luxury.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about the Aston Martin Vantage in one informative article. The Vantage truly is a great car and an absolute pleasure to drive. It inspires confidence and combines the best of traditional Aston Martin features with a modern and up to date appeal via the technology and aesthetics on board. The best car to come out of the Aston Martin mold for quite some time, it is most definitely an industry leader and will be very difficult to emulate in the future.
This is an article about the model Aston Martin Vantage
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