Since its humble introduction in 1951, the Vantage name has become one of the most iconic in automotive history and is synonymous with the Aston Martin brand. After 12 years of service as the firm’s best-selling model, the current Vantage is to be retired, and in its place rises a new face to carry the familiar designation.
Unveiled by CEO Dr Andy Palmer in the atrium of Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters, the new Vantage becomes the second model in the manufacturer’s second-century plans.
Starting with design, the new Vantage takes upon a more focussed form compared to its predecessor. The dramatic styling is made to give the Vantage a more muscular presence, while bold lines and flairs ensure the sports car gives the indication of the dynamic performance it’s capable of.
Aston Martin has ensured that both at the front and rear of the new Vantage, distinctive new design signatures help this incarnation stand out from those which have come before it, creating a strong individual identity.
While creating a spectacular-looking car is part of the Aston Martin allure, the design of the new Vantage also takes a purposeful, aerodynamic approach. For example, the front splitter is integral to influencing airflow underneath the car, cooling elements along the way but also ensuring a clean airflow reaches the rear diffuser. Low pressure created in this instance helps toward generating the necessary downforce to aid the Vantage stick to the tarmac.
New side gills, meanwhile, play their part in this artistry of aerodynamics, pushing down the upswept rear deck lid to keep the rear tyres in full contact with the road. Such an implementation is a first for a core Aston Martin production car.
Naturally, the design revolution continues inside the new Vantage’s interior. A focussed cabin plays true to the sports car nature of the two-seater, with a low driving position and sharp lines creating an environment to give you an immediate and immersive experience.
The ergonomics of the cabin have been vastly improved to make the driver feel fully involved from the moment the engine is started, while there’s even a practical element to the interior thanks to generous stowage space for such a compact car.
Aston Martin has ensured a whole host of standard equipment makes its way into the car. Highlights of this include keyless start/stop, parking distance display, park assist and front and rear parking sensors. In-car Entertainment System, meanwhile, features a centrally-mounted 8-inch LCD screen, Aston Martin Audio System, Bluetooth audio and phone streaming, as well an integrated satellite navigation system.
At launch, the new Vantage will utilise a version of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 found in the DB11. This potent powerplant has been tuned to offer the same 503bhp as its GT sibling, but an increase in torque sees the total figure rise to 505lb ft at 2000-5000rpm.
This visceral heart of the Vantage, combined with the effectiveness of exterior aerodynamics, make for a 0-62mph sprint in just 3.6sec and a top speed of an impressive 195mph. A dry weight of 1530kg gives the Vantage a formidable power-to-weight ratio, while economy is an admirable 26.8mpg on a combined cycle.
Power is driven to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, with an Electronic Rear Differential or ‘E-Diff’ featuring for the first time. The latter is connected to car’s stability system to understand the Vantage’s behaviour and react in milliseconds, directing power to the wheel which will make most use from it. Not only that, but the system also helps the car become more stable during straight-line speed, while the Vantage’s cornering ability as a result helps the driver explore the car’s capabilities to the max.
Aston Martin has made sure to place the 4.0-litre V8 low and as far back in the chassis as possible to optimise the Vantage’s centre of gravity and achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The Vantage’s chassis itself is based on that of the DB11’s bonded aluminium structure, albeit evolved for the car’s more sporting abilities. As a result, around 70 per cent of the structure’s components are new.
The driver can choose from a range of driving modes from the latest Adaptive Damping System, including Sport, Sport Plus and Track. Every step up optimises the every area of the Vantage’s integrated systems even further, with Track offering the most engaging and aggressive settings.
On sale now, the new Aston Martin Vantage is available from £120,900, with first deliveries set for the second quarter of 2018.