It looks like Britain is about to shake up the high performance sports car game with this: the all new Aston Martin Vantage.
Revealed last night, the fully re-designed and re-engineered Vantage seeks to re-establish the British marque's status as the premier sports car manufacturer. The Vantage has been the brand's most successful model to date since it was launched 12 years ago when Aston Martin was still owned by Ford.
“Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation,” said Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin's president and CEO. “’m enormously excited by what we’ve created: a new Vantage that’s more explicit in looks and intent, wrapping heart-pounding performance and dazzling dynamics into an everyday usable package.”
The design of the new Vantage is as evocative as its name. Aston Martin says they made a car that has “pure, sculptural forms” and has an “athletic, predatory stance”. The dramatic shape of the front-engine, rear wheel drive British sports car is clearly stated by the long hood, the low roofline and the fastback rear. But it's not all about style; many of the new Vantage's details are functional in an aerodynamic sense like the side gills (to help air flow) and an upswept rear deck lid to generate downforce; some thing that Aston says is a first for their production cars.
Aston Martin says the interior design focuses on creating a space that communicates “the more aggressive nature of the car” through the use of “sharp, focused lines”. The Vantage features a lower driving position and higher beltline for “a more immersive driving experience”, and that controls were arranged into “zones” like the push-button PRND cluster.
The key for the new Vantage is its performance, and it begins with the frame itself. Like other Aston models, they used aluminum that was bonded together to fabricate the frame to achieve strength and rigidity, improved handling, and more. Aston used at lot of the components from the new DB11 grand tourer on the Vantage, though they say that 70% of it is new.
But the real game changed for the Vantage is the new engine: a 510 PS, 685 Newton-meter twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 motor that drives the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox mounted in the back. The same engine is used in the second variation of the DB11 (which also has a V12) and, interestingly enough, the twin-turbo V8 is sourced from Mercedes-Benz. With the performance of the engine and the abilities of the ZF-sourced gearbox, the Vantage can achieve a 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) acceleration time of 3.5 seconds, and straight on to a top speed of 312 km/h (195 mph).
The Vantage gets a suite of advanced safety and performance features like the adaptive suspension system (variable damping), torque vectoring, electric power steering, and an electronic rear differential. Interestingly enough, Aston made no mention of a manual gearbox version.
Aston Martin announced the starting prices for the new Vantage in three key markets: £120,900 in the UK (about PhP 8.1 million), €154,000 in Germany (about PhP 9.1 million) and $149,995 in the USA (about PhP 7.6 million).