The New Aston Martin Vantage: Simply Stunner
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Aston Martin’s smallest sports car, the Vantage is a similar size to Porsche’s iconic 911 which remains one of the best-looking vehicles on the road. Aston Martin Vantage is an evocative name for a magnificent bloodline of thoroughbred sports cars. This formidable sporting dynasty is poised to hit new heights with the introduction of the new Vantage.
The heart of the Vantage is Aston Martin’s potent new alloy, 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible for optimal centre-of-gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, this high performance, high efficiency engine develops 510PS at 6000rpm and 685Nm from 2000-5000rpm. With a dry weight of 1530kg this gives the Vantage formidable power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios - something vividly demonstrated whenever the throttle is squeezed. Detailed tuning of the induction, exhaust and engine management systems has given the Vantage a truly intoxicating character and soundtrack.
The Vantage deploys its impressive power and torque to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 195mph, it employs a sophisticated suite of integrated electronic systems to offer maximum control and driver enjoyment. These include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The speed-dependent electric power steering has 2.4 turns lock-to-lock for an outstanding combination of responsiveness and precise, intuitive control.
For the first time on an Aston Martin the new Vantage also features an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff). 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.
The chassis is an evolution of the latest generation bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11, though some 70 per cent of the structure’s components are new for Vantage. Highlights of the chassis include a solidly mounted rear subframe for an enhanced feeling of direct connection for the driver, new Pirelli P Zero tyres developed specifically for new Vantage and the latest generation Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes.
Reflecting its increased performance, capabilities and sporting character, the new Vantage boasts an athletic, muscular physique. Driven by the desire to more explicitly express the clear nature of each Aston Martin model, the Vantage has a predatory stance that roots it emphatically to the road. Shaped by a philosophy of consequential lines, the body has purity, elegance and balance, each line present because it serves a purpose. This creates a clear message of sporting intent without having to resort to gimmicks.
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 rarity on any production car and a first for a core production Aston Martin model.
The front and rear lights are ultra-slim LEDs and have been used to stunning effect. Whether you’re following or being followed these visual signatures ensure the Vantage is unmistakable. Shape and drama define every aspect of the Vantage, never more so than at the rear, where the diffuser and pronounced kick in the upswept deck lid clearly show how the Vantage uses the airflow over its surfaces to generate stability-enhancing downforce. Bold, less restrained and more celebratory, the Vantage is a brilliantly expressive and exciting piece of design.
Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman said: “New Vantage has the most powerful and provocative design language ever seen in a Vantage.
Being an Aston Martin, the new Vantage also features a high level of craftsmanship, evidenced by luxurious Alcantara® and leather upholstery and the levels of finish optimised through the use of tactile natural materials of the highest quality. There is also extensive scope for personalisation via a generous choice of options. These include forged alloy wheels in a variety of finishes, Sports Plus Collection (comprising Sports Plus seats and Sports steering wheel), carbon fibre interior and exterior detailing and a Premium Audio System.
The design story continues inside the Vantage, with a dynamic and focused sports car cockpit that rejects long, fluid curves in favour of sharp, focused lines denoting the more aggressive nature of the car. A high waist interior theme and lower driving position creates a more immersive driving experience, and contributes to significant gains in occupant space and significant improvement in headroom compared with the outgoing Vantage. A combination of rotary and toggle style controls have been used for their tactile and intuitive functionality. Likewise, the PRND transmission buttons have been moved into a triangular formation so as to cluster major controls into clearly defined zones. The interior also offers generous stowage space, with useable room behind the seats and generous double-tier storage areas.
The interior is every bit as dynamic, a true and purposeful sports car interior that is a departure from the flowing lines and central waterfall console that has previously defined Aston Martin interiors. Instead the Vantage cockpit is dominated by a compact, focused console that shrink wraps the technical architecture - that’s to say the areas of switchgear, such as the new PRND transmission switches, which are now positioned in a triangular formation. The instrument cowl has protruding forms that act like blinkers to focus the driver’s gaze. The seating position is 10mm lower to foster a truly immersive feel. A choice of Sport and Sport Plus seats offer exceptional comfort, with the more heavily bolstered option seat providing greater support in dynamic situations.
Though a strict two-seater, the Vantage is a genuine everyday proposition. A practical tailgate opens onto a 350-litre boot space. In the main passenger compartment, there are generous double-tier storage areas behind the seats, which are perfect for stowing handbags, briefcases or items of clothing while travelling.
The Vantage features a high level of standard equipment, including keyless start/stop, tyre pressure monitoring system, parking distance display, park assist and front and rear parking sensors. The In-Car Entertainment system - controlled and viewed via a centrally mounted 8” LCD screen - comprises of the Aston Martin Audio System, Bluetooth® audio and phone streaming, iPod®, iPhone® and USB playback and an integrated satellite navigation system.
Attention has been paid to the fixed paddle shifters, which have been developed to facilitate up and downshifts without the driver having to reposition their hands on the steering wheel. The shift feel itself has also been honed for a satisfyingly positive feel. The HVAC controls are a combination of classic rotary and toggle style switches, as they are the quickest and most intuitive means of adjusting temperature and airflow while on the move. These apparently small details all reinforce the pure, analogue, tactile nature of the Vantage driving experience.
Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in second quarter of 2018.