MEET THE SMALLEST, SPORTIEST TWO-SEATER of the Aston Martin family. Although it’s considered to be your entry-level Aston Martin, there is nothing modest about it. Inspired greatly by the very rare DB10, the car made for the movie Spectre, you’ll see that like James Bond himself, it is in every way, powerful, athletic and born with looks to kill.
It is one of the most energetic Aston Martins around and an absolute joy to drive. More aggressive, it is better liked than the previous Vantage, which had been in production for the past 12 years.
Bits and pieces have been borrowed from Mercedes-AMG, which gives this Aston Martin its advantage. It’s got a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8, which has been tuned to bring forward 503 horsepower and 685 Nm of torque, allowing it to go from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds. A surge of turbocharged torque punches as soon as you kick-start the throttle, and at full acceleration at 314 km/h, it’s going to be loud. A bit too vocal, maybe, but you’ll like it.
It is also the first Aston to be given an electronic differential, which gives it tremendous balance and stability at top speed.
It helps that it is full of clever aerodynamic details, too. A series of ducts sit behind the front grille to channel cool air to the engine, and its ducktail spoiler and side strakes keep the car glued to the tarmac. Tackle a slalom or a dicey circuit, no problem. The Vantage drives unlike most Aston Martins — nimble, agile and incredibly responsive. Even in torrential rain, it is determined to not let the weather spoil the fun. Its ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth and is augmented by a tightly tuned rear-wheel drive and its long paddle shifters.
The Vantage might be more hooligan than gentleman, but it does have its fair share of grand touring characteristics.
Unlike most sports cars, it is easy to get into. The cabin is roomy — more so than the DB11 — yet intimate and purposeful. There is enough cubby and cargo space to go around (one can stuff a couple duffel bags in the trunk), Alcantara trim sweeps across the dashboard and the squared-off steering wheel feels snug in your hands.
The infotainment and electronic architecture by Mercedes, though a tad outdated, are light years ahead of the previous Vantage’s set-up. And all the necessities are set in place — for instance, an autopark function, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera. Nothing to shout about, but no complaints, either. Think of it as a bonus to a car already this good.
Click here for more information of the Aston Martin Vantage.
ENGINE: 3,982cc, V8 turbocharged
POWER: 510 horsepower
TORQUE: 685Nm at 2,000-5,000rpm
0-100KM/H: 3.6 seconds
TOP SPEED: 314 km/h
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic