Aston Martin has finally taken the covers off its next-generation Vantage, showing that the British marque is posed to take on German and Italian sports car rivals.
Sporting a much sharper and angular design over its venerable predecessor, the new Vantage draws a sizeable dollop of inspiration from the one-off DB10 Bond car that featured in Spectre.
Much like Aston’s larger DB11 grand tourer, which the new Vantage shares 70% of its components with, the sports car’s look created with aerodynamics in mind.
A large front splitter works with the rear diffuser to funnel air underneath the Vantage and help add downforce, with swooping lines and sills on the car body help it slip through the air more effectively.
Sadly there’s no razor-sharp looking DB11 ‘airblade’ on the Vantage, but there’s no denying that the baby Aston looks fantastic, with razor-thin swooping rear lights and slender LED headlamps.
All this aerodynamic design works with the 4-litre AMG built twin-turbo V8 engine that pumps out 503bhp. It’s a departure from the old normally aspirated engines that used to be the signature dish of Aston’s cars, but the result is a lot more power.
The Vantage’s rampaging horsepower is sent to the real wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which helps it make the 0-62mph sprint in a healthy 3.6 seconds, while at full clout the Vantage will hit a top speed of 195mph – enough to bother a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Aston Martin has also embraced the electronic differential for the first time, which will allow for some sideways sliding action if drivers are so inclined.
Inside the car, drivers with £120,000 to spare will find a plush layout in keeping with Aston’s reputation for luxury but with a modern twist.
Heated and ventilated leather sears with striking coloured stitching that extends to the interior trim and dashboard, make the Vantage’s cockpit look like a comfortable place to be.
A digital dashboard, now found in many sports cars, is present and correct while a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD display forms part of the main infotainment unit, serving up car data as well as navigation and entertainment.
Much of the infotainment system looks to be lifted from Mercedes, which now holds a small stake in Aston Martin, with some of the switchgear recognisable from Merc coupés and sports cars. However, there’re still a few classic Aston designed switches, only this time they look to be paired with a more modern infotainment setup, which couldn’t really be said for Aston’s pre-Mercedes involvement.
A premium sound system from Aston Martin will provide the audio punch to go alongside the car’s performance, while iPhone and iPod integration will allow drivers to easily access their music collection.
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Undoubtedly, the new Vantage V8 is a proper next-generation sports car from Aston Martin, and when it goes on sale mid-2018 it should show that Aston is a true modern sports car contender, not just a brand trading on its Bond credentials.
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