British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin took the covers off its new Vantage, along with its racing version, the Vantage GTE, last November, replacing the previous generation Ian Callum designed Vantage that was around in the market since 2005.
With the old Vantage being the bestselling model in Aston Martin’s 104-year history, the newer model has a lot to live up to, and expectations for the newer model are high from critics and fans alike.
“Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’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. A true sports car with a sharper look and a keener dynamic edge, the new Vantage is the Aston Martin pure driving machine enthusiasts have been waiting for,” Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said in a statement.
The new Vantage follows the new design language that started with the DB10, which is a one-off special model. Hints of the DB10 can be found in the front fascia, especially the new headlight design that kickstarted a new era of design for the British marque. The gaping grille shaped like the silhouette of the iconic wings badge allows copious amounts of air into the engine bay, while a front splitter allows air to flow underneath the car through air channels, and into the rear diffuser, generating downforce. New side gills release air pressure from the front wheel arches which also cools down the brakes, and an upswept rear deck lid allow for more downforce, without having to resort to a rear spoiler. A new taillight design evokes memories from the extreme track-only Vulcan.
Inside the Vantage is a plethora of sharp lines and contours, which give the car a more aggressive look and feel. The switches and vents may seem familiar to a Mercedes-AMG owner, including the infotainment system, but the leather, Alcantara trim and stitching are done by Aston Martin themselves. A high waist and lowered driving position allows for better occupant space and a more immersive experience behind the wheel. Keyless start and stop functions, tire pressure monitoring system, parking distance display, park assist and front and rear parking sensors are included as standard.
“New Vantage has the most powerful and provocative design language ever seen in a Vantage. A hunter, light in weight and is therefore light in its visual language. It is based on a single line under tension, inspired by the DB10 and the extreme track-only Aston Martin Vulcan, blending the two unique design languages together into a form that is sculpted, dynamic, pure and elemental,” Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman said in a statement.
Twin turbocharged engine
While the old V8 Vantage utilizes a naturally-aspirated V8 that shares its platform with the Jaguar XK, the new model utilises a twin turbocharged 4-liter V8 developed by Mercedes-AMG, which pumps out 504 hp and 685 Nm of torque. Coupling the engine is the same ZF eight-speed automatic transmission found in the DB11, which is mounted at the rear for better weight distribution. It will do a 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) time of 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 195 mph (312 kph), which can compete against the Mercedes-AMG GT S and the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. Also contributing to its blistering performance is the usage of aluminium for the chassis, and the whole car weighs 1,530 kilograms dry. An electronic rear differential – a first for Aston Martin – and a torque vectoring system have been fitted to control wheelspin during cornering provided by the enormous torque produced from the V8.
The racing model, the Vantage GTE will be set to race in Le Mans for 2018, with 13,000 kilometers of testing done during development of both road and race cars. It will utilize the same Mercedes-AMG twin turbo 4-liter V8 as the standard model, but Aston Martin Racing (AMR), the company’s racing division, did not divulge any details regarding performance. Drivers for the car include Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, winners of the LM GTE Pro class of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen, 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro winners and recently Alex Lynn, a Formula E driver.
The road car will cost around £120,900 in the UK ($150,000 in the US) and deliveries for the car will start around second quarter of 2018.