The last great Bri­tish ana­logue sports car?

North Amer­ica-only gt is An old-school HIT

VANTAGE - - Bulletin News - Words DAVID LIL­LY­WHITE Pho­tog­ra­phy AS­TON MARTIN

Un­less you’re liv­ing stateside, you prob­a­bly won’t have seen this car be­fore. Built for the north Amer­i­can mar­ket only, the 190mph van­tage gt is the Us equiv­a­lent of the Uk-mar­ket n430, with a pared-down spec­i­fi­ca­tion that keeps the start­ing price un­der $100,000.

Does it suf­fer for be­ing the cheap­est As­ton that dol­lars can buy? not at all. in fact, the van­tage is ar­guably at its best when the de­li­ciously rau­cous 430bhp 4.7-litre v8 is mated to the six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion rather than to the pricier (by $5000) and rather clunky sportshift au­to­mated man­ual.

in man­ual guise, the gt feels like the last of the great Bri­tish sports cars. it’s the most ana­logue of any of the cur­rent As­tons, and ar­guably of any gt cur­rently on the mar­ket, and with that comes a level of driver in­volve­ment you don’t find in more re­mote-feel­ing ma­chin­ery.

so it tears away from rest with a sat­is­fy­ing squirm from the rear tyres and an in­tox­i­cat­ing roar from the v8, hit­ting 60mph in 4.6 sec­onds; the brakes are ex­cel­lent, and the elec­tronic trac­tion and sta­bil­ity sys­tems al­low in­dul­gent tail-slides.

like the n430, the gt comes in a choice of five dif­fer­ent colours, with grille, mir­rors, rear dif­fuser blade and (on the coupé) roofline picked out in con­trast­ing hues. not to everyone’s taste, and nei­ther is the op­tional gt sidestripe in­spired by As­ton’s gt4 race-cars, but it does rather suit the ex­u­ber­ant char­ac­ter. graphite forged alloys wheels and yel­low brake calipers com­plete the look, while the in­te­rior fea­tures plenty of Al­can­tara trim.

Coupé or road­ster? Well, that’s your choice but we’d go for the metal roof, and not just be­cause the drop-top costs an ex­tra $15,000. This is an As­ton Martin that’s best served at base level.

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