ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE
Beneath the striking looks of the all-new Vantage is a serious driving machine armed with a twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 and a top speed of 314km/h.
THREE-and-a-half years after Daniel Craig drove his Aston Martin DB10 into the Tiber River in the 2014 Bond film Spectre, the car has resurfaced (not literally – although come to think of it, that would have been quite something) as the new Aston Vantage.
Which actually isn’t so surprising, since the one-off DB10 was based on the Vantage prototype which was then still in its early development stages. The new Vantage’s looks aren’t a mere rehash of the DB10’s, though. The wide, squat, almost thuggish proportions are similar and the production Vantage has lost none of the Bond car’s visual drama, but in detail the cars are quite distinct.
Its nose is pointier and lower than anything Aston has done before, and is flanked by small, lozenge-shaped headlamps. Together with a huge gaping grille encircled by a distinctive protruding lip and underlined by a pronounced splitter, they form a distinctly predatory, shark-like visage.
The tail-lamps comprise a single, elegant LED strip which meanders across the car’s tail as it rises to form a central ducktail spoiler and then falls away to shoulder level again.
They’re probably the loveliest tail-lamps I’ve seen since the “boomerang” ones on the 1990s Maserati 3200GT.
The distinctive lip around the front grille is mirrored at the rear, with a similar feature around the tailpipes and rear valance. Side “gills” on the front fenders vent high-pressure air from the wheel arches, and the car employs various other aerodynamic devices such as a front splitter, rear diffuser and clever underbody “fences” to direct and control airflow.
Consequently, the Vantage generates significant downforce – 80kg of rear downforce at top speed, compared to its predecessor’s 40kg of rear lift.
Seen from above, the car’s extremities are heavily chamfered, making the Vantage visually more compact when viewed from certain angles. The front and rear overhangs are much shorter than before thanks to
Low-slung driving position, extended paddle shifters, and ideally placed pedals and steering wheel cater to the well-heeled enthusiast.