As­ton Martin Van­tage

The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS - RE­BECCA CHAP­LIN

AC­CORD­ING to As­ton Martin, the new Van­tage is its most ex­treme sports car yet – and it’s not wrong. Held up against the Van­tage of yes­ter­year, it’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent beast. Shar­ing lit­tle more than the char­ac­ter­is­tic boot flick, this could be one of the most im­por­tant cars ever for the brand. It’s cru­cial they get it right as the pre­vi­ous Van­tage was its best­selling car and for the new age of the British car­maker it needs to stay that way.

Although the old Van­tage had a slightly sportier air than other cars in the As­ton range – largely be­cause of its as­so­ci­a­tion with the World En­durance Cham­pi­onship – the new ver­sion has ac­cen­tu­ated ev­ery as­pect of the car’s ex­te­rior, like elon­gated mus­cles on a big cat. It gets the four-litre twin-turbo engine from the DB11 V8, but de­spite the size re­duc­tion from the pre­vi­ous 4.7 V8 its new power out­put is up to 503bhp, match­ing the thug­gish old V12 Van­tage S.

The V8 is mated to an eight-speed au­to­matic ZF trans­mis­sion, although that’s not un­der the bon­net but in the rear for a per­fect 50:50 weight ra­tio. The Mercedes-man­u­fac­tured pow­er­train has come from the DB11, and has been mod­i­fied for the lighter Van­tage, with its dry weight com­ing in 120kg less than the GT car. It still pro­duces the same power but torque is higher at 685Nm, and some mi­nor ex­haust pops and bangs have been en­gi­neered in for an even more in­spir­ing drive. The Van­tage has two per­son­al­i­ties, stay­ing true to its rac­ing car pedi­gree, and can be set up for both road and track. Track mod­els get mi­nor ad­di­tions, such as the quad-ex­haust.

The low rid­ing Van­tage draws you closer to the Tar­mac, mak­ing the car great fun to ne­go­ti­ate around curling hills at high speed. Though it looks like it should be safe only in the hands of a pro­fes­sional racer, As­ton has re­tained the us­abil­ity seen in its other cars. It re­mains com­posed in most sit­u­a­tions and when un­leash­ing its power in the right places it be­comes a bit of an an­i­mal. The show-off na­ture of this car calls for that rau­cous­ness too, and the V8 growl only com­ple­ments that.

From the front grille with its snout very much to the ground, to the lights that re­sem­ble an an­i­mal on the hunt, this car will ap­peal to the boy racer with a lit­tle more cash to spend. The near-neon colours avail­able won’t be to every­one’s taste, but for­tu­nately there’s tamer paint­work to choose from, and those look­ing for even more racer in their car can choose from sev­eral car­bon-fi­bre op­tions. As­ton has em­braced its rac­ing pedi­gree with the in­te­rior of this car too. Com­pare it to the first of its new gen­er­a­tion of cars, the DB11, with its softer set-up and an in­te­rior fit for the gen­try GT driver. The Van­tage is lower to the ground with an in­te­rior that brings the brand into the mod­ern day with cleaner lines and plush, but sporty, seats.

The looks alone will have you falling in love with this new Van­tage and driv­ing it will only so­lid­ify that. It’s tech­ni­cally leaps and bounds ahead of pre­vi­ous mod­els and has a great bal­ance be­tween com­fort and sports some ri­vals overdo. Pas­sion, com­fort, and ag­gres­sion are all rolled into one ma­chine.

The all-new As­ton Martin Van­tage of­fers the per­fect blend of pas­sion, com­fort and sport

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