Home » The New Aston Martin Vantage Is A Step Forward And A Step Back, All At Once

The New Aston Martin Vantage Is A Step Forward And A Step Back, All At Once

Aston Martin Vantage Ts
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If your tastes tend towards “British” and “hammer,” then Aston Martin is probably one of your more beloved automakers. The newly-refreshed Aston Martin Vantage has been revealed along these very lines. There’s no V12 anymore, but there is a huge gaping mouth that seems ready to devour enemy cars on the highway ahead of you.

Ultimately, the new Vantage is all about performance. It’s touting a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 good for 656 horsepower. It’s less than the 690 hp of the outgoing V12 Vantage, but a healthy leap above the 503 horsepower of the outgoing V8 model. However, despite the power deficit to the former V12, the new model can pull off zero-to-6o mph in 3.4 seconds, just the same. The former V8 could only do it in four 4 seconds, and topped out at 195 mph, where the new car will hit a supercar-appropriate speed of 202 mph.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The extra power is thanks to a heavy reworking of the Mercedes-sourced engine, which sends power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The engine has new cams, bigger turbos, a tweaked compression ratio, and a revised cooling system to suit. Indeed, it features two additional coolers added to the main radiator to keep temperatures low, along with a further radiator added to the intercooler’s water circuit. The engine oil cooler had to be enlarged, too. Those additional 153 horsepower don’t come easy!

Aston Martin Vantage 02
Slurps air like never before.

Aston Martin Vantage 08

Aston Martin Vantage 21

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Aston Martin Vantage 24

Aston Martin Vantage 23

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Lime Essence Portimao (1)
The outgoing Vantage, pictured here in lime green, looks sleek and modern. The refresh has added all kinds of fine details that complicate the design and take it back to the past.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Lime Essence Portimao

For now, it’s only available as a coupe, though a drop-top “Volante” model is expected to follow. The styling up front makes it a dead ringer for the Aston Martin One-77, which was produced in a limited run of just 77 examples from 2009 to 2012. It has a gaping maw for a grille, sleek ovoid lights, and straked intakes ahead of each wheel well. You might think of it as lean, sporting, and neo-modern. Or, like our own Adrian Clarke, you might consider it altogether rather poorly.

It’s easy to make an argument that Aston Martin essentially reused a design from 15 years ago for the new Vantage, and that it’s been rehashing the same aesthetic tropes since the early 2000s. I’m not necessarily saying that, but it could be said. To be honest, though, the new Vantage does look less modern than the outgoing model. One grows tired of art-deco strakes and the same old grilles and planforms over and over again. It’s a shame to see the refreshed Vantage go for more of a heritage look when the 2018 model seemed to be reaching for a shinier future.

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We can’t entirely talk down the design, though. Aston Martin notes the 38% larger grille offers 29% more airflow by mass than the previous Vantage front end. It’s clearly helping out with regards to that extra power from the V8.

Aston Martin Vantage 01

Aston Martin Vantage 31
The all-black badge is cool, though.

The revised Vantage has been stiffened up, too, to offer better handling than its predecessor. At the rear, Aston Martin added bracing between the rear suspension towers, and upfront, it fiddled with the cross member to tighten things up.  It also scores new adaptive dampers with a “500% increase in bandwidth of force distribution.” I took a four-year engineering degree and I can’t even follow what that’s supposed to mean. It seems like the new adaptive dampers are basically more responsive than previously, with greater speed and finer control than previously. Great!

Handling is also aided by the “AML” coded Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tires, made specifically for the Vantage. They offer the ultimate in grip and response, according to the automaker, though one wonders how much luck you’ll have finding them in ten years time. In any case, we’ll probably have even better tires then, so no matter. Interestingly, though, the Vantage still rocks conventional cast-iron brakes as standard. Carbon brakes are available, but only as an option.

Aston Martin Vantage 16

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Aston Martin Vantage 12

Aston Martin Vantage 14

Aston Martin Vantage 17

What probably matters most to Aston Martin’s customers, though, is the interior. The existing Vantage had been on the market since 2018, which is an age where interior electronics and infotainment are concerned. That’s all been updated now, with the Vantage getting the new-generation gear seen already in the DB12.  The “all-new ultra-luxury” interior features surround sound from Bowers & Wilkins if you stump for premium audio, an appropriately British name for a marque which has, in other ways, departed from its roots.

The new Vantage is, fundamentally, a very cool car in many respects. Is the styling an improvement over what we saw in 2018? For me, no, for you, maybe yes. I’d say it’s a step backward. Inside, though, it’s clearly a big leap forwards, because digital technology waits for nobody.

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It’s true, the V12 will be missed as the Vantage moves on. As will the manual, unless it pops back up years later. But for now, it’s still a fuel-sucking British boxer that can bring you the horizon at the twitch of your right foot. Few that sit in the driver’s seat will complain.

Image credits: Aston Martin

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Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
10 days ago

The car looks alright among the rest of the modern GT stuff, but that’s really not saying much. At least the sheet metal has a bit of grace, because that interior is downright ugly. All angles and plastered-on brutalist shapes with exposed carbon and piano black, it would look more at home in a Mansory-modified KV-2.

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
10 days ago

It was a really nice looking sports car. This new design makes me think of a short guy with a chip on his shoulder. “What are you looking at? You got a problem?” I don’t like that guy.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
10 days ago

The fucking state of it. They should have just made the DB10 as a production car.

Loudsx .
Loudsx .
10 days ago

I loved the 1st Gen and loathed the 2nd Gen.

this to me is where the 2nd gen should ahve gone.

I’m not in the market for ones of these but damn they look good.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
10 days ago

I still like the early ’00s model better. Everything since has felt like they HAD to change a design that was pretty much perfect, so it’s been a downgrade. Plus, manual tranny.

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
11 days ago

I don’t dislike the new design, but yeah……seems to be a step back. I know the previous Vantage was polarizing, but I liked it. It, as others have noted, pushed AM in a new direction that seemed fresh.

Makes me think of McLaren and naming. Pretty sure I heard on exec say they would use names going forward after the Arutura. Fast forward to the Artura landing like a bear *****ing in the forest and surprise! A new 750S. Forget what we said about names.

Redfoxiii
Redfoxiii
11 days ago

This new one is… weird. I really, REALLY liked how unfussy the outgoing design felt, especially in the origami over-styling era that I had *thought* we were finally leaving.

This feels like a tremendous step backwards.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 days ago

The grille is a bit oversized for sure but at least it’s functional. Maybe I’m in the minority but I never liked the outgoing Vantage very much at all…it’s a good looking, sleek, fairly simple design, but nothing about it ever screamed Aston to me for some reason.

This, on the other hand, does. I personally don’t think Astons are meant to be sleek and simple. They’re meant to be ostentatious but elegant. Not as shouty as something like a Ferrari, but still distinct. The big grille also reminds me of some of the Zagato designs over the years.

All in all I love it, but I’ve always been an Aston Martin fanboy…and V12 or not at least we still get a V8, and that turbo AMG mill is a pretty special engine.

Anders
Anders
11 days ago

We have a saying in Norwegian when a building has overwrought detailing, which we call “snekkerglede”. This translates to something akin to “carpenter’s joy”, when a carpenter has to much time on his hands and basically overcooks it. The new Vantage looks to be the result of something similar.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
11 days ago

Jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Hot damn!

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
11 days ago

I see an old (2005-2017) Vantage V8 a few times a week. I like the basic shape/styling thing they have going on through several confusingly similar models. I guess it’s fine for Porsche to continue to rehash the 911 (and Boxster/Cayman) with the occasional self-referential feature, so it should work for Aston too.

If I ever find myself with the spare cash (I won’t) and a house with gates at the end of a long driveway (I won’t) then I’ll be straight off to an Aston dealer to buy the prettiest Aston in the least Bond-fan colour.

I suspect I’d be just as happy with a Nissan Z though. Plus I can wear a suit in one of those without worrying that everyone assumes I want them to think I’m a spy.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
11 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

It wasn’t a criticism of the article, it’s just weird how Porsche don’t even have to try with the 911.

Aston have, to my eyes, the same problem as McLaren, in that I’d have to Google them to tell which model I’m currently looking at. I’m an enthusiast, but somehow both those companies are confusing to me in a way that Porsche/Lotus/Ferrari aren’t.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
11 days ago

 Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tires

I didn’t know Michelin makes this tire now. That’s probably the most exciting news for me.

Last edited 11 days ago by Fix It Again Tony
Technosaur
Technosaur
11 days ago

They’ve been out for over a year now but aren’t available in all sizes. My BRZ is still limited to the 4Ses. I guess you could say they are rolling them out.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
10 days ago
Reply to  Technosaur

Looks like it is called Pilot Sport S5, tirerack only has 21″. No wonder I don’t see them when I shop for tires.

Technosaur
Technosaur
10 days ago

That’s too much wheel for me. I like a nice juicy sidewall.

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