What do you think of as an entry-level sports car? Is it something like a Porsche Cayman S that comes with neat styling and a nicely manageable 350 horsepower, or is it a loud, V8-powered monster that kicks out 655hp and will hit a top speed north of 200 mph. That’s what Aston Martin seems to think counts as a good entry point, as that’s exactly what the updated Vantage will do.
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The Vantage was always seen as the ‘baby’ Aston Martin, thanks to its slightly smaller dimensions, simpler styling and much lower power output. But with the new model, Aston has thrown all that out the window and followed its recent record of creating the most powerful models in every class.
The new car, which can be thought of as a facelift in about the same way as Bruce Banner’s transformation into the Hulk can be thought of as a costume change, comes with a four-liter, twin-turbo AMG V8 like the old car. Now, however, it has been fitted with bigger turbos and Aston has been given free-reign to tinker and tweak the power unit. So it kicks out a lofty 655 hp, which is up by more than 150 hp.
All that power is routed to the ground through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which can help the new Vantage from zero to 60mph in 3.4 seconds and onto a blistering top speed of 202 mph. There’s also a new electronic differential to help keep power on the road, and Aston has given the updated Vantage a set of sticky Michelin Pilot S 5 tires.
It’s what’s inside that counts. Photo: Aston Martin
There are further updates under the skin to improve handling of the new car too. This includes new suspension that packs a set of Bilstein DTX adaptive dampers as well as some mammoth brakes, with 15 ¾ inch rotors at the front and 14 inch rotors at the rear.
The new Vantage also has a new engine cooling system, which warranted an entire front end redesign from Aston Martin. As such, the stretched out face of last year’s Vantage is gone in favor of a nose that looks just like the new DB12, and I’m not mad about that. This, coupled with a whole host of vents in the hood, should keep the engine breathing nicely when you edge close to that 202 mph top speed.
The cosmetic changes run deeper than that, though, and the new car is actually a couple of inches wider than the old model. This gave the designers space to add a new integrated splitter to the front end to aid downforce, and there’s a new side strake design that frames the front wheels nicely. Those wheels, if you’re interested, are a set of new 21” forged alloy rims.
Inside, the updates continue with the new Vantage now featuring a dash that’s straight out of the DB12. This includes a 10.25” touchscreen at its heart, which allows for gesture controls and gives you command over most of the car’s operation. However, physical switches remain for things like gear selection, drive selection, heating and ventilation.
What do you think of the new Aston Martin Vantage? Photo: Aston Martin
So, what do you think of the new Vantage? When deliveries start later this year, will it mark a new meaning for the term “entry-level,” or is the Vantage edging ever closer to the DB12’s throne? Let us know in the comments below.