ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE: DOES IT HAVE A SPLIT PERSONALITY?
After the DB11 and DBS, we have all been waiting for Aston’s new baby car. The Aston Martin Vantage. Now, this should be Aston’s best selling car, and everyone has super high hopes for it.
The DB11 is a proper GT car designed to obliterate vast stretches of tarmac with a gentle squeeze of your right foot whereas the Vantage is designed to be a more focused everyday sports cars. But just how good is it? I tested one to find out.
OMG! IS THAT JAMES BONDS CAR?
Yes, it is! Everywhere you take this car, every single person knows it as James Bonds’s car. Both brands have become completely intertwined with each other.
When you think of James Bond, you always think of the following adjectives
The Vantage imbibes all the above characteristics.
The aggressive front end with that massive grille means business. It defines the entire front end with the large front splitter. When you look at the car, you know it means business and is ready to tackle everything put in its path.
Even though this a completely new design, the shape is identifiable as an Aston Martin. However, the party piece is the rear. If you think the front end is aggressive, you have to see the rear end.
The back end is super aggressive with the giant diffuser at the bottom — taillights that flow across the width of the body and those quadruple exhausts.
The entire shape is very aerodynamic, deploying creases and vents to smooth airflow in the best possible way around the car.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that the front and rear diffusers are both made of carbon fiber?
A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME THAT THE ENGINE IS FROM MERCEDES?
Well, the birdie was correct. However, it is not any Mercedes engine. It is a Mercedes AMG engine.
Yes, you read that correctly. Daimler owns 5% of Aston Martin. In return for handing over their precious shares, Aston Martin gets to equip its cars with handbuilt AMG engines from the Mercedes AMG GT. The Vantage comes equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine churning out 503 BHP. The engine is mated to an eight-speed lightning-quick ZF gearbox. By the way this car will be available to order with a manual shifter as well!
The car does 0-100 KPH in 3.5 seconds.
In the Vantage you can choose what state of tune would you like the engine to be in. Here everything is dialed up a notch. You get Sport, Sport+ and Track mode. I found the Sport setting to be a bit too docile for my style of driving and preferred to drive around everywhere in Sport+. The Track mode was just way too aggressive for me for use on public roads.
The engine in this car is brilliant. It is willing to change as per your requirements. With a slight tap of the right foot, it is howling away to the red line. It is even happy pottering around town at civilized speeds.
WILL IT BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE CAR CHASES FROM 007 MOVIES?
Have you seen how it looks? This car does not need any fancy weapons or gadgetry to get away from the bad guys.
With the engine placed almost in the middle, this car has a proper 50:50 weight balance. With all the power going to the rear, this makes it a hoot to drive. The front end has ample grip and can take on the most serious of hairpins and twisties. It feels firmly planted and gives you the confidence of pushing the envelope. The chassis of the car is derived from the DB-11 and is made of aluminum. 70% of the components of the frame are entirely new for the Vantage.
This is the first time that an Aston Martin Vantage has been fitted with a rear electronic differential. The E-diff lets the driver put down power seamlessly and effortlessly. It can vary between 100% locked to completely open in a matter of milliseconds and is connected to the ESC of the car. The dampers can be set in Sport, Sport+ and Track setting. I preferred to have the engine in Sport+ and the suspension in Sport. For everyday city driving these are the best settings to use.
After outrunning and outmaneuvering the bad guys, you can effortlessly cruise in this car. You can be forgiven to think that you are in a luxury GT car rather than the nimble monster of a sports car.
I LOVE IT! TELL ME MORE…
This car likes to take you on a complete sensory experience from experiencing the brutal acceleration and getting twisted by the g-forces from hard cornering.
By the time you have recovered your breath from the last corner, you see a straight piece of tarmac and floor the pedal and hear that glorious twin-turbo V8 growl and howl all the way to the rev limiter. You are addicted and want more.
Well, the Vantage gives you more. It gives you more by encapsulating and seducing you in the softest and smoothest of leather. The cabin of the Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful place to be in. If you are not satisfied by the drive, then the interiors in this car for sure will satisfy you. Once you sit inside this car, you know exactly how your money was spent.
The entire cabin is covered in two-tone leather with contrast stitching. It has Alcantara as the roof liner, and the hexagonal shaped steering wheel wrapped in leather is a delight to hold. You can smell the leather from miles away and can be addicted to it. You will randomly visit the car to smell & feel the leather. This is true love. This is true attraction.
The car I had was covered in red and grey leather with contrast stitching. The roof liner was red Alcantara. Everything I could see and touch other than the buttons was covered in leather.
The infotainment on this car is from Mercedes. Mind you not the current generation but almost two versions old. Now I am not complaining. I am okay with this setup because it provides me with Apple CarPlay and that for me is more than enough.
Previous Aston Martins always suffered from electrical issues. Having the infotainment and electrical systems from Mercedes eliminates this issue making ownership of the Vantage hassle-free.
Unlike modern cars where everything is controlled via a touch screen, I enjoyed the whole feeling of pressing actual buttons in the Vantage. There is something profoundly satisfying in pushing a well-designed button. Moreover, Aston makes one of the best buttons in the industry. They are made of glass!
One thing that you would miss in the Vantage is the lack of cubbyholes and storage space inside the cabin.
This car was quite well-specced and came with a host of options. This is the best part of buying such exotic vehicles such as the Vantage. You can truly customize it to be yours!
The Aston Martin Vantage truly has two sides to its personality. On the one hand, it can be a comforting, cosseting car wrapping you in its soft leather murmuring to you with soft, warm growls while on the other hand at the slight press of a throttle and flick of the left side gear paddle to downshift it can turn into a howling beast of a sportscar ready to take anything put in its path. This duality is what made me fall in love with this car.
Are you in love with this car? Yes or no let me know in the comments.
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