Power on the 2009 Aston Martin Vantage is provided by a 420-horsepower, 4.8L V8 with dry-sump lubrication--for more consistent oil distribution in high-performance track driving--and variable inlet cam timing. With the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the Vantage can race to 60 miles per hour in a very respectable 4.7 seconds, reaching a top speed of 180 mph
There's also an optional SportShift transmission, which brings magnesium paddle shifters alongside the steering wheel to command quick upshifts or downshifts. It has a "creep" feature that allows the vehicle to behave like a conventional automatic when you lift off the brake pedal unlike several competing systems. The transmission has been improved a bit for 2009, and now features Comfort and Sport shift modes.
Handling is an especially strong suit for the Vantage. The gearbox is rear-mounted for a more even weight distribution, the engine's dry-sump configuration allows it to be mounted low, and the wishbone suspension helps manage the power and weight well on tight, curvy roads. The two-seat Vantage is somewhat heavy for a small sports car yet quite light for a V8 tourer. Thanks to the extensive use of aluminum components, it weighs less than 3,600 pounds.
The interior is laid out with tight, cockpit-like accommodations for two yet has materials and conveniences as commonly offered in luxury cars. The Vantage is available in a wide range of trims, including mahogany, bamboo, walnut, and Piano Black finishings. Platinum silver fittings are also available.
Side air bags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes are also standard. Key options include xenon headlamps, Bluetooth, parking sensors, alarm system upgrade, 700-watt audio system with surround sound and heated seats.
Though the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage is a brand-new car with seriously spankin' bodywork, the truth is, much of the hardware underneath has been around for years. The chassis is a reworked version of the aluminum-intensive structure that underpins the DB11 grand tourer. The 4.0-liter V8 engine comes from Mercedes-AMG. For these reasons, you could assume the Vantage might feel a little... derivative, largely embodying traits of one or both of these donors. But as it turns out, you'd be wrong.
Forget what lies under the Vantage's skin for a moment -- let's take some time to ogle those curves. I dig the squat, wide proportions. I love the juxtaposition of the aggressively shaped grille against the smooth, elegant body surfacing. I even get a kick out of the 20-inch wheels that look both comically large yet totally appropriate at the same time. I could pore over the Vantage's finer details all day long, but I'll instead highly suggest you let reviews editor Jake Holmes walk you through some of the coupe's highlights in the video above. (Also, Jake, buddy, if you ever get tired of this car reviewing thing, I think you've got a future career as a hand model.)
The drama extends inside, where you'll find beautifully sculpted leather seats with what appears to be miles of contrast stitching, perfectly complementing my test car's Hyper Red exterior. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is almost hexagonal in shape, and thick in all the right places. Behind that you'll find a fully digital, three-screen gauge cluster, with bright, crisp graphics, though I find the shape of the IP housing itself to be horribly overstyled.
The Good Tremendous V8 power and a wonderfully playful chassis make this one of the best-driving Astons ever. Plus, it's gorgeous.
The Bad For as gorgeous as a lot of the interior is, the center stack is a mess of cheap-feeling buttons. The Mercedes-sourced tech is also getting a little old.
The Bottom Line Aston's new Vantage is beautiful to behold and lovely to drive. But it's also $150,000, meaning it's priced alongside some of the world's best sports coupes and supercars.
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