The last Aston Martin Vantage was quite the looker, which meant that any attempt to build a successor would have to not only look as good as the last one, it would have to do so without appearing to be a carbon copy of that same car. Well, Aston's got a new Vantage on its hands, and it's quite different... in a good way.
The 2019 Aston Martin Vantage bears more than a passing similarity to the other Big New Aston Martin, the DB11. The grille is mounted as low as it can be without falling off the bumper. The headlights are slimmer and angrier. Out back, there's a massive rear diffuser and embrasure-thin LED taillights following the shape of the integrated trunk-lid spoiler.
Inside, there's a solid mix of luxury and sport. Smooth, stitched leather covers a number of surfaces, from the dashboard to the door cards and the center console. Physical switches cover the center stack, and above it rests a floating-type screen that carries a reskinned version of Mercedes-Benz's Comand infotainment system, and it has a combination touchpad-dial controller below.
Speaking of Mercedes-Benz, the two automakers' partnership extends beyond the infotainment system. Under the hood is a Mercedes-sourced 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, putting out about 500 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. The sole transmission on offer is an eight-speed automatic, which helps this rear-wheel-drive coupe rocket to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and continue on until 195 mph.
The engine isn't the only new bit of kit under the body. For the first time, Aston Martin has included an electronic rear differential, which can respond faster as it adjusts the output to each rear wheel. It also packs adaptive dampers, torque vectoring and speed-dependent electronic power steering.
While you can place an order for a 2019 Aston Martin Vantage starting today, deliveries won't happen until the second quarter of 2018. It'll cost you $149,995 just to get in the door, not counting the options or customizations you'll want to throw in for good measure.