Aston Martin's new Vantage looks good, sounds good and drives even better
Forget the Vulcan in the Valkyrie.
Forget Redbull and racing.
Concern yourself not the DB 11 and DB 4GT because as impressive as Aston Martin's recent rise has been
This is where it really counts.
This is the car they need to get right.
This is the new vantage.
A quick recap, in case you are unfamiliar with the story so far.
Aston's baby as gotten rather serious, with 503 brake horsepower and 505 pounds foot of torque from its 4 liter twin turbo V8.
It will reach 62 miles an hour in 3.6 seconds, and go on to 195 miles an hour flat out.
The price has got rather serious too, however.
With the littlest Aston now starting at 120,000 pounds, so this has gotta be good.
[SOUND] Let's talk about the engine.
Now I know a lot of people have been Outraged, really, that Aston hasn't built its own engine from this half inched one from Mercedes.
But let's be honest about this.
They really couldn't have picked a better engine.
It is phenomenal.
It's got that slightly sort of American sound to it, the big bass, and you really would not know that This is turbo-charged.
You might think I'm crazy for saying that.
But trust me, the throttle response of this is unbelievable.
It is so good.
Of course, with the old car, there is a slight sense of its bark is worse than its bite.
But performance was.
Good without being electrifying.
This, on the other hand, is a whole other kettle of fish.
We had a while to assimilate the exterior of the car since it was unveiled at the end of last year, and it seems to have divided opinion, particularly that big grille at the front.
Overall I happen to think it's stunning.
Not as classic as the old car perhaps but certainly more aggressive and there are details that I like about the look too.
The front arch vents for example.
And this raised edge detailing on the headlights.
I think the car looks ace with slightly larger sidewalls too.
40 profile fronts, 35 rear.
[SOUND] Overall, I don't think the interior is quite as successful as the exterior.
It's perhaps just a bit fussy in places and I'm not sure all these buttons here are quite as intuitive as they could be.
Perhaps if this black plastic was in metal that would look a bit better.
[SOUND] Now this hasn't quite got the old car's Fail and sort of grainyness to everything.
[SOUND] But what it has got is an awful lot more grip.
[LAUGH] You're never waiting for the front end to get into a corner, and yet the rears feel so faithful as well.
So you can use all that instant throttle response to steer through a corner.
So much faster than the old car, but still so involving.
Pulled over for just a second because there are a couple of details in here I wanted to go through.
Firstly, A couple of things which I think shows this has been designed for drivers.
This is a proper drivers car.
Paddles, larger than DB 11.
Really long tactile, metal, how a paddle should be in my opinion.
The other thing is a nice little pad just down here so you can actually brace your knee against it when you're cornering.
Little things but, important.&nbsp; Apologies at this point to anyone distracted by the camper van parked up in the background.
I think it's a whirlwind nitro extreme five burst super deluxe with balcony.
Anyway, the other detail I wanted to highlight was this is very 007.
Pull that out.
There's a red button behind there.
I don't know what it does but that feels very James Bond.
I assume this is a pre-production car so I'm not promising that if you buy one you're gonna get a red button too but it would be nice if they were in all cars wouldn't it?
Though I'm not really fussed about having a DB5 ejector seat I would like a little more of an older assent beautifully communicative steering feel in the new Advantage.
Don't get me wrong its nicely responsive without dipping into that hyperalert Ferrari territory.
In some ways this feels like nit-picking but I'd just like a bit more feed back, I supposed that's just not the modern way.
And make no mistake overall the new Advantage is deeply impressive and immensely enjoyable.
Firstly, there's that wonderfully monstrous exhaust pipe which sounds like it's going to rip the back box from it's mountings on the floorboard options.
Drive hard and the new Vantage's compact stance big hearted but instantly eager engine make it feel like a bunched fist of a car.
Always ready to punch forward up the road.
And what roads they are down here in Southern Portugal Endlessly twisting, often narrow, but mostly smooth.
And when the trees receed, they offer up some spectacular views.
It has been A fantastic day.
And it's nice to come into town just to see this amongst other vehicles because that's where I think you really see just how amazing it is.
I'll have those headlights, those narrowed eyes.
But as good as it's been, we tried sport, sport plus, there is another mode we need to try.
Overnight, there was a change in weather, and a change in cars, just in case the subtle shade of screaming lime green didn't give it away.
This car is in the lightest possible spec, with forged wheels, although wrapped in the same rubber, carbon brakes, and quad-tipped sports exhaust.
It all adds up to a dry weight of 1,520 kilos, not that light, then.
How does it feel to [UNKNOWN]?
So we're trying out the track mode in the SP which is pretty good.
Let's try that around here.
See how much [UNKNOWN] we have.
So you just feel it grabbing in there before it gets too wild and Getting up over that corner there, so let's turn it all the way off.
[NOISE] It could be scary Because you've got all that grip which makes you think it might be really snappy, because your sort of think, It might just not be set up for it, it might not feel faithful, it might be Frankly terrifying.
[SOUND] But because it's got such good [UNKNOWN] balance, it's pretty good over the limit.
[LAUGH] [SOUND] Some of its agility is of course down to what's sitting between the rear wheels.
The balance really is beautiful, and it feels much lighter than the numbers suggest.
So much so, it begins to feel like witchcraft The wave of peeling back that skin for a closer look.
Fortunately Aston Martin has taken some metal snips from a brand new vantage just so that we can see the engineering wonders that lay beneath.
Principly among is how they get that 50/50 weight distribution.
You can see the four liter V8 is tucked up behind that front axle and underneath the front bulkhead.
And wandering down here past the bonded and extruded aluminium chassis, we have the eight speed ZF gearbox all the way at the back here with that E-dif.
So worth mentioning, it's now a multilink set-up at the rear.
Still got double wishbones at the front.
And this rear subframe is now solidly attached to the chassis which it wasn't on the DB11 That's not so good for NVH.
But it does help make that rear axle more rigid.
So you get better power transfer and a sweeter handling chassis.
Really leans those brakes.
You get a lovely feel from them.
So confidence inspiring.
The E-Diff in this car is a first for Aston Martin and it takes a little bit of getting used to, because sometimes you can find with E-Diffs because they can obviously go from fully locked to full open.
You just need to perhaps calm your steering and [UNKNOWN] be really precise.
The throttle, because otherwise you can end up sort of, you're taking [UNKNOWN] just as he did his opening.
But you can end up sort of very stranded, the same thing, which can be a bit scrappy.
But it's a really nice car other than that.
And the balance is certainly there.
It might be the case that some of the traditionalists out there
That you probably don't like the fact that it's no longer double [UNKNOWN] all around.
But you've got a multi-link set up in the rear.
Would also liked to have seen a mechanical [UNKNOWN] rather than the [UNKNOWN].
But, it does give them all sorts of options in terms of [UNKNOWN] and sort of the way the car feels.
Particularly on the road.
I did a lot of laps in the Vantage.
And added to my day on the road.
And it's like slight dumbfounded.
Imagine walking out at a cinema after seeing Logan or Watchman and going in and expecting to see just [INAUDIBLE] I felt.
I thought it's be gauged.
I thought it'd be enjoyable.
But I didnt expect To be this quick and this competent.
The engine is sensational.
The front wheel response is absolutely amazing, and the balance is wonderful.
Add that to the looks and you got a very, very desirable package.
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