Aston Martin seems to be heading towards a bold, new future.
And today is a very exciting day, because for the first time we're about to see what might be considered the lynchpin of its future road car lineup.
This is the new Aston Martin Vantage.
First impression, is just how much like the DB10 from James Bond this looks like but better somehow.
I always thought that Dipped down too much at the front whereas this it just looks so perfectly balanced.
If ever a car screamed 50-50 weight distribution, this is it.
It's so sleek.
I love the fact that although there's obviously the front diffuser and then these here alleviating pressure from the front arches and rear diffuser over the top it's just A wonderfully clean line with a little flick up at the rear.
It's just gorgeous.
It looks so compact as well and it's aggressive, much more so than I think any recent Aston Martin I can remember, even the special editions.
There's just something about the face and the proportions.
Under the bonnet is an alloy four-liter twin turbo V8.
It's set well back in the chassis to give that mid front engine layout.
It puts out 503 brake horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
And 505 pounds for the torque between 2000 rpm and 5000 rpm.
The fundamentals of the engine as I'm sure you're aware Originally hail from AMG, but that is no bad thing, as anyone who's heard or driven one of the german [UNKNOWN] cars with this [UNKNOWN] knows this is tremendous V8, possibly the best of the current breed.
Terrific response and a glorious soundtrack.
Naught to 62 miles an hour is dispatched in 3.7 seconds.
The Vantage's top speed is 195 miles an hour.
The world's tradeline figures are important.
I give the handling is even more integral to this car.
Frissing bends on road and track, it must entertain like yielding gait with access to a selection of lit fireworks.
I want to talk about the chasm and suspension but we also around the back of the car, there are a couple of details here
The way this light bar follows the rear up here, I think it's actually beautiful and I love the fact that the exhausts, there's no fake endings to those, proper bits of metal.
The chassis is the bonded aluminium structure that we've become used to.
But the suspension, you have got double wishbones at the front as before, but now instead of the double wishbones at the rear, we have got a multilink setup.
Front and rear as before.
The wheels, well they're 20 inches all around, we've got 400 millimeter steel break disks hiding behind the front wheels.
The tires are Pirelli P Zeroes that have been designed specifically for this car, 255s at the front Two 95s at the rear.
Also on the rear axle for the first time we got an EDF, or electronic differential.
[UNKNOWN] was lucky enough to sit in the passenger seat of a prototype during ESP testing in Sweden earlier this year.
It gave us a glimpse at the dynamics of the new car, and the signs were very promising indeed.
The car was what's known as an M1 mule.
So as well as the camouflage, it was disguised by DB11 lights.
But underneath it was clear that this was a very different car to the big GT.
It is 100 millimeters shorter in wheelbase, 230 millimeters shorter overall.
Matt Becker and his team Tasked with engineering it to be a real driver's car.
Gromus means they needed to make it responsible and agile.
It was an agreement that it shouldn't be a car that was just about the numbers.
So they also wanted to make it playful.
Tuning things like that new edict, that it was fun, progressive, easy to slide.
And yes, we did hear suggestions that it might be available with a manual gearbox at some point in the future.
Anyway, back to the warm studio.
Open up the hatchback boot and there's a surprising amount of space given the car's compact look.
Aston will of course sell you a set of matching luggage if you wish to make the most of it.
The interior is beautifully trimmed with intricately stitched and sumptuously soft leather, as you would expect.
But what does it feel like to sit in it?
The first thing that you notice when you get into the car, and this is absolutely crucial, is how low the seating position is.
The Vontage has always had this quite high dashboard.
In this you just feel absolutely perfectly placed.
You're in the right position, you get the right feeling from it.
Straight away for a sports car.
This sort of waist line is quite high up here.
The steering wheel is small than in the DB 11.
But it feels nice to hold.
2.4 turns lock to lock.
And obviously unlike the old [UNKNOWN] to be expected, this is now electrically power assisted.
Here we've got different modes here for dampers, and then you've got sport, sport plus, and track on the different setups for the car Paddle behind here, a much more positive action than in the DB 11.
It's the 8 speed ZF Gearbox which is, I think it'd be crucial to how this car differentiates from the old one.
Because well it's a much slicker gearbox for a start.
And yeah should be very, very good indeed.
In this center consul here we've also got the Mercedes electronics which I still think is a very good thing you want to be able to reliably navigate your way across Europe but the way all the buttons have been laid out is slightly different so you've got the recognizable buttons for PRND and then the big engine stop start in the middle.
They also got these toggle switches up here mainly the climate controls and that sort of thing.
And the other buttons range down here.
And it's all very compact and neat.
I like it.
When the new Vontage goes on sale, it will cost just over 120,000 piunds in the UK, 154,000 Euros in Europe A smidgen under $150 thousand in America.
That puts it in direct competition with cars such as the AMGGT and Audi's R8, although inevitably, it will be compared to Porsche's 911, as well.
On paper, it certainly has the credentials to compete in the achingly aggressive sports car looks bode extremely well for the handling We will only know for sure when we get to press this button in a few months time.
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