The Aston Martin Vantage range continues to evolve with a comprehensive array of improvements to the V8 Vantage aimed at enhancing the dynamic feel, style and competitive pricing of the marque’s entry-level sports car. There are also changes at the top-end of the Vantage range with the new and ultra-exclusive V12 Zagato assuming the role of flagship when it enters production later this year.
In the most comprehensive program of enhancements since 2008, the revised 4.7-litre 420bhp (426PS/313kW) entry-level V8 Vantage features a raft of improvements first seen in the critically acclaimed Vantage S. The standard six-speed manual transmission remains, but the optional six-speed Sportshift™ automated manual transmission has now been replaced with the seven-speed Sportshift™ II. With an additional gear, closer ratios, lower final drive and a quicker, refined shift quality, this new gearbox – designed and manufactured specifically for Aston Martin – provides faster and more precise shifts, optimises acceleration and delivers a sporting driving experience.
Further dynamic enhancements centre on the V8 Vantage’s chassis, which features developments from the Vantage S. Quicker steering, bigger brakes and wider tires have all been fitted to further enhance the V8 Vantage’s class-leading poise and make it even more responsive and exciting to drive. A new steering column installation, re-valved power-steering pump and a quicker ratio of 15:1 compared to 17:1 on the previous model ensure the new V8 Vantage steers with even greater precision, handles with more agility and provides more feedback for a completely engaging drive.
Stopping power and pedal feel have been significantly increased thanks to new 380mm two-piece ventilated cast-iron front discs and six piston calipers. This new braking system also includes Hill Start Assist (HSA) for more precise control on steep inclines. The V8 Vantage also comes with tires that are 10mm wider than the outgoing model. Not only does this increased contact area improve the V8 Vantage’s already prodigious levels of road-holding, but it allows the more responsive steering and stronger brakes to be fully exploited.
To reflect its enhanced performance the V8 Vantage has received a number of styling changes inspired by the Vantage S and N400 limited edition. At the front a lower bumper – complete with aerodynamic splitter – houses a larger air intake that feeds the engine and front brakes. At the rear a diffuser creates added drama and function, while sculpted race-derived side sills complete the V8 Vantage’s more muscular look.
Later this year the Vantage range will be joined by the exotic V12 Zagato, created in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic DB4GT Zagato. A prototype V12 Zagato caused a sensation by winning the prestigious Villa D’Este concours and competing in the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Now, less than 12-months after its dramatic debut, the V12 Zagato – employing a unique blend of bespoke Italian design, hand-built craftsmanship and advanced technology - is poised to enter strictly limited production, with first deliveries to commence later this year.
Racing is in Aston Martin’s DNA and the Vantage is at the forefront of Aston Martin’s motorsport activity. The Vantage first went racing in 2006, when Aston Martin’s CEO Dr Ulrich Bez and members of the company’s engineering department took a near-standard V8 Vantage to the grueling Nürburgring 24 hour race. Since then GT4 versions of the V8 Vantage have become a force to be reckoned with, spawning one-make race series and winning their class in Dubai, Nürburgring, Silverstone and Spa 24-hour races. For 2012 Aston Martin Racing is stepping up a gear with the new V12 Vantage focused race car. Currently undergoing an extensive test programme this spectacular new racing car will be in action throughout the 2012 season.
Combining iconic styling, thrilling performance, true craftsmanship and exclusivity the revitalized Vantage range boasts unprecedented breadth and appeal. The revised V8 Vantage together with the rest of the range is available to order now from Aston Martin’s global dealer network.