The Aston Martin Vantage range is enhanced further with the significant improvements for the V8 Vantage to boost its dynamic feel and style of the marque’s entry-level sports car. Its pricing has also been made more competitive. The top-end of the Vantage range has been revised with the naming of the new and ultra-exclusive V12 Zagato as the flagship vehicle when it starts production later this year.
This is this lineup’s most wide-ranging enhancement plan since 2008. The revised 4.7-litre 420bhp (426PS/313kW) entry-level V8 Vantage gets improvements that were first seen in the Vantage S. Aston Martin keeps the standard six-speed manual transmission but the optional six-speed Sportshift™ automated manual transmission was replaced with the seven-speed Sportshift II.
This new gearbox, which was created and built specifically for Aston Martin, comes with more gear, closer ratios, lower final drive and a faster, refined shift quality. This new gearbox offers faster and more precise shifts as well as optimizes acceleration and brings a sporting driving experience. Some of the enhancements are centered on the V8 Vantage’s chassis, which features developments from the Vantage S.
The V8 Vantage is fitted with quicker steering, bigger brakes and wider tires to have a class-leading poise and make it more responsive and fun to drive. The new V8 Vantage could be driven with even better precision, more agility and offers more feedback with the use of 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.
Both the V8 Vantage Coupe and Roadster models get technical and styling changes. They have a starting price of RRP £84,995 / €108,500 (Germany). The most generously equipped is the RRP £99,995 / €128,500 (Germany) Vantage S, which comes with the top-performing and most driver-focused V8-engined model in the range.
Vantage S could develop 430bhp (436PS/321kW) at 7300rpm and 490Nm (361lb ft) of torque at 5000rpm. Its more potent state of engine tune is an ideal match to the Sportshift II close-ratio seven speed automated manual transmission, which is offered as standard. Its sporting credentials get a boost due to the sports exhaust system that’s unique to the ‘S’.
Racing has long been a part of the history of Aston Martin and when it comes to motorsport racing, leading the brand is the Vantage. It was in 2006 when the Vantage first ventured into racing and this was when the engineering department, with CEO Dr Ulrich Bez in the lead, entered the V8 Vantage in the highly demanding Nürburgring 24 hour race.
Ever since that fateful day, the brand has continued to use the GT4 variants of the V8 Vantage and it is indeed something that should not be trifled with. It began a one-make racing series and even achieved wins under its class in different 24-hour races like Dubai and the Silverstone, in addition of course to the Nürburgring. For the 2012 season, Aston Martin Racing revealed that it is moving forward with a V12 Vantage specifically made for racing.
At present, this magnificent racing car continues to be undergoing what many are saying is an extensive test program. Dubbed as the V12 Zagato, it was developed in 2011 in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of the well-known DB4GT Zagato. In fact, a prototype version of this model managed to excite quite a number of enthusiasts by not only participating in the Nürburgring 24-hour race but also winning the famed Villa D'Este concours.
Barely a year since that debut, the brand has managed to come out with a version that displays advanced technology, show hand-built craftsmanship, and reveals that distinct bespoke Italian design. Indeed, it appears as if the V12 Vantage is still its powerful self with a good mix of unmatched performance, practicality, and exclusivity. Under the hood is the 6.0-liter V12 engine which can deliver 510 hp (380 kW/517 PS) with peak torque of 420 lb.-ft. (570 Nm).
This ensures that the Vantage is set apart from the rest with acceleration from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) possible in 4.2 seconds and maximum speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). Aston Martin shared that it is planning to give it a limited production run with the first deliveries scheduled to begin in the later part of this year.