Aston Martin updates the Vantage range for the 2012 model year

Article by Christian A., on February 21, 2012

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.

Press Release

The New Aston Martin Vantage Range for 2012

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 programme 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 SportshiftTM automated manual transmission has now been replaced with the seven-speed SportshiftTM 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 tyres 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 callipers. This new braking system also includes Hill Start Assist (HSA) for more precise control on steep inclines. The V8 Vantage also comes with tyres 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.

These technical and styling changes have been applied to both the V8 Vantage Coupe and Roadster models, with prices starting from £84,995 / €108,500 (Germany).

The £99,995 / €128,500 (Germany) Vantage S remains the most generously equipped, highest performing and most driver-focussed V8-engined model in the range. Developing 430bhp (436PS/321kW) at 7300rpm and 490Nm (361lb ft) of torque at 5000rpm the Vantage S's more potent state of engine tune perfectly complements the SportshiftTM II close-ratio seven speed automated manual transmission, which is fitted as standard. A sports exhaust system unique to the ‘S' further emphasises its sporting credentials, delivering a rousing soundtrack, totally in keeping with the intensity of the driving experience.

Carbon fibre detailing of the Vantage S's motorsport-derived aerodynamic package makes a discreet and highly appealing visual distinction from the V8 Vantage, while inside the ‘S' variant features a sumptuously trimmed interior that demonstrates Aston Martin's unique ability to combine the craftsmanship of traditional hand-stitched leather upholstery with striking modern design. The company's fully integrated satellite navigation system developed in conjunction with Garmin is now fitted as standard along with Bluetooth and cruise control.

Production of the sensational V12 Vantage continues unchanged; this acclaimed model delivering its unrivalled blend of extreme performance, exclusivity and practicality in one unique package. Powered by a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque, this remarkable evolution of the Vantage has a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) and 0-62 mph (0-100 kp/h) time of 4.2 seconds while its uniquely thrilling character distinguishes it from the rest of the range.

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 gruelling 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 revitalised 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.

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