The Aston Martin Vantage Is the Brand’s Most Affordable Vehicle
The Vantage starts at $149,000 and looks to be the British automaker’s best-selling model
Aston Martin is playing. The 105-year-old boutique British carmaker had its best sales year in a decade last year, selling more than 5,000 cars, an increase of nearly 60% from the previous year.
It was the first profit in its recent history. And, compared to previous decades when the company had only a few cute but anachronistic vehicles, it’s embarking on a product offensive with a slew of new models.
The all-new Vantage is the latest addition to this elite group. It replaces Aston’s oldest car, also known as the Vantage, and its release dates back to the early eighties, the car years two generations ago when most cars had a seven-year product cycle.
But after testing the new model in the lovely Algarve region of southern Portugal, we can prove the wait was worth it.
Aston wants to offer a growing number of (wealthy) consumers more and more exclusive cars that demonstrate its prowess in technology, design, and engineering.
Although the Vantage is the second of three all-new sports car models the brand will release, the DB11 Grand Tourer comes first; the replacement for the Vanquish supercar is expected next year – Aston will eventually launch seven models, including A hybrid all-wheel-drive SUV and an ultra-luxury autonomous electric super sedan.
The Vantage has been and is expected to be the brand’s best-seller. It’s also the most affordable Aston, starting at $149,000 when it goes on sale in the U.S. this summer, so it’s the entry point for many buyers into the Aston.
The Aston Martin Vantage can go from zero to 60 miles per hour. Just 3.6 seconds.
The Vantage is a pure two-seater luxury sports coupe. As a result, it has a more aggressive look than its sibling, the sporty four-seater DB11. Its hood is low, its grille and air intakes flare, and its headlights sneer.
Its fenders bulge like a football player’s quadriceps. Its tail immediately lifted and tucked inside, like a deep-sea predator galloping toward its prey.
The overall effect is intimidating, especially when equipped with dark-colored wheels and body-color front fenders, lower sills, and rear panel inserts. (Contrasting color inserts tend to make the car look as if someone has lip liner to outline its lovely outline.) Contrary to most celebrities, the Vantage is one of those vehicles that looks much better than the photos.
Aston Martin Vantage’s cleverly designed interior.
The interior of the new Vantage is an order of magnitude better than the old model. Much of this is based on the beneficial link between Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin.
Mercedes bought a 5% stake in the company a few years ago, and one of the core advantages of the partnership is the licensed use of Mercedes’ electronic architecture. This means that the info and entertainment system (navigation, audio, ventilation, etc.), as well as the instrument panel gauges, are powered by industry-leading Mercedes technology.
As a pure sports car, the Vantage doesn’t need (or need) Mercedes’ driver-assistance tech that enables semi-autonomous features like radar cruise control and lane-keeping. We are happy about it. We love driving the Vantage ourselves.
In addition, the interior has been upgraded in other aspects. The seats have been lowered in the body and the space has been dug out of the door panels to make more room for passengers and storage.
The leather and suede covering the seats, door panels, and headliner are top-notch, with intricate hand quilting and embroidery.
Trims range from pretty book-matching wood finishes to interesting carbon fiber weaves. The new horizontally oriented center console, with visible hard buttons, arranges controls in a more accessible way than the previously vertical “waterfall,” with some tiny metal switches.
At the heart of Vantage’s words and metaphors is its motor. This is also on loan from Mercedes. But it’s not just any old German engine. It’s the heavy-breathing twin-turbocharged 503-hp V-8 that Mercedes installs on the nose of its AMG GT sports car.
In this application, it has been specially tuned by Aston engineers to provide a slightly more mid-range exhaust note, but we can assure you that after a long day of high-speed driving through Portuguese vineyards and farms, Its voice is still loud enough to startle horses, sheep, and farmers. Its effectiveness is also beyond doubt.
Aston claims it will accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour. In just 3.6 seconds, we felt every bit of that power, and more, even in the drizzling weather in Algarve.
While it excels at acceleration, being able to use all that power efficiently on the road is what makes the Vantage truly enjoyable.
The car is very well balanced overall, and it’s especially enjoyable when climbing twisty peaks or blasting along curvy coastal highways, especially when exhausted in racing mode. But it’s docile enough, with the suspension at its most compliant setting, and the muffler turned down to cruise around town without drawing too much attention. (Note: you’ll get some attention.)
What sets the Vantage apart is its uniqueness. Few established automakers produce a limited number of cars a year like Aston, and those that do — like Rolls-Royce — don’t make sports cars. So even as production ramps up, and when it comes to handling their “production” cars, Aston will always be unique.
But, apart from being unique, unlike the more restrained and showy Italian cars that often arouse the envy of other drivers, it’s excellent but doesn’t stand out in any negative way. Everyone seems to respect Aston. It’s classic and elegant.