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Aston Martin’s legendary Vantage returns, its third generation gracefully fusing timeless elegance with cutting-edge engineering. Revived in 2018 after a storied past, the iconic nameplate sheds the “V8” prefix, now standing as a symbol of refined power.

Sweltering under the Andalusian sun, the Monteblanco Circuit near Seville, with its unforgiving twists and elevation changes, became our crucible for testing the Vantage’s capabilities. Aston Martin’s bold decision to let us unleash the car firsthand on this demanding track for 15 scorching laps truly showcased its mettle. The challenging and abrasive track did not faze the Vantage. Shod with Aston Martin-developed Michelin PS S5 street tires, it displayed unwavering poise and control.

Under the sleek hood lies a formidable 665 PS twin-turbo V8 engine, propelling the Vantage from 0 to 100 km/h in a heart-stopping 3.5 seconds. The finely tuned throttle response of this 4.0-litre powerhouse mimics a naturally aspirated engine, making it ideal for both the racetrack and winding roads.

Reaching the Vantage’s 325 km/h top speed on the track would have demanded championship-level skill and control, a realm reserved for Le Mans champions and the likes, an experience beyond our grasp. Nevertheless, the car’s acceleration proved exhilarating, and the optional 410/350 mm Carbon-Ceramic brakes underwent a severe test, glowing red-hot from hauling the car down from speeds exceeding 260 km/h.

The Vantage’s design has undergone a significant evolution. The front end, reminiscent of the rare Aston Martin One-77, features larger, better-integrated air intakes for enhanced engine cooling. Aerodynamically optimized, it generates 77 kg of downforce at maximum speed without the need for wings. The rear haunches, extended by 30 mm, lend an aggressive stance, complemented by new rear vents and a pronounced diffuser.

Inside, Aston Martin has addressed prior criticisms by introducing a new infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen. This seamless user experience integrates seamlessly with Apple CarPlay and will soon include Android Auto. The comfort sport seats provide excellent support for spirited driving, with an optional carbon fiber set for a more track-focused experience. These lower the driving position by 10 mm, but their lack of height adjustment might concern shorter drivers.

On the twisting roads surrounding Monteblanco Circuit, the Vantage truly shines. The expertly tuned electrically assisted power steering provides exceptional feedback and minimal understeer, inspiring confidence on winding routes. It’s one of the most responsive steering systems I’ve ever experienced, and it’s hard to imagine anything better.

The ride quality, while not as plush as the DB12, caters to the sportier side with Bilstein DTX dampers. The default Sport mode offers a surprising level of comfort for a sporty car. Sport Plus tightens body control for those challenging roads, while Track mode, firm and unforgiving, is ideal for smooth surfaces but too stiff for everyday use. Throughout the drive, Sport Plus proved to be the sweet spot, balancing excellent body control with a touch of firmness on uneven stretches.

Aston Martin’s Formula 1 venture has left its mark on their road cars, with their “Track Podium Green” paintwork being the most popular choice. This synergy between their F1 and GT4/GT3 racing efforts has culminated in a lineup that perfectly balances brand prestige with exceptional performance.

The rear-mounted 8-speed ZF automatic transmission flawlessly handles the 665 PS and 800 Nm of torque, optimizing weight distribution (50:50) and delivering quick, decisive shifts. The shorter gear ratio in the e-Diff enhances acceleration across all gears, while the meticulously tuned chassis, developed in collaboration with Michelin, ensures the Vantage handles with the agility of a much lighter car.

Despite its 1745 kg weight, the Vantage exhibits impressive agility and responsiveness. It stops, accelerates, and changes direction with finesse. This meticulous engineering ensures the car’s mass is only truly noticeable on the track, disappearing for a dynamic driving experience on the road.

The new Aston Martin Vantage redefines the luxury sports car. It’s a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to blending high performance with refined aesthetics. The Vantage caters to both the hardcore enthusiast and the discerning driver seeking an exhilarating yet luxurious ride. It might even challenge its upmarket sibling, the DB12 – a testament to Aston Martin’s engineering prowess. After all, such healthy competition within a brand is a problem any automaker would be happy to have.

MAX POWER 665PS at 6000 rpm
MAX TORQUE 800Nm at 2750 to 6000 rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 381 hp per tonne
ACCELERATION 0-100KM/H 3.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 325 km/h
CONSUMPTION 12.1 l/100km (WLTP combined)
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