There is that feeling of exclusivity found at Aston Martin that gives the Porsche 911 an added attraction. Far from saying that it is a better car, it is different and we have to admit that the styling 'Aston Martin is among the most successful in the industry. I had the chance to test drive the very first Vantage in 2005 at the Gaydon factory and in the English countryside. The more understated style of the era has since gained in popularity, but retains a clean line and unique elegance.
Technology sharing with Mercedes
Engineers have worked with products known to give the Vantage an exclusive personality. Our test model features the same original AMG V8 engine also found in the DB11. This 4.0-liter V8 makes the presence of its 503 horsepower noisily felt. The platform is also the same used by the DB11, but it is shorter on the Vantage which is a strict two-seater while the DB11 offers two seats in the rear. The shorter wheelbase gives the Vantage a more edgy, dynamic personality. Since last year, the Vantage has also offered a convertible version. And for those who want to experience the exhilaration of a V12, there is also an AMR model that asks to go deeper into your wallet.
Compared to the DB 11 we tested earlier in the week, the Vantage is sharper and more precise in its reactions. You are not entitled to a comfort mode that took the name GT in the DB11. Comfort mode is actually Sport mode in the Vantage. You then have Sport + and Track mode. You can even choose a seven-speed manual transmission. Our eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle showed a lot of character and power. Capable of propelling the beast of nearly 1,500 kg to 100 km / h in just over 3.6 seconds, this Vantage has nothing to be ashamed of in front of any of its competitors. Despite a size that looks pretty generous from the outside, the Vantage is actually smaller than a 911, but the cockpit is ingeniously designed and leaves plenty of room for the driver with very comfortable seats. It’s also firmer than a DB11 on the road, without body roll. The steering, which only counts 2 and a half turns from one stop to the other, is precise and unmistakable on small roads. The only complaint is a lack of feedback which is clearly to Porsche's advantage here. The new electric power steering does not have the same precision as the old hydraulic power steering. The V8 engine's soundtrack closer to the American muscle car does justice to AMG's excellent reputation. The noise is as powerful as its acceleration.
Modern interior, but a little dark
The cabin is modern, curious technical detail, there is no glove compartment. You also have to admit that the reports in the form of buttons in the center console on the one hand are hard to find (because they are right in the middle of another pack of buttons) and remind me of American cars of the 1950s. there is something that breaks with the modernity of the rest of the cabin. Aston also placed the start button right in the middle of this space that looks like juvenile automobile acne. In short. There are a lot of buttons and it is confusing. That said, the rule of thumb is good, we prefer the buttons to too many submenus from other manufacturers, we just need to tidy this up a bit. In terms of storage spaces, they are few and small. No glove box, a small central space and 350 liters of trunk, that's about it. You are also entitled to a central screen where most of the information is housed and Aston takes care of the quality of its leather which gives a surplus of personality to this two-seater. It only lacks a little color to make the interior more pleasant.
It will take a minimum budget of 175,000 for a Vantage V8 coupe without options or almost. Our test model which boasted a premium sound system, unique burgundy color, black op finish and more comes in at $ 200,000. At this price, you get epic engine sound, a silhouette that will envy all your neighbors and enough comfort to use it every day from May to the end of October. It’s not a 911, but you will be the only one in your vicinity that has one.
Powerful and sound V8 engine
Manual transmission available
A bit dated infotainment
Communion with the road not as good as a 911
Lots of buttons in the cabin
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