New Aston Martin Vantage Powers Up To Take On Porsche, Mercedes

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Aston Martin, the British-based luxury brand, was made famous first by its race cars. The letters DB, short for David Brown, the man who bought the company in 1947, have graced a dozen generations of coupes since then.

In between those James Bond vehicles, Aston intermittently delivered another sports car, Vantage. Usually based on the DB of the era, the company is now on DB12, it was a slightly smaller, sportier version of the two-door coupe that the same choice of powertrain be it V8 or 12-cylinder engine.

Six years after the last-generation Vantage debuted, a new Aston Martin Vantage road car, unveiled alongside a Vantage GT3 race car, is here. It takes full advantage of the generational change of the DB12.

The new Vantage is wider by about an inch and comes with a larger grille opening offering 29 percent more airflow. New cooling intakes set into the bumper on either side of the grille sharpen the front-end’s look. A new wider and lower integrated splitter adds aerodynamic function, reducing front-end lift at speed.

It also has a new LED headlamp design with integrated daytime running lights.

The Vantage returns with the famous Aston Martin side strake, with wheels that fill more of the wheel well. The frameless door mirrors and presenting door handles are new as well. Besides base colors, the Vantage can be ordered with an accented pinstripe, pinstripe and Lipstick, which is what Aston calls the grille surround, or pinstripe, Lipstick and Rear infill.

The outgoing Vantage rode on the same platform as the DB11 and used 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine supplied by Mercedes-AMG. That era’s Vantage delivered a 195-mph top speed and a zero-to-sixty mph time of 3.6 seconds.

With peaks of 655 horsepower (hp) and 590 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque the new Vantage makes its biggest ever jump in power, gaining 152 hp and 84 lb-ft. Aston says the gains were due to extensive tuning of the same 4.0-liter turbocharged V8, along with increased cooling. It has an eight-speed automatic transmission and a top speed of 202 miles per hour (mph).

A new launch control system is integrated and motivates the vehicle as fast as the surface allows using its electronic differential, traction control and torque management. The driver can also dial-in the precise amount of slip they want by making changes to the eight-position Adjustable Traction Control (ATC) rotary switch.

The stiff aluminum platform returns with a 50:50 weight balance and features a reengineered front body cross member and engine cross brace. Those increase rigidity between the front suspension towers leading to more predictable handling. It has adaptive dampers with both soft and hard settings and a new power steering system said to improve road feel.

The new Aston Martin Vantage comes with 21-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tires.

The two-seat cabin features the expected suede and double-stitched Bridge of Weir leather. It comes with hard-shelled padded sport seats and an optional 15-speaker, 1,170-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system. The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system is cribbed from the DB12 as well, using a combination of touch and physical controls on the center console. That DB12 system is again shared with Mercedes, as the engine, engine control and infotainment system all work together.

Aston Martin uses What3Words for navigation. It’s a system that uses three words to divide the earth into 10-foot squares, for instance clip.apples.leap is in New York City Hall. It also features wireless Apple CarPlay for those who want to navigate with their smartphone.

As with many vehicles the new Vantage comes with an app that allows owners to interact with their vehicle. Buyers can check maintenance status, make dealership appointment, and locate their vehicle and share in the Aston Martin community.

Vehicles like the Aston Martin Vantage compete in a small, elevated two-door group with the Porsche 911 Turbo ($199,850), the new Mercedes-AMG CLE and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 ($154,500), the 575-hp Jaguar F-Type R75 ($115,000) along with a few others. The current Vantage is currently the least expensive model in the company’s lineup at $143,900, however, the company didn’t reveal pricing for the new model.

Production of the Vantage starts in the first quarter of 2024, with the first deliveries scheduled to begin in the second quarter.