2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe and Vantage S Roadster Review

Developed and refined with characteristic passion and skill, the Aston Martin Vantage range has evolved rapidly and expanded intelligently. By sharpening its focus on truly great sporting dynamics yet acknowledging that such race-proven agility, pace and driver involvement should not intimidate, compromise comfort or inhibit everyday usability, there is a Vantage to suit your needs and desires perfectly. Powered by a fabulous, 4.7-litre, 420 bhp V8 engine, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe and Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster is the magnificent entry to the range. Available as a sleek Coupe or rakish Roadster, it comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, or an optional six-speed ‘Sportshift’* paddle-operated transmission. The V8 Vantage combines thrilling handling with high levels of equipment and comfort. It also has the ability to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds, and to power on to a possible maximum speed of 290 km/h (180 mph).

As its name and racebred looks suggest, the new 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S is a more overtly sporting Vantage aimed at the keenest driver. Also available as a Coupe or a Roadster, styling changes include new wheels and aerodynamics honed in GT racing, while, inside the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, unique detailing creates a very special driving ambience. Featuring a tuned version of the Vantage’s 4.7-litre V8, developing 430 bhp and 490 Nm (361 lb ft) of torque, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S mates this added potency to an all-new seven-speed ‘Sportshift II’* paddle-operated transmission. Fitted as standard and featuring closer gear ratios and a shorter final-drive ratio, this gives the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S exceptional in-gear acceleration for a searing sense of urgency. Thanks to more sporting suspension settings and a more responsive steering rack, it has the reactions to match, while a competition-derived floating disc front brake system, complete with larger discs and new six-piston calipers, ensures immense stopping power for absolute confidence. With its sensational performance, ride and handling characteristics, the new V8 Vantage S is the benchmark sports car.

Compact, lithe and built around a rigid aluminium structure, the Vantage combines lightweight construction with a heavyweight punch for supreme all-round performance. The Vantage is the only model line in the Aston Martin range to feature both the lightweight, compact, all-alloy, 4.7-litre V8 and the fabulous, 6.0-litre V12. Handassembled at Aston Martin’s purpose-built engine facility in Cologne, Germany, these engines are designed and tuned to deliver the broadest possible spread of performance. Special attention is paid to the way they breathe so that they perform to their maximum at both low and high revs.

Air flowing into the engines is guided efficiently into the combustion chambers through carefully
sculpted inlet systems, and then evacuated through freeflowing exhaust systems. Special bypass valves subdue the exhaust note at low speeds, but at higher speeds these valves open to reduce the pressure in the exhaust system, increase the power output of the engine and produce a truly magnificent soundtrack to your journey. Mounted as low and as far back in the chassis as possible for a low centre of gravity, supremely balanced handling and maximum agility, both engines are tremendously powerful – 420 bhp in the V8 Vantage, 430 bhp in the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage S and 510 bhp in the V12 Vantage. Aston Martin’s engineers also maximised torque output, for it is this often overlooked measure of an engine’s performance that delivers immediate, addictive, any-gear acceleration. Torque also triggers the exquisite sensation in the pit of your stomach when you squeeze the throttle and is what makes every Aston Martin a thrill to drive.

Every Aston Martin Vantage in the range remains true to this philosophy of effortless, exploitable performance. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage’s 4.7-litre engine develops 77 per cent of its 470 Nm (346 lb ft) torque peak at just 1500 rpm, delivering an instant response from a little over idle to 7000 rpm and beyond. In the uprated V8 Vantage S, this concept has been taken a step further, its engine specially tuned to develop an additional 10 bhp and 20 Nm of torque to create the most intense driving experience yet in a V8-powered Vantage.

As a pure sports car, the Aston Martin Vantage combines terrific agility and response with assured stability and an unrivalled sense of confidence. A natural and intuitive car to drive quickly thanks to its optimised front-engined, rearwheel- drive layout, the Vantage is the epitome of dynamism. The core of the Vantage just like the DB9, DBS and Rapide models is Aston Martin’s VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Providing a light, strong and rigid structure to which the engine, transmission and double wishbone suspension are attached, the VH platform is designed to concentrate as much mass as possible within the wheelbase for perfect weight distribution, a low polar moment of inertia and a low centre of gravity.


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