Although the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage is a brand-new automotive with critically spankin’ bodywork, the reality is, a lot of the beneath has been round for years. The chassis is a reworked model of the aluminum-intensive construction that underpins the DB11 grand tourer. The four.Zero-liter V8 engine comes from Mercedes-AMG. For these causes, you can assume the Vantage may really feel a little bit… spinoff, largely embodying traits of 1 or each of those donors. However because it seems, you would be unsuitable.
Overlook what lies below the Vantage’s pores and skin for a second — let’s take a while to ogle these curves. I dig the squat, huge proportions. I like the juxtaposition of the aggressively formed grille towards the graceful, elegant physique surfacing. I even get a kick out of the 20-inch wheels that look each comically massive but completely acceptable on the identical time. I may pore over the Vantage’s finer particulars all day lengthy, however I am going to as an alternative extremely recommend you let evaluations editor Jake Holmes stroll you thru a few of the coupe’s highlights within the video above. (Additionally, Jake, buddy, should you ever get uninterested in this automotive reviewing factor, I believe you’ve got bought a future profession as a hand mannequin.)
The drama extends inside, the place you may discover superbly sculpted leather-based seats with what seems to be miles of distinction stitching, completely complementing my check automotive’s Hyper Purple exterior. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is sort of hexagonal in form, and thick in all the suitable locations. Behind that you’re going to discover a totally digital, three-screen gauge cluster, with vivid, crisp graphics, although I discover the form of the IP housing itself to be horribly overstyled.
I like the gentle leather-based and sculpted seats and steering wheel of the Vantage’s cabin. That middle stack, nonetheless, is a multitude.
The middle stack is one other train in overwrought design. The infotainment display seems to be like an iPad leaned towards the leather-based sprint, with two bulging air vents under. Additional down, there is a mess of arduous, plastic buttons, organized considerably illogically (why are the car lock/unlock buttons positioned on both facet of the fan pace dial?). Transfer to the console, and you may see a pyramid of huge gear selectors with the red-glowing engine begin button positioned on the prime. Extra buttons flank both facet of the ineffective house in the midst of the console, inside which you may discover a tiny scroll wheel for audio quantity, in addition to the ripped-right-from-a-Mercedes rotary infotainment management dial and touchpad. Contemplating how lovely the remainder of the cabin is, this chunky-dumpy central space is an actual disappointment.
Two cup holders are massive sufficient to carry 20-ounce beverage bottles, although they’re going to tip over each time you make a tough flip. A small console resides between the entrance seats, too, but it surely’s solely large enough to carry your smartphone or keys and never a lot else. Frankly, there is not a lot space for storing to be discovered wherever contained in the cabin. Fortunately, the hatchback lifts to disclose a cargo compartment that is spacious sufficient to carry a decent-size suitcase or a few small duffel luggage.
Acquainted, outdated infotainment
Whereas I am discussing weak spots, let’s discuss in regards to the infotainment tech. The Vantage runs Mercedes’ COMAND system on an Eight-inch show, albeit with barely completely different graphics and fonts that truly look a little bit extra low-rent than what you may discover within the Benz-skinned model. This is not the most recent COMAND software program, both, and whereas it does provide Apple CarPlay, it lacks Android Auto assist. Fortunately, the interface works simply in addition to right here because it does in a 5-year-old Mercedes, with fast responses to inputs through the rotary dial or touchpad, and a comparatively simple menu construction.
There is a good quantity of driver help tech, regardless that a lot of the options are elective extras. Nonetheless, parking sensors, an autopark operate, blind-spot monitoring and a 360-degree digicam on a efficiency automotive like this are all good touches. None of this expertise is revolutionary, but it surely retains the Vantage aggressive inside the sports activities automotive house.
Goes like hell
After an hour behind the wheel, I can forgive nearly all the Vantage’s shortcomings. This is likely one of the most energetic Astons I’ve ever sampled — a automotive that’s completely good to drive.
Sure, the four.Zero-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 comes from Mercedes-AMG, however the Vantage would not simply drive like a Brit talking in its finest German accent. Aston Martin engineers tuned the engine and exhaust, and the result’s 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. Positive, a Mercedes-AMG GT C makes 550 horsepower with this identical engine, however at three,373 kilos, the Aston is a few 375 kilos lighter than its German equal. Each vehicles will dash to 60 miles per hour in three.6 seconds, for what it is price.
The Vantage is extremely fast, with a punch of turbocharged torque arriving simply off idle. The Aston’s eight-speed transmission comes from the parents at ZF, and it may be as clean as silk whereas swapping cogs round city, or rapid-fire in its nature when provoked by a flap of the steering column-mounted paddle shifters. Go straightforward on the throttle and also you may obtain the EPA-estimated freeway gasoline financial system determine of 25 miles per gallon. However drive it such as you imply it and you may seemingly observe a median nearer to the EPA’s 18-mpg metropolis ranking.
What I like in regards to the Vantage is how nice it feels on a winding canyon street. This factor modifications course immediately — there’s fast response from the steering, and the automotive appears to simply rotate round you. Energetic torque vectoring and an digital rear differential — the latter of which is an Aston Martin first — assist with this playful nature, as does the Vantage’s good 50:50 weight stability. And whereas the staggered 255/45-series entrance and 295/35-series rear Pirelli P-Zero tires provide great grip, the Aston’s no stranger to blips of managed oversteer popping out of tight bends.
You’ll be able to transfer by way of Sport, Sport+ and Monitor settings for the engine and adaptive dampers, and I discover it finest to make use of separate profiles for every. The suspension is actually fairly stiff even in its most docile Sport mode. Except you are actually pushing arduous alongside completely clean surfaces, you may wish to hold the suspension dialed again in order to not jostle the automotive an excessive amount of over street imperfections.
The engine, in the meantime, actually livens up while you swap it to Monitor — throttle response is fast and the exhaust actually comes alive, popping and crackling and burbling as you alter gears or elevate off the throttle. I simply want that ferocity have been an all-the-time factor. Under about three,500 rpm, the entire Monitor mode expertise is a bit too quiet.
I believe the rear three-quarter is the Vantage’s finest angle. This automotive’s bought some severe hips.
If I am to register every other grievance in regards to the drive expertise, it is that I want the steering have been a bit extra talkative in my fingers. Do not get me unsuitable, it is fast to reply to inputs, the Vantage’s nostril instantly darting wherever I level it. However with none type of road-level suggestions, or any loading or unloading of weight as I flip the wheel in both course, it simply sort of looks like a online game. Immediately responsive, certain, however with none sense of connection to what my tires are literally doing.
A worthy (and dear) contender
Sadly, all of it comes at fairly a price: $149,995 — earlier than choices, natch. At that value level, the Vantage is competing with immensely succesful sports activities vehicles just like the Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT R and Porsche 911 GT3. Heck, even the lower-spec variations of the AMG GT and 911 give the Vantage an actual run for its cash, with higher sorted cabins, stronger onboard tech and a bit extra involvement from behind the wheel. Truthfully, I’d simply purchase a 911 GT3 Touring and name it a day.
Nonetheless, I hold coming again to how a lot I loved the general expertise of driving the Vantage. The sound, the fury — the truth that I do know simply how superior it seems to be because it roars by. It is arduous to place a value on that type of emotion. And I am going to by no means fault anybody who feels the identical.
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