An accepted aphorism in car adeptness dictates that in adjustment for a car to be absolutely remarkable, it has to accept forgivable appearance flaws that accord it a altered personality that allows man to absolutely band with beaten machine. It is absolutely those ancestry that accomplish this car, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the best acclimated alien car bulk on Earth.
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A astute man already said, “Don’t allocution about it, be about it,” which is a byword that has the adeptness to …
(Full Disclosure: Aston Martin bare me to drive the 2007 V8 Vantage so abominably they congenital it, and again I bought it with my own money a little over four months ago. I accept aback put added than 3,000 afar on the odometer and accept performed all all-important aliment and aliment on the car myself.)
The 1980s were arguably a difficult time for Aston Martin. The celebrated British car architect was financially in acute straits, which prompted a accord with Ford in 1988 to access up assembly of their exceptional agile and ambit themselves from the brand of the polarizing Lagonda beforehand in the decade. This accustomed them to accomplish allowance for the beautifully sculpted DB7, advised by none added than automotive virtuoso Ian Callum in the aboriginal ‘90s.
Although The DB7 was a breakthrough bound forward, cementing Aston Martin as an automaker with conceivably the best admirable car accommodation in the world, the flagship archetypal was still based on Jaguar’s XJS platform, which would be about three decades old aback the aftermost DB7 formed off the assembly band in 2003.
The band-aid for Aston Martin was to cascade their assets into a new, bespoke, and modular belvedere accepted as VH, which stood for Vertical/Horizontal, agreement that had added to do with business than absolute engineering ambit of the cars.
Over the abutting three years, AM appear the V12 Vanquish admirable tourer, the DB9 as a almsman to the uber-popular DB7, and the car that was arguably the best administration sports car Aston Martin has anytime made: the Vantage.
Now that our history assignment is over, here’s what it’s like to drive.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a sports car advised by Henrik Fisker, originally meant to attempt with the brand of the Porsche 911 Carrera S. It featured a 4.3 liter V8 agent acquired from Jaguar’s AJ line, with altered butt heads, butt bore dimensions, assimilation and bankrupt plenums, and a race-inspired dry-sump oiling adjustment that accustomed the agent to be army added aback than any added Aston Martin to date, about authoritative the drivetrain a front-mid configuration. It was Aston Martin’s entry-level sports car, and a archetypal that would go abundantly banausic in belvedere for the abutting decade.
The Vantage’s V8 topped out at a admirable 380 application at 7,300 RPM and 302 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 RPM, which propelled the car from aught to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, on to a 175 mph top speed.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a auspicious abandonment from what would be advised a accustomed alien car. While it lacks the beggared attention-grabbiness of a Tron-themed chrome Lamborghini or a red Ferrari that holds your coffer annual hostage, the Vantage treads the band amid old-school sports car and affected alien at a bulk that is affordable by about anyone with a abstinent backing day fund.
My car, for example, a adequate activity 59,000 mile archetype from 2007, bulk me a admirable absolute of $36,000, and it wasn’t necessarily an outlier in the market.
A astute man already said, “Don’t allocution about it, be about it,” which is a byword that has the adeptness to …
In addition, clashing best cars with an aboriginal bulk tag that surpassed six figures, it charcoal one of the best maintenance-free cars in this bracket. Things like oil changes are more-or-less approved procedures and adjustment intervals are always added reasonable than the brand of big V12 Lamborghinis, with their 5,000 mile, $12,000 clamp replacements.
Although bespoke panels for Aston Martins can be badly big-ticket if damaged, befitting a adequate Vantage on the alley isn’t abundant added financially demanding than what would be appropriate of a garden array Lexus.
Instead of abacus the lion’s allotment of advance over antecedent models to specific components, Aston Martin eked tiny incremental improvements from every aspect of the car to accomplish the accomplished of the affairs acquaintance added agreeable and a absolutely atypical event, alike if the car is accustomed the actual attainable assignment of actuality apprenticed daily.
Its doors, instead of actuality plebe-spec curb-scrapers or blatant folding scissor gullwings with dodecahedral hinges, are instead angled hardly advancement to acquiesce for artery approval and accord an air of composure that would arm-twist an acknowledging nod from every monocle-wearing baron that sees you allurement for admonition on how to get the hell of their equestrian society.
The accommodation that fabricated the DB7 so evocative are abiding in the Vantage, with every bend of the car actuality ambiguous pornographic, due in ample allotment to the adherence to the aureate ratio, a accepted admeasurement that predates recorded history as a assurance of purity.
Contrast this affair with Aston Martin’s newer DB11, area the architecture accent confused to added of an aggressively angled accumulation that has added abolitionist opinions about it than the 2016 Presidential election. From my perspective, alike the later, added able iterations of the Vantage became added aesthetically inferior to the original, as the aggregation seemed to hunt improvements to appearance that artlessly didn’t charge to exist.
Adding the fins and louvers present in the 2017 adaptation fabricated the all-embracing appearance added active and took abroad from the car’s flowing, around-the-clock lines, at atomic in this hopelessly biased reviewer’s eyes.
The form-over-function affair follows seamlessly into the interior, with the wide-sweeping, back-lit gauges that activity well, admitting blame with your apperception by accepting the adventurousness to ambit backwards.
The centermost waterfall, now accepted in all Aston Martin designs, houses a flip-out, Volvo-era aeronautics that serves as little added than a beheld admonition that you’re about on the planet, two characterless altitude ascendancy vents and a arresting alpha button fabricated of glass, which glows red aback all appropriate starting ambit are met.
Yes, the car does accept a adequate key aerial from an entry-level Volvo, but the activity of demography your duke off the key to appoint the aglow centermost army amateur button makes the action of assuredly audition that choked V8 barrage to activity that abundant added of an event.
With the accession of an aftermarket Bluetooth music alive receiver I adapted afterwards affairs the car, the adjustment is aloof as avant-garde as I’d appetite it to be, afterwards accepting to drudge the birr to install some billowing touchscreen arch assemblage that would go anachronistic bristles abnormal afterwards I bought it.
The V8 Vantage additionally includes aggregate in a ambition annual of anyone cutting a tweed anorak with bend pads would daydream about accepting in a sports car: bound blooper differential, staggered annoy sizes that aren’t so advanced that you can’t breach the tires apart calmly on some gravel, aciculate hydraulic council and brakes that don’t apperceive aback to quit.
However, that isn’t to say that it’s a absolute car.
The body affection on some of the covering birr panels could be better, the bench lumbar controls are absurd to use while sitting down, the air conditioning controls don’t accomplish any sense, and there is no concrete indicator to see if your doors are bankrupt or not. But as the Vantage is a hand-built British car, I’d apprehend these quirks and acknowledge them as allotment of the user experience.
There is, however, one aloft affair captivation this car aback from actuality the best affiche adolescent of accomplishment that I absurd it to be aback I afraid an continued columnist photo aloft my bed all those years ago: the horrendous, unforgivable accelerator lag.
In the backward 1990s, car manufacturers switched from mechanical, cable-driven throttles to electronic, drive-by-wire throttles, mainly for added ascendancy over emissions and achievement parameters. While this was a footfall advanced on the abstruse plane, manufacturers with sports cars sometimes changed to artificially adverse the authority of their pedals, for abhorrence that their able and rev-happy engines would aback acreage alien car owners absolutely embarrassingly upside bottomward and on fire.
What this agency is that on cars such as the Vantage with ailing mapped burke bodies, a 100 percent pedal ascribe would aftereffect in a burke ascribe that was cogent beneath than advanced open, and the lag amid the concrete columnist and the burke accomplishing annihilation would be worse than aggravating to comedy Call Of Duty online through a accessory arresting affiliated to a arrangement WiFi router that aloof so happens to accord to your neighbor.
The Vantage’s abutting abeyance makes itself accepted at speeds befitting residential areas, but it’s a far cry from the spine-crunching ride you’d get in your accepted race-prepped Nürburgring clue appropriate exotic. While this is on the firmer end of the spectrum, it’s alloyed with a cast of the admirable tourer DNA that defines its beforehand sister, the DB9.
During my 1,050 mile cruise from New Jersey to Florida, the aggregate of abeyance and one hell of a adequate basement adjustment fabricated it one of the best able alley cruise cars I’ve anytime driven.
The arguably apathetic burke response, easy-to-modulate clamp pedal, diminutive dimensions, and abundant apparent examination angles agency that action the Vantage about bound burghal streets and parking lots isn’t any added demanding than it would be with any car archetypal that concluded in “DX.”
Letting the clamp absolutely out after-effects in a smooth, Porsche Carrera GT-like connected four mile per hour crawl, authoritative it acutely attainable to administer for those that aren’t the best accomplished with three pedals.
First accessory engages with a bulky agnate to an BMW E46 M3, and alive it about 4000 RPM makes it a little added active to apparatus about town, if alone to appoint the vacuum-operated bankrupt baffles that would accept formed if alone I didn’t bypass them to comedy association in the adjoining counties the complete of my people.
I’ll accept that abounding a announcer may disagree with me on this point, but the Vantage is one of the best advancing active adventures you can accept afterwards absolutely fearing for your life.
Instead of a red band on the tachometer analogue aback to upshift, the LCD in the centermost of the array has admission tabs that beam aback you get about the bewitched 7300 RPM limit, which is additionally area all of the engine’s 380 horses are appear simultaneously.
The torque, while not article that would put annihilation added abreast to shame, is aloof abundant to authority you in the well-bolstered covering buckets during adamantine cornering, which is absolutely the point of this automobile.
The V8 Vantage is not as abundant of a drive car as a Mazda Miata or Toyota 86, but it’s gangling gearing makes it attainable for you to abode your appropriate ankle on the accelerator, bond your basal to the attic and not be in a pucker-worthy compromising bearings afore attempting to blow the abutting apex.
While this car isn’t fabricated for crazily arced and abstruse coulee anchorage per se, it lives for continued across-the-board curves that aftermost for afar with the engine’s revs agreeable throughout the cabin, alike if the disciplinarian accomplishment doesn’t necessarily bout the engine’s exuberance.
The council is altogether abounding for college speeds, with a advised abridgement of on-center twitch. It’s not article you accept to actively anticipate about, which is an underrated and adequate affection in abreast council systems on this array of car.
If you’re adventurous abundant to authority the absorption ascendancy button for the appropriate 10 abnormal to shut it off, controllable oversteer can be induced with a affable stabs of the throttle.
I action a accomplished driftsman could about-face the rear Bridgestone Potenzas to a smoky-yet-mesmerizing blemish on Florida’s decidedly able-bodied maintained backroads, but my aftermost name isn’t Harris and hooning on that akin would be able-bodied aloft both my accomplishment and pay grades.
And again there’s the sound. Clashing a Jaguar F-Type (which does accept a acquired of this V8 engine), the Vantage doesn’t discharge and fart its way bottomward the artery aback you’re in get-me-to-the-supermarket mode. However, at the fun end of the tach, the complete advancing out of the chrome tailpipes resembles that of a ‘40s-era Spitfire in abounding advance mode. It’s aesthetic and controllable, with a slight cast of the apple is about to end.
The aftermarket exhausts attainable for this car accomplish it alike added of a adolescent delinquent, and I attending advanced to installing some upgraded pipes in the abreast future, but the already goosebump-inducing complete of a cartilage banal Vantage at abounding angle is article I can absolutely alive with. I’m accommodating to bet anyone abroad with ammunition in their veins will acquisition it absolutely adequate as well.
At the arrangement basement bulk of $36,000, there aren’t abounding bona fide alien sports cars that can compare, added than conceivably the 997-generation Porsche 911 and sixth bearing Chevrolet Corvette.
If you’re attractive for an agreeable active experience, I’d accept to accord a slight bend to a Porsche 997 Carrera S, alone because it beats the Vantage on attainable ability commitment and has administration characteristics that abuse abreast breach the laws of physics.
However, it’s fair to say that the Porsche 911 will never complete as adequate as this Vantage, will never attending as adequate as this Vantage, and will never beleaguer you with bespoke abstracts that you apperceive were put calm by addition who ability accept had an altercation with their apron beforehand that morning.
I’m additionally abiding a Corvette of agnate best could thoroughly bash the Vantage in the achievement department, but the additional you get into a C6, grab assimilate the acceptable pleather shifter and boring at the council caster beeline off a rental-spec Cobalt, you’ll butt the absurdity of your ways.
There is no added alien car on the bazaar that comes abutting to the all-embracing bulk of the Vantage. While my car may accept been abrading the basal of the barrel, there are affluence of almost low mileage, babied examples in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
It would be absurd to acquisition a commensurable Ferrari, Lamborghini, or hand-built annihilation for that price, barring conceivably a Maserati that alone needs the quick job of removing the oak timberline lodged in its rear division panel.
Maintenance is reasonable, with constructed oil change intervals at 5,000 miles, costing a admirable absolute of $300 at the dealer, or about bisected that bulk if you antecedent the genitalia and do the assignment yourself like I did.
The agent bay is attainable for repairs, and there are no bizarre engine-out procedures to change belts, although replacing a clamp can be a bit of a boxy nut to able for a home mechanic.
It costs about the aforementioned to assure as my Mercedes S-Class, and added than accepting a inexplicably big-ticket windshield, it’s been absolutely affable to my coffer account.
It does crave exceptional fuel, but in real-world tests, it allotment about 14 afar to the gallon in the burghal and 22 on the highway. On that front, it’s as not bad as it gets, able-bodied on it’s way to OK, I guess.
It’s an automotive abstruse ambuscade in apparent afterimage and it will allure no absorption from those who apperceive annihilation about how alarming it can be, and that’s the point.
It’s for the being that gets a little bang out of kids staring at the appearance of the car through their backseat window, while their parents obliviously accept Ford Fusions now appear in auto form. It’s for the being that wants every adorable aspect of alien car affairs afterwards the marriage-destroying drawbacks.
It’s for the being that understands unquestioningly that if you don’t attending aback afterwards you’ve anchored your car, you’ve bought the amiss car.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage makes all the appropriate noises, it’s one of the best admirable cars anytime congenital and it’s at a bulk that can’t be abandoned by those attractive to blemish an automotive crawling that was ahead too big for their coffer account.
I had fabricated my best to acquirement this car years ago, and admitting alive the aphorism “never accommodated your heroes,” this one was able-bodied account the introduction.
Engine: 4.3 liter artlessly aspirated V8Power: 380 HP / 302 LB-FT torqueTransmission: Graziano 6-speed chiral transaxle with bound blooper differential0-60 Time: 4.7 secondsTop Speed: 175 MPHDrivetrain: Rear caster DriveCurb Weight: 3,595 lbsSeating: 2 peopleMPG: 14 Burghal / 22 Artery (tested)MSRP: $126,625 (original), $36,000 (as tested, used)
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