- Price: From $118,370
- 0-60 time: 0-62 mph: 4.7 seconds
- MPG / LPG: 20.5 mpg (Combined)
93 The AskMen Take
There is little escaping Aston Martin’s recent range-topping Vantage reveal, the £400K stunner known as the V12 Zagato. But the reality is (putting the Cygnet to one side here) the Aston we’re testing right now is the real first step on Aston Martin’s performance ladder. And at £85K, nearly £6K less than the very car it replaces, this could just be the supercar bargain you’ve been holding out for.
Despite being brushed up in both the engineering and design departments, the V8 Vantage is still far from being termed an “all-new” Aston. Indeed, many will struggle to notice, beyond the number plate giveaway, that this ride really is the new model for 2012. But spend some time with the beautiful British bruiser, and you’ll see that those little mods do add up to a very genuine, cumulative appreciation for what Aston’s little V8 coupe always was and ultimately still is.
There’s been no pace-making surgery to the beating heart of the V8 Vantage. The same British-built 4.7-liter V8 delivers a substantial 420 hp that’s channeled through the back axle while making all the right noises. Instead, Aston Martin has looked outside the box to evolve the performance of its junior sports car.
Bigger brakes and wider tires dial in beautifully with the revised and quickened steering to give the 2012 Vantage a new twist of vitality. Unfortunately, it still feels like a heavy little car, but the new Vantage definitely treads a more placatory path over the potholes in such a way that would do its Grand Tourer big brother, the DB9, proud.
Although the Vantage sounds and feels incredibly fast, the standard V8 Vantage is no benchmark for outright performance among its plethora of German rivals. For a few dollars extra, precisely £15K more, you can upgrade to the sumptuously spec’d Vantage S that ditches the manly stick shift for a seven-speed auto transmission with paddle shifters, chucking a further 10 horses into the mix and turning the volume dial up to 11 with a bespoke sports-exhaust system for added intensity.