► CAR's Aston Vantage debrief
► New F1 Edition turns up performance
► Full lowdown on new cabrio and coupe
Aston Martin has pulled the covers off a harder and more track-focused version of the Vantage: the F1 Edition. Aston says it’s based on the official safety car of the 2021 Formula 1 season, and is designed to bring a roadgoing link to Aston’s entry into F1. The new F1 Edition is available for both the coupe and roadster version of the Vantage.
Power from the Mercedes-AMG-derived 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is up to 528bhp – 25bhp more – with torque remaining the same at 505lb ft. The eight-speed auto has been tweaked, too, reducing shift times. A 0-62mph sprint is over with in 3.6sec for the coupe, 3.7sec for the Roadster, and it tops out at 195mph. These times are the same as the regular Vantage models.
As for the chassis, revised dampers, an increase in the rear spring rate and a sharper steering set-up are all present. Bespoke Pirelli tyres are fitted, and it’s the first time a Vantage has rolled on 21-inch wheels.
Most noticeably, though, is the aero kit fitted as standard. A new front splitter, dive planes on the front bumper and a new rear wing allow the F1 Edition to push itself into the road more at speed – so much so that downforce is up by 200kg when the Vantage hits its top speed.
Want one? You can order it now, with first deliveries coming in May with prices starting from £142,000.
Keep reading for more on the Aston Vantage.
Aston Vantage Roadster: what you need to know
The new Aston Martin Vantage Roadster brings fresh-air thrills to the family oeuvre - for the princely sum of £126,950.
It's a gorgeous, albeit entirely predictable, adjustment to the existing Vantage Coupe range, decapitating styling chief Marek Reichman's design to devastating effect. The fabric roof drops the top in 6.7sec – according to Gaydon, the fastest time of 'any fully automatic automotive convertible roof'. Speedy stuff.
Just like the coupe, it'll use an AMG-derived twin-turbo V8, with the following performance specs claimed:
- Capacity: 4.0 litres
- Max power: 503bhp
- Peak torque: 505lb ft
- Top speed: 190mph (roof raised)
- 0-60mph: 3.7sec
Our Aston Martin Vantage Coupe review
Yes, the 2020 Aston Vantage Roadster is seriously quick; thank the modest 60kg weight penalty of that folding roof. The canvas hood can be raised or lowered around town at speeds of up to 31mph and is compact enough to leave room for 200 litres of luggage.
In the words of Aston Martin's then president and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer: 'Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favourites with our customers, so it’s very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster. For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life. Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level.'
Go on, show us a picture of the new Vantage Roadster with the roof up!
The sleek lines of the Coupe are retained when the roof is raised (see below).
Suspension is tuned for the Roadster, but Aston Martin is adamant it's no softer than the Coupe. Drivers can pick Sport, Sport+ or Track chassis modes.
The standard transmission is an eight-speed ZF automatic. We've yet to see if the Roadster will eventually offer the new dogleg manual as first seen on the Vantage AMR coupe...
Vantage AMR, you say?
Yes, that's the Aston Martin Vantage with a third pedal. The Vantage AMR is a limited-run version of Aston’s V8 sports car that comes with a stick shift. Not just any stick shift, either – it's got a dogleg one. That means first gear is to the very left and back, with gears two to seven in the usual H-pattern layout. The manual gearbox also comes with throttle blipping tech on downshifts.
Oddly, Aston claims the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces less torque in the AMR than in the regular model. While a normal Vantage has 503bhp and 505lb ft, the AMR is quoted as having 461lb ft. Still, the Vantage AMR can sprint to 62mph in four seconds (0.4sec slower than a regular one) and on to a top speed of 195mph. We're attributing that to the longer shift times of changing gears yourself.
Crucially, the Vantage AMR is 95kg lighter than a regular Vantage, comes with carbon ceramic brakes and a limited-slip differential as standard.
Just 200 AMR models will be built in total; 141 will be to customer order and the other 59 will be even more rare ‘Vantage 59’ special editions. The ‘59’ version is fixed to a green and lime paint scheme with little details honouring 60 years after Aston’s victory at the 1959 Le Mans endurance race in a DBR1.
Fear not, though; Aston says the manual gearbox will live on in the normal Vantage after the AMRs are all sold. Want one? Act fast and stump up £149,995, or £164,995 for the Vantage 59 edition.
New Vantage Coupe: what you need to know
The Roadster and AMR join the existing Aston Martin Vantage Coupe, which costs from £114,850 in the UK. It’s a bold design, with shades of the DB10 featured in Bond film Spectre, and Aston’s track-only Vulcan hypercar. Forming the entry point to Aston’s range, the latest Vantage replaces the much loved previous-generation V8 Vantage, which had been in production since 2005.
It’s built around the same bonded aluminium platform as the new DB11, although around 70% of its components are said to be unique to the Vantage.
‘It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history,’ says Palmer. ‘Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’m enormously excited by what we’ve created.’
Specs: a twin-turbo AMG V8 engine
Power for all Vantages comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine from Aston Martin’s technical partner AMG. Base models generate 503bhp at 6000rpm and a muscular 505lb ft of torque from 2000-5000rpm.
Positioned as far back with the chassis as possible, Aston claims a 50:50 weight distribution. Dry weight for the coupe is 1530kg.
It’s combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission by ZF, and an electronically controlled differential with torque vectoring – the first of its type to be fitted to an Aston Martin.
How fast is the Aston Martin Vantage Coupe?
It’s not slow: 0-60mph is done in 3.5sec, and top speed is 195mph. And, yes – this is the junior sports car in Aston's range.
Helping the Vantage deal with all that performance is a ‘significant’ amount of downforce, says Aston Martin, created by the commendably wingless body’s prominent splitter, fences, gills and diffuser.
‘Skyhook’ (not Skyfall) adaptive dampers are standard, with Sport, Sport+ and Track settings.
Standard tyres are P-Zeros by Pirelli.
What’s it like inside?
The familiar ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘N’ and ‘D’ buttons for the transmission have been arranged in a triangular shape, the better to free up storage space beneath them.
That flat-bottomed steering wheel is hooked up to electric, variable-rate power steering, with 2.4 turns lock-to-lock.
A centrally mounted eight-inch LCD screen includes sat-nav and iPhone integration, and parking distance display as standard.
What is the price of the new Aston Martin Vantage?
Prices at launch were £120,900 in the UK, €154,000 in Germany and $149,995 in the USA. Deliveries began in spring 2018. Interestingly, the current price in spring 2020 has now fallen to £114,850, suggesting that Aston Martin is promoting its entry-level sports car hard in the face of dwindling sales.
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