First look: new 2018 Aston Martin Vantage copies DB10 Bond car style

Published: 02 August 2017

► Aston’s new entry-level model
► 4.0 turbo V8 from AMG
► Styling influenced by DB10 concept

Here’s our first look at an extremely important car for Aston Martin: the next-generation replacement for the Aston Martin Vantage

Due to be revealed in full before the end of 2017, the new car will form the entry-level point to Aston Martin’s range.

The machine pictured is thought to be a development car, wearing very-close-to-production-spec bodywork under that lurid yellow-and-black – and sponsored! – disguise…

New 2018 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

We’re big fans of the outgoing Vantage, which has been in production since 2005. It’s still a lovely car with balanced handling and timeless styling, but it’s now an elderly beast.

Styling influenced by DB10, Vulcan

Much of the current Vantage’s particularly appealing design DNA – compact dimensions, minimal overhangs, accentuated wheelarch ‘haunches’ and classic sports car proportions – appears to have been retained for its replacement.

There are more than few shades of the Aston Martin DB10 (below) created for the James Bond film Spectre in the new car’s proportions and narrow headlight shapes. 

The Aston Martin DB10: a concept built just for James Bond in Spectre? Fat chance...

At the front, the grille appears to be a kind of stretched, downturned-mouth version of the classic David Brown grille shape, with a low-lying position similar to that of the Aston Martin Vulcan track car.

Twin-turbo AMG V8 power

Aston Martin has recently added a 4.0-litre twin-turbo engine to the DB11 range, supplied by technology partner Mercedes-AMG. That same engine is expected to power the Vantage’s replacement.

It’s related to the engine found in the AMG GT sports car and C63 AMG supersaloon.

A DVLA plate check for a test mule previously photographed confirmed it was fitted with a 4.0-litre engine. 

The 4.0 V8 is likely to be offered in two power outputs for the Vantage, and since there will be space under the bonnet for the DB11’s 5.2-litre V12 too, who’s to say Aston won’t create another hairy V12 Vantage flagship?

…and a manual gearbox?

Bucking the trend for auto-only gearboxes in high-end sports cars, the Vantage is expected to be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox. ‘The manual gearbox remains an integral part of our product plans and will do for many years to come,’ Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has said. 

DB10-influenced Aston Martin V8 Vantage for 2018

An auto option is highly likely to accompany the standard manual, however.

Built upon adapted DB11 underpinnings

The new Vantage will be built around a shortened variation of the DB11’s aluminium platform. It’ll adopt similar interior fixtures and fittings, with electrical architecture from Mercedes. 

While smaller than the DB11, it’s expected to be a little longer and wider than the current Vantage.

Aston boss Palmer has previously stated the new Vantage will be shown by the end of 2017. Expect an open-top Roadster model to follow six to nine months later.

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By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer