The 2010 Aston Martin Vantage V8 is here. Back in 2006 Aston Martin introduced the rebirth of its bread winner, the Vantage. Changing the infamous problematic car from an exotic V12 to a daily V8. The delivery and execution was simply flawless and needed to be commended as for the first time in ages, someone made a car worthy of giving the ultimate daily exotic, the Porsche 911 a run for its money. The Aston Martin Vantage is by no means as fast as its counterpart and does deliver a slightly more expensive price tag than even the 911 Turbo, but a price well worth paying for the glory that Aston Martin badge brings with it.
In 2009, Aston Martin redesigned the Vantage with a slight face lift and by touching up on the various complaints that Aston Martin customers had about this beauty. Secret Entourage recently had a chance to go and test drive the new Aston Vantage V8 Convertible and thought we would bring you along for the ride and tell you our thoughts on this perfect machine made better. We break it down into three major improvements:
When you first get in the New Aston Vantage, you immediately notice a difference in the dash and control layout and get a real Aston Martin feel, unlike the 2006-2008 models that looked somewhat ordinary if you didn’t order the piano black center console option. In this particular car, the center console was aluminum colored and looked very flush, especially with the new layout which mimics the Aston Martin DBS. The layout is the same and strikes a very close resemblance to the interior of the world famous Aston Martin DBS, but does so several grades below the car by not looking as polished or perfect as the DBS. The interior craftsmanship is still outstanding and very flush, the stitching can clearly be noted throughout the seats and dash and adds a real exotic hand made feel to the car. Our interior was maroon/red with white stitching and worked very well all together. Another major improvement is the stereo which has been improved with added watts, an amp and a better head unit.
Very few changes occurred on the outside of the car, the main noticeable change is the wheel package which ups the size to 19” and changes the design to a spider mesh instead of the 8 spoke boring design which haunted the car way too long, other small changes include a more distinctive rear lip spoiler and a slightly face lifted front bumper and grill, these small changes along with a more aggressive suspension stance truly improves the car. It gives it the more expensive and rich look it deserved from the beginning.
The biggest difference and improvement from the old vantage V8 is the drive train, engine, and transmission which have truly been re-vamped. The engine is faster and stronger than before, boosting over 400bhp, up from 380bhp that was standard on the 06-08 models. This minor 20HP bump coming from the new 4.7L and no longer the 4.3L feels more like 40hp as most of the power is felt in the lower RPM range, thanks to the newly redesigned intake and adjusted camshafts. By improving the timing and ECU, the 20hp come to life almost immediately. The exhaust note is also significantly higher, and sounds like heaven. The F1 auto transmission also much more responsive than before, thanks to the timing adjustment and the responsiveness of the electronic clutch. A major improvement when putting all the components together and actually feeling the car in action. We feel that this is the best improvement over the prev generation vantage which was exquisite but simply fell short in the performance arena.
All of these upgrades are great and makes the Aston Martin Vantage V8 an even better exotic than before but at what price? The previous Aston Martin V8 was a great car but nowhere near the caliber of this face lifted 2010 car and of course all these improvements do not come free.
The old Aston was somewhat affordable at about $110,000 for the coupe and right under $125,000 for the volante (convertible) which put it right at the same price as the Porsche Carrera C4S but things have changed now, the price went up about $15,000 which now puts the car in Porsche 911 Turbo territory, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The badge Aston Martin was never associated with cheap and I don’t think it should be, I also believe that after all the controversy that the early cars took over the Volvo parts, it was necessary for Aston Martin to up the game and ensure that the quality is worth the money. We seem to think that with the new 2010 Aston Martin Vantage V8, the quality, performance and looks are all there and that justifies the premium