This is it: Aston Martin finally reveals next-gen Vantage
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The Aston Martin Vantage, unveiled early this morning, boasts a radical new muscular physique for the British sports car maker.
It is the most dramatically changed Aston Martin for decades, and it arrives in New Zealand around the middle of next year.
The changes include a huge new gaping grille, and a fully integrated front splitter flowing into a minimal front overhang, giving the model a greater predatory stance on the road.
It will be powered by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, putting out 685Nm, mated with an eight-speed ZF transmission, and will have a maximum speed of 313km/h.
Aston Martin says the new Vantage will travel from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds.
Driven can confirm the new model comes with an incredible soundtrack, with a throaty exhaust symphony only possible from a V8 engine.
Although the model was unveiled internationally last night, a select group of Aston Martin customers were shown the car in Melbourne some weeks ago.
Within days of the Vantage being previewed, more than 20 per cent of the cars allocated for sale in Australasia had been purchased.
While final pricing has yet to be determined, the Vantage is expected to be sold from around $300,000.
The regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Kevin Wall, said the new Vantage was a pure sports car.
“That is the way it is positioned and sure as hell that is the way it sounds,” he told Driven.
The company says the new simplified body shape creates a clear message of sporting intent, without having to resort to gimmicks.
The side strake has been stripped back into a new side gill so that it, too, is now an integrated surface, rather than an applied detail.
It also serves an aerodynamic purpose, bleeding air from the front wheel arch to minimise lift and feed air along the flanks of the car.
At the rear, the Vantage has a diffuser and pronounced kick in the upswept deck lid which show how the Vantage uses the airflow over its surfaces to generate stability-enhancing downforce.
Inside the car, there is a departure from the flowing lines and central waterfall console that has previously defined Aston Martin interiors.
Instead the Vantage cockpit is dominated by a compact, focused console that includes the transmission switches, which are now positioned in a triangle formation.
The seating position is 10mm lower than the current Vantage, which Aston Martin says fosters ‘a truly immersive feel’ to the car.
Aston Martin says careful attention has been paid to the fixed paddle shifters, developed to facilitate up and downshifts without the driver having to reposition their hands on the steering wheel.
Controls are a combination of classic rotary and toggle style switches, which Aston Martin says are the quickest and most intuitive means of adjusting temperature and airflow while on the move.
These apparently small details reinforce the ‘pure, analogue, tactile nature’ of the Vantage driving experience.
Aston Martin president and chief executive officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history.
“Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation.”
He said the new Vantage was more explicit in looks and intent, wrapping heart-pounding performance and dazzling dynamics to an everyday usable package.
“A true sports car with a sharper look and a keener dynamic edge, the new Vantage is the Aston Martin pure driving machine enthusiasts have been waiting for.”
It departs from Aston Martin’s traditional slatted grille, with a larger all-black mesh grille.
Unlike the DB11, the new Vantage bonnet is hinged at the windscreen rather than opening up from the front of the car.
Wall said the list of options available on the Vantage is virtually endless, although six design packs have been packaged to get potential buyers started.
Some of the design clues on the new Vantage have been taken from the Vulcan supercar, including the headlamps and some of the interior switchgear.
But Aston Martin says the Vantage is also a practical motor vehicle — it has 350 litres of space available in the boot, compared with 145 litres in the Porsche 911.
Wall said Aston Martin was in an expansionary phase in this part of the world, and the addition of a new model such as the Vantage would help with this.
From selling between 350 to 360 cars in the Asia Pacific region (excluding China) a year ago, the company now aimed to sell more than 800 vehicles a year by 2020.
There were new Aston Martin showrooms in Auckland, Melbourne and Perth, and this investment showed the confidence dealers had in the brand.