New Aston Martin Vantage targets Porsche 911 Turbo with supercar-slaying figures
The new Aston Martin Vantage is more supercar than sports car with a headline 656bhp power figure, 153bhp up on the old one
This is the new Aston Martin Vantage, a very heavily updated take on the two-seater sports model that’s taken a considerable step up in power, price and performance. Due to cost from around £165,000, the new Vantage will commence production in the next few months, with the first customer cars arriving in the second quarter of 2024.
Once considered the entry-level Aston Martin, the new Vantage has been pushed much further into the supercar space. The British sports car manufacturer has made the choice to target top-drawer Porsche 911 Turbo S and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, rather than the 911 Carrera that the old Vantage faced-off against. With this new positioning come heightened expectations but the Vantage already looks to be delivering the goods on paper with some monumental figures.
Engine and performance
The headline stat for the new Aston Martin Vantage is the 656bhp power figure, a whopping 153bhp increase over the previous model’s output. Torque is also up 116Nm to 800Nm, both coming from a course of heavy updates to the existing AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine. In this case, Aston Martin has fitted larger turbos with higher boost pressures, reprofiled the camshafts and optimised the compression ratio to suit. When we spoke with Aston Martin’s Director of Vehicle Performance, Simon Newton, he revealed: “We were essentially able to specify exactly what we wanted with the engine, it’s now a bespoke engine to Vantage.”
Aston has had to upgrade engine cooling through enlarging the air intakes at the front, increasing the size of the oil cooler and fitting a new duct on the underside of the bonnet that feeds cool air directly onto the turbochargers. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a toughened-up 8-speed automatic transmission, which is mounted on the rear axle along with an electronically-controlled limited slip differential.
The transmission has been recalibrated to reduce shift times, and comes with a shorter final drive for even more in-gear punch. Simon went on to say: “We liked the spacing of the gears and felt it was appropriate and suited the engine, but we’ve brought it to life with the shorter final drive, so the speed that you run through the gears is much quicker.”
Aston is quoting a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds when the sprint is executed through the new launch control function. That’s 0.2 of a second faster than before and identical to the limited-run V12 Vantage S. Despite the shorter final drive ratio, top speed is now 202mph, 7mph faster than before.
To help contain all this new-found grunt, Aston has developed a new Adjustable Traction Control system (ATC) that will allow drivers to finely tune the amount of intervention. As well as basic ON and OFF settings, the intermediate Track mode can be adjusted through 8 stages of intervention via a physical rotary switch on the centre console.
Body and chassis
Aston Martin has also given the chassis substantial updates, starting with the adoption of a 30mm-wider body borrowed from the previous V12 S. In addition to this, the front-end has been fundamentally redesigned with Aston removing the clamshell-style bonnet in favour of a more mainstream bonnet and wing setup. In the process Aston has also fitted a repositioned front chassis member and engine brace, and redesigned strengthening panels under both axles.
The damper mounting points are stiffer and should help the Vantage put its prodigious power to the ground as effectively as possible. Simon commented on the underlying handling setup, saying: “I came from Lotus and Bentley before that, so it’s not just my experience, but also my preference to engineer cars that breathe with the road. But with Vantage we wanted to offer that with a heightened level of control.”
The overall suspension design is similar to before, with double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear with coil springs and adaptive dampers, but the calibration of both springs and dampers is new, the latter now working with a more sophisticated integrated vehicle dynamics system.
Aston Martin is claiming a 30 per cent increase in stiffness across the rear axle, with a further improvement in steering precision thanks to a new non-isolated steering column. The steering ratio is fixed, and has variable assistance between the different driver modes. In fact the steering is an area that Simon Newton is particularly proud of, telling us that: “The precision of the steering and how ‘together’ the car feels on the road is something we’re really proud of. This car was set up on UK roads, which as you know, are some of the most challenging in the world.”
The 21-inch wheels and tyres are new and come in three different designs. All are now forged, and wrapped in a Michelin Pilot Sport 5S rubber that has been developed specifically for Aston Martin.
Design and interior
New Aston Martins have the unenviable task of living up to one of the most classically beautiful back-catalogues of any manufacturer and the new Vantage is no different. No pressure, then.
Despite sharing its fundamental body with the previous Vantage – albeit the V12 model – the new Vantage does still look fresh and very aggressive. The majority of the changes have been applied from the a-pillars forward. The thin headlights of the previous generation car have been replaced with larger upright units that share their Matrix LED internals with the lights of the larger DB12. These flank an expanded grille, and sit below a more heavily profiled bonnet. In replacing the previous clamshell bonnet, Aston has also been able to fit more typical front wings which feature a return of the traditional side strakes.
The side and rear are more familiar, but do include new quad exhaust outlets integrated into the lower bumper and diffuser that can be specified in carbon fibre as an option. As before the rear lights are able to be specified in both tinted and red finishes.
The cabin has been totally revised with high-quality finishes and Aston Martin’s new infotainment system. It has a similar fundamental architecture to the DB12, but features its own lower console and different door cards. You can also specify Aston’s carbon fibre bucket seats alongside a standard Sport seat design, but the cabin is strictly a two-seater with only a small bench behind.
Price and availability
The new Vantage will enter production in early 2024, with customer deliveries following in the spring. Prices are yet to be nailed down, but expect it to start from around £165,000, with a long and expensive options list alongside that to facilitate extensive personalisation, and increases in price.
The Vantage Coupe is to be joined in time by a Roadster version and the pair will sit below the new DB12 and future DBS replacement in the Aston Martin front-engined sports car range. Aston’s mid-engined Valhalla will arrive in the following year or so, with the DBX SUV likely to pick up its own set of updates later this year.
Aston Martin Vantage GTE
After making a surprise appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, the covers have now officially come off the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 racer. It was revealed alongside its road-going sibling but, unlike that car, has been heavily modified to compete in the World Endurance Championship.
The outgoing model was extremely successful, claiming headline wins at LeMans, Spa and Daytona, and Aston Martin thinks the new model has the tools needed to continue that impressive run of results. Central to that belief is an all-new aggressive aerodynamics package which aims to make the car more stable under braking. Power comes from the same 4.0-litre twin turbo engine as the standard car, but ‘Balance of Performance’ regulations means it has been de-tuned to 536bhp.
Marco Mattiacci, Aston Martin’s Global Chief Brand and Commercial Officer said: “simultaneously revealing the new Vantage and Vantage GT3 race car underlines Aston Martin’s commitment to building the world’s finest sports car, and then proving its capabilities on-track. The result is a truly state-of-the-art GT racer; one that clearly shares its DNA with the latest Vantage road car, yet is perfectly evolved to suit the latest GT3 regulations.”
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