Aston Martin Vantage
|Manufacturer||Aston Martin Lagonda Limited|
|Assembly||Gaydon, Warwickshire, England|
|Predecessor||Aston Martin Vantage|
|Body style||2-door coupé 2-door roadster|
|Engine||4.3 L AJ V8 4.7 L AJ V8 6.0 L V12|
|Transmission||6-speed Manual 6-speed Sportshift semi-automatic|
|Wheelbase||2006–07 & 2010-Present: 102.4 in (2,601 mm) 2008–2010: 102.5 in (2,604 mm)|
|Length||172.5 in (4,382 mm) 2011-Present V12: 172.6 in (4,384 mm)|
|Width||73.5 in (1,867 mm) 2011-Present V12: 73.4 in (1,864 mm)|
|Height||2006–07: 49.4 in (1,255 mm) Roadster: 2006–07: 50.0 in (1,270 mm) 2008–2010: 49.5 in (1,257 mm) 2011-Present V8: 49.6 in (1,260 mm) 2011-Present V8: 49.2 in (1,250 mm)|
|Curb weight||1,548 kg (3,413 lb)|
|Related||Aston Martin DB9 Aston Martin V12 Zagato|
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Aston Martin V12 Vantage are a series of hand-built sports cars from the British manufacturer Aston Martin. Aston Martin has previously used the "Vantage" name on high-performance variants of their existing GT models, notably on the Virage-based car of the 1990s. The modern car, in contrast, is the leanest and most agile car in Aston's lineup. As such, it is intended as a more focused model to reach out to potential buyers of cars such as the Porsche 911 as well as the exotic sports and GT cars with which Aston Martins traditionally compete.
Following the unveiling of the AMV8 Vantage concept car in 2003 at the North American International Auto Show, the production V8 Vantage was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005 for the 2006 model year. The two seat, two -door coupé had a bonded aluminium structure for strength and lightness. The 172.5 inch (4.38 m) long coupé featured a hatchback-style tailgate for practicality, with a large luggage shelf behind the seats. In addition to the coupé, a convertible, known as the V8 Vantage Roadster, is available .
The V8 Vantage was initially powered by a 4.3 L (4300 cc) quad-cam 32-valve V8 which produced 380 hp (280 kW) at 7,300 rpm and 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 5,000 rpm. However models produced after 2008 had a 4.7 litre 420 hp (313 kW) V8. Though based loosely on Jaguar's AJ-V8 engine architecture, this engine was unique to Aston Martin and featured race-style dry-sump lubrication, which enabled it to be mounted low in the chassis for an improved center of gravity. The cylinder block and heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, inlet and exhaust manifolds, lubrication system, and engine management were all Aston Martin designs and the V8 engine was assembled by hand at the AM facility in Cologne, Germany, which also built the V12 engine for the DB9 and Vanquish.
The engine was front mid-mounted with a rear-mounted transaxle, giving a 49/51 front/rear weight distribution. Slotted Brembo brakes were also standard. The original V8 Vantage could accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.7 seconds topping out at 175 mph (282 km/h). Vantages with the enhanced 400 HP version of the 4.3 L V8 engine (included with the "N400" package or available individually as a Power Upgrade kit) as well as later models with the 4.7 L V8 and 6.0 L V12 were even faster.
In 2008 Aston introduced an aftermarket dealer approved upgrade path for power and handling of the 4.3L variants that maintained the warranty with Aston. The power upgrade was The V8 Vantage Power Upgrade, creating a more potent version of the Aston Martin 4.3 litre engine with an increase in Peak power of 20 bhp to 400 bhp while peak torque is increased by 10Nm to 420Nm. This consists of the fitting of the following revised components; manifold assembly (painted Crackle Black), valved air box, right and left hand side vacuum hose assemblies, engine bay fuse box link lead (ECU to fuse box), throttle body to manifold gasket, intake manifold gasket, fuel injector to manifold seal, and a manifold badge.
The V8 Vantage retailed for £79,000, US$110,000, or €104,000 in 2006, Aston Martin planned to build up to 3,000 per year. Included was a six-speed manual transmission and leather-upholstery for the seats, dash, steering-wheel, and shift-knob. A six-speed sequential manual transmission, similar to those produced by Ferrari and Lamborghini, called Sportshift was introduced later as an option.
In their 2006 readership survey, readers of Car Design News voted the Aston Martin V8 Vantage as the best current production car design. The survey results were based on over 1000 responses, most from working automotive designers and students of industrial and automotive design. The Vantage was also voted one of Automobile magazine's 2007 "All Stars" for its performance, road manners, and design. The V8 Vantage is also one of the only two cars to be added to "The DB9 section," – a fridge reserved for the super-"cool" – on the BBC's Top Gear (on which it is described as the baby Aston to differentiate it from the V12 powered DB9). The program rates cars from seriously un-cool to sub-zero. The fridge was an extra category added when the presenters deemed the Aston Martin DB9 too cool for the sub-zero category. In the 2005 awards, Jeremy Clarkson declared the V8 Vantage as Best Sounding Car of the Year and The Coolest Car of the Year, while the award winner was actually the Porsche 911. While the V8 Vantage remains a rare and special car by any standard, the success of the model is highlighted by the completion of chassis number 10,000 – a specially ordered Onyx Coupe delivered to a customer in USA – in the first half of 2008. While the production of 10,000 cars is a tiny number by the standards of typical car manufacturers, it is a significant milestone for an Aston Martin model – the DB9 being the only other Aston Martin model to have achieved that figure.
In May 2008, Aston Martin announced new technological updates for the Vantage, which included changes to the engine, transmission, suspension and appearance. New cylinder liners that are now pressed into the aluminium block instead of the original cast-in variants allow a thinner liner, which in turn allows a larger capacity of 4.7 L. The cylinder bore and stroke has been increased from 89 mm (3.5 in) to 91 mm (3.6 in) and 86 mm (3.4 in) to 91 mm (3.6 in) respectively, giving a total displacement of 4735 cc. The dry sump lubrication system was also modified.
The "Sportshift" semi-automatic transmission benefited from a software update, while a lightened flywheel was introduced for both the manual and the Sportshift. Aston Martin also stiffened the suspension and now uses Bilstein dampers. An optional Sports Pack is being offered with stiffer springs, tighter handling, and all-new 5-spoke alloy wheels. Sportshift-equipped models also receive a new dual throttle-mapping update which allows the driver to choose from the default Sport mode, or Comfort mode, which gives more comfortable shifts and throttle input for drivability.
New wheels are also part of the update including a 20-spoke alloy wheel and a new 5-spoke aluminium wheel for the Sport Pack. The interior has been changed slightly, using an updated console similar to the Aston Martin DBS and the new DB9.
The update provides the Vantage with 420 bhp (310 kW) (an 11% increase) and delivers peak torque of 470 N·m (350 lb·ft) (a 15% increase), providing the car with additional reserves of mid-range performance and an even higher top speed. Combined European fuel economy and CO2 emissions are also improved by 13% (Sportshift).
At the 2006 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Aston Martin officially unveiled the V8 Vantage Roadster. The car gained 200 pounds over the coupé, but Aston Martin claimed the car would have the same performance as the coupé. To compensate for the loss of the roof a new, super-stiff cross-member was added to the frame. The soft top could be raised or lowered electronically in 18 seconds and could be operated in speeds up to 30 mph (50 km/h). It had the same 4.3 litre V8 from the hard top version producing 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS) at 7000 rpm, 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 5000 rpm & a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h) . It would accelerate from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds. The 2009 Vantage Roadster features swan wing doors, a leather and alcantara interior and a zinc alloy center console. It also has a crystal-capped key fob.
ESX Motorsports Super Vantage
A privateer effort from a small company known for tuning and selling Factory supported Subaru's since late 2001. They took on the challenge of forced induction on the current crop of V8 Vantages in 2006. By utilizing a centrifugal supercharger with intercooling they were able to boost the performance of the car to 475 RWHP, a significant improvement from stock. The company has sold approximately 10 car with this modification. Now that the EEC6 ford PCM has been cracked on the Aston Martin, modifications including forced induction are likely to follow
Prodrive V8 Vantage
In 2007 Prodrive released a tuning package for the V8 Vantage, which consists of four separate packages that can be installed in stages. These four packages are for the engine, suspension, wheels, or aerodynamics.
The engine package includes an engine control unit remapping and minor engine modifications that boost power on the 4.3 L engine by 45 hp (34 kW), and torque by 25 lb·ft (34 N·m). Throttle control is also remapped. Also included is an exhaust modification which allows the driver to leave the by-pass valves in three separate settings. The suspension package replaces portions of the car's suspension with Bilstein and Eibach parts, which are claimed to make the vehicle more planted and accurate through the corners.
The tyre and wheel package replaces the stock wheels with lighter twin-7 spoke alloys from Prodrive Japan. The rims are similar to those on the DBR9, and each wheel weighs 2.5 kg (6 lb) less than the stock versions. Pirelli P-Zero tyres are used, and the rear wheels are widened to 10 inches (254 mm). The aerodynamic package adds a carbon fibre front splitter and rear wing, which together reduce lift by up to 45%.
Packages can be ordered direct from Prodrive or from an Aston Martin dealer, though all packages are installed by Prodrive. Zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) times are claimed to drop by 0.5 seconds to about 4.3 seconds for the 4.3 L Vantage, and 0-100 mph (160 km/h) times are improved by 0.9 seconds.
To commemorate the company's racing successes at the Nürburgring, Aston Martin released the limited edition N400 at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The N400’s 4.3L V8 was tuned to produce 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS) hence the name, and the car also featured a sports pack which included lightweight graphite-finished wheels, uprated springs and dampers and a new rear anti-roll bar. The N400 was available in three special paint colours; Bergwerk Black, Lightning Silver and Karussell Orange. Each N400 came with perforated leather trim, including a map of the Nürburgring stitched on the center armrest, and a numbered plaque.
Aston Martin tested the car at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit where it was able to complete a lap in under eight minutes. The N400 package was available on either the coupé or roadster, with 240 versions of each being built.
V8 Vantage S
On 25 January 2011 Aston Martin released the V8 Vantage S, available in both coupe and Roadster variants, and designed to produce a more sporty experience than the standard V8 Vantage. The engine is the same 4.7-liter aluminum V-8 found in the base Vantage, but with improved intake airflow, new mufflers, and new programming that keeps the exhaust system’s bypass valves open longer. The net is 430 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque, gains of 10 hp and 15 lb-ft. The improvements mean it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the base model. Engine output flows through a new single-clutch seven-speed Graziano automated manual to a limited-slip rear differential; the carbon fiber driveshaft spins in an aluminum torque tube. From there, power is applied to the pavement via a set of(285/35) Bridgestone [Bridgestone] Potenzas on 19-inch cast aluminum wheels. Bushings, springs, and dampers were stiffened for the S model and the steering rack is quicker than in the base model. The result of all these put together is an exceptional level of response. The aerodynamic enhancements include a deeper front bumper with carbon fibre splitter, larger side sills, a carbon fibre diffuser and a larger tailgate lip designed to sharpen the handling on the road. Additional visual differences include new wheels.
A major difference in the Vantage S is the inclusion of the Sportshift II transmission, a seven speed sequential manual gearbox, as standard.
On 11 December 2007, as part of Aston Martin's opening of their own design studio, the company unveiled a concept based on the V8 Vantage. The car, known as the V12 Vantage RS, featured the V12 engine from the DBS and produced 510 hp (380 kW). The power along with the weight of 3,704 pounds (1,680 kg) allows the car to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 190 mph (310 km/h).
Other additions include a new rear diffuser, a rear-wing which can be raised or lowered, and carbon-ceramic brakes. The bootlid and vented bonnet are also made from carbon fibre to help decrease the car's weight. In early 2008, Aston Martin's CEO confirmed production for V12 Vantage RS for mid-2009.
Development prototypes of the V12 Vantage RS appeared in April 2008 before Aston Martin unveiled the official V12 Vantage in 2009.
On the finale of the 13th series of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson drove the car simply saying that "It's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful".
The V12 Vantage has been confirmed for United States market. Dr. Urlich Bez has personally confirmed that USA homologation is underway. This is in response to the decision of expanding the production run beyond 1,000 units. According to the automaker, some subtle changes were necessary to the structure of the car in order for it to meet North and South American regulations. In addition to these enhancements, Aston has also announced that it will be adding a new Carbon Black version of the V12 Vantage exclusively for the American market.
The V12 Vantage is a drivable vehicle on the video game's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. It is available in both factory form and as a police version with full police livery. The Carbon Black edition is available in Test Drive Unlimited 2 as a special pre-order or DLC car along with the standard model. It also featured in Gran Turismo 5 via the Car Pack 3 DLC.
On August 24, 2011, Aston Martin announced that they are developing a GT3 version of the V12 Vantage, to replace the Aston Martin DBRS9. The race car is expected to be delivered by early 2012.
V12 Vantage S
On May 28, 2013, Aston Martin announced the V12 Vantage S - a sportier version of the V12 Vantage supercar that it is replacing.
The V12 Vantage S produces 565 hp (421 kW) and 457 lb·ft (620 N·m) of torque from a newly designed 6.0 litre V12 engine called the AM28, which they will use as a base for future engines. The power will be transferred to the rear wheels using a new seven-speed Sportshift III automated manual with no option for a manual transmission, which weighs 55 pounds (25 kg) more than the Sportshift III.
The exhaust on the V12 Vantage S was developed from the company's own One-77 supercar, and promises to give the car a sound unique to the new model.
Although specific performance details are yet to be released, the V12 Vantage S is claimed to reach a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), making it the fastest production Aston Martin in history.
The V12 Vantage S is 15 kilograms (33 lb) lighter than the V12 Vantage, features new three-stage adaptive damping for the suspension, new carbon ceramic brakes, and a unique track-mode to help drivers who want to take their car to the track.
Styling and aerodynamic changes include a new carbon fiber front grille, black roof and rear grille, lightweight forged alloy wheels, and new finishes on the interior seats, doors and controls.
At the 2011 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este a racing concept by Zagato based on the V12 Vantage premiered celebrating the 50th anniversary of the DB4 GT Zagato. It was awarded with the competition's "Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes" which has also been won by the One-77 two years ago. The car then was brought to Nürburgring where it had its racing debut during the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN race on 28 May and will compete in this year's 24 Hours Nürburgring driven amongst others by CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez.
Being powered by the default V12 engine with 510BHP the concept features a new handcrafted aluminium body with a front similar to the one of the Vantage and a heavily modified middle, roof and rear section uniting both of the companys design DNAs. Another extra is the endurance racing fuel tank carrying up to 120 litres of gasoil. Though being a racing concept Aston Martin thinks about producing a small number of street-adapted versions.
In addition to the specific packages above, all variants of the Vantage series are offered with a wide range of personalisation options, particularly in the interior where several different shades of leather – and even stitching – may be chosen to complement or contrast each other and the body (and, in the case of the convertible, the roof). The "N400" engine modifications and/or sports chassis are also available individually for those owners who would like to combine the increased power or handling of the special edition with the more subtle original body, interior, and badging – much like the "POW" Vantages of 1980s. Many thousands of choices of colour, trim, and options combined with the in house "customisation" available through Works Service make it possible for a Vantage owner to configure a unique individual car to his or her specifications.
2009 Aston Martin V12 Vantage in Top Gear series 13