Enhanced Power, Engaging Experience: The Ultimate Infotainment Upgrade
Aston Martin has recently unveiled the second model of its revamped lineup, the new Vantage, following the previous release of the DB12. This move by the luxury car brand aims to reclaim its former glory.
The foundational elements remain mostly unaltered, featuring a continued framework housing a 4.0-liter V8 engine from Mercedes-AMG complete with two turbochargers. Despite resembling the DB12, each aspect of the Vantage has undergone significant updates, resulting in essentially a brand new model. On top of that, Aston Martin claims that this is their most driver-centered edition in the Vantage series, renowned for its 74-year heritage since the initial Vantage debuted in 1950 as an upgraded motor option for the DB2.
Unashamedly, Aston Martin declares their latest vehicle as a pioneer within the front-mounted sports car category, competing against notable contenders such as the Mercedes-AMG GT (with a lower horsepower count of 80 compared to the Vantage) and Ferrari Roma.
In the latest model, the Vantage continues to be powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine sourced from AMG. However, this time around, the engine has undergone significant enhancements, resulting in a robust boost of 153 horsepower and 85 lb-ft of torque compared to its predecessor. This represents an impressive increase of 30% in horsepower and 15% in torque. The final output numbers now stand at a formidable 656 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 590 lb-ft between 2,750 and 6,000 rpm.
These results were accomplished through internal advancements to the engine (under the instruction of its original designer who was recruited by AM during Tobias Moers’ leadership). The improvements include modified cam profiling, larger turbochargers, improved cooling, and enhanced compression ratios. The added horsepower naturally produces more heat, prompting Aston to revamp the cooling system by adding extra radiators and bigger oil coolers.
The transmission of power to the rear axle is achieved through an eight-speed transaxle automatic gearbox sourced from ZF. A shorter final drive ratio and updated shift programming, coupled with a new launch control program, produce a remarkable 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds. The revamped Vantage model also boasts a top speed of 202 mph.
The new version of this model features a reinforced bonded aluminum chassis, which has been significantly strengthened compared to its previous iteration. Underbody bracing has been added to enhance its torsional rigidity. Furthermore, various connection points have also been reinforced, including those for the front double wishbone suspension and a lighter yet sturdier front engine cross brace.
According to Aston, the rear of their car has been made 29% stiffer when navigating corners. This improvement has allowed for a more precise tuning of the damper mountings, resulting in enhanced feedback for the driver. Additionally, Aston has refined the steering system to provide even more feedback to the driver. Despite still utilizing electronic power assistance (EPAS), the steering now features a non-isolated column, promoting a stronger sense of connection with the road. The speed-sensitive assistance also varies, reducing the power assistance as the driving modes become more aggressive. In fact, the most intense mode, known as “Track,” offers the least amount of assistance, creating a flow of information that Aston describes as “granular in detail and pleasingly tactile.” It certainly sounds enticing.
Located on every corner, you will find 21-inch forged alloy wheels in three distinct designs, adorning custom-made Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tires. The front tires boast a profile size of 275/35, while the back tires are significantly more robust at 325/30.
The standard brakes for this vehicle are made of cast iron and measure 400mm at the front and 360mm at the rear. Six-piston calipers are responsible for the front braking force, while four-piston calipers take care of the rear. To improve communication between the brake system and the driver, modifications have been made to the boosting mechanism. For those seeking an even lighter option, carbon ceramic brakes (CCB) can be chosen as an add-on feature. These CCBs decrease the overall weight by a whopping 59.5 lbs due to their reduced unsprung mass. The lightest version of this car weighs in at 3,538 lbs when dry.
Aston Martin boasts that the advanced electronic systems in their new Vantage model offer a unique experience to drivers, rewarding those with expert skills but also being approachable for beginners. By utilizing a six-axis accelerometer and other advanced technologies, combined with the standard E-diff which can quickly adjust from no lock to full lock in just 135 milliseconds, the vehicle is able to assess its performance through Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Estimation (IVE) parameters. This allows the electronic stability control (ESP) to intervene and maintain control over reckless driving by making precise adjustments to the suspension, steering, engine, and brakes, thus ensuring optimal handling.
A newly designed adjustable traction control (ATC) system boasts nine distinct levels of engagement, catering to the diverse skill levels of drivers and providing a range of slip-‘n’-slide action. Aston’s promotional materials strongly assert that ESP systems are crucial for safety, but they have also been thoughtfully crafted to elevate the driving experience and foster a stronger connection between driver and vehicle.
The old adage goes, beauty is subjective and depends on the person looking at it. However, compared to classic Aston Martin models, the latest Vantage may not exude the same understated elegance. And before you dismiss it as mere coincidence, designer Marek Reichman himself confirms that the Aston Martin One-77 played a part in shaping its design.
Although it may seem familiar, there have been notable changes that have resulted in its muscular and bulked-up appearance. These modifications include a 1.18-inch increase in body width, as evident in the prominent rear arches, and a revamped front end featuring a larger vertical grille boasting a 38% expansion. This improvement aims to facilitate the flow of air by 29% to the upgraded engine. Additionally, the newly added air curtains on the outer edges of the front bumper serve to redirect cool air to the brakes while also accentuating the Vantage’s width. A newly designed front splitter also helps to minimize lift. To top it off, a modern Matrix LED headlight design with an updated Aston Martin DRL signature completes the refined look.
The flank sections showcase the reappearance of the Aston side strake, a noticeable opening located behind the front wheel arches, and cleverly incorporated door handles that become visible upon approaching. The back has been elongated and includes wider dimensions, along with bigger quad exhausts because, as they say, size matters.
Praise be to the automotive deities, Aston Martin has relinquished the antiquated Mercedes COMAND-based infotainment system in favor of their own developed platform, initially seen in the DB12 in 2019. Equipped with a built-in 10.25-inch touchscreen, it offers compatibility with both Android and iOS devices, while still retaining physical buttons for vital mechanical functions and climate control. Additionally, manual override switches for features such as stability control, exhaust, chassis, lane keep assist, and park sensors are kept handy – after all, your focus should be on the road, not a screen, when it comes to basic controls.
The combination of 3D navigation, online connectivity, and What3Words integration simplifies the process of navigating, while a reliable 4G LTE connection ensures that the Vantage is always connected no matter where you are. By utilizing a mobile app, you can maintain a connection with your vehicle even while on the move. There is a selection of sound systems to choose from, starting with a standard setup featuring 390 watts and 11 speakers, all the way up to a powerful 1,170W system with 15 speakers designed by Bowers & Wilkins.
Regarding the aesthetic, the development of this model primarily revolves around the integration of a new screen, while the dashboard is now equipped with slender air vents and luxurious Bridge of Weir leather materials.
Indeed, there is a multitude of customization and opulent selections at your disposal. However, Aston Martin appears to have acknowledged that in the age of electric vehicles, velocity is not the sole factor for a high-performance combustion sports car. The promotional materials conspicuously downplay numerical statistics and instead emphasize the driver’s active involvement at every angle, akin to McLaren’s approach with the introduction of the 750S model.
According to Aston Martin CEO Amedeo Felisa, who may soon be replaced, it is crucial to uphold the qualities that have made the marque legendary as we enter a period of significant change in the world of high-performance cars. “Class-leading power and speed may establish its credentials,” he explains, “but it is the expert utilization of the newest technologies on the Vantage’s impeccably balanced front-engine rear-drive chassis that has resulted in a sports car with irresistible capability.” With its bold design, brand-new interior, and cutting-edge infotainment system, the Vantage is truly world-class in every aspect.
Manufacturing will commence in the current quarter, however, shipments are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2024.