Touting substantially more power and higher performance than its predecessor, the new Vantage is described by Aston Martin as “the most driver-focused and fastest Vantage in the famous nameplate’s 74-year history”.
Arriving first in fixed-head form with a drop-top Volante expected to follow, Aston’s revamped coupé has not been extensively restyled on the surface. However, it has been comprehensively re-engineered inside and underneath, in line with Aston’s strategy to bolster its sports cars’ dynamic and technological credentials.
Headlining this round of important updates is a massive power increase for the Vantage’s Mercedes-AMG-derived V8.
Still 4.0 litres in capacity and blown by a pair of turbos, but with output hiked to 656bhp and 590lb ft, the revised eight-pot now makes the standard Vantage as quick as the outgoing V12 Vantage: 0-62mph is dispatched in just 3.5sec and top speed is rated at 202mph.
For reference, the previous V8 car produced 503bhp and 505lb ft, needed half a second more for the 0-62mph sprint and topped out at 195mph.
The hikes are the result of an “extensive” tuning programme that has given the motor new cam profiles, tweaked compression ratios, improved cooling (courtesy of a new lower radiator and two extra auxiliary coolers) and, crucially, bigger turbochargers.
An added benefit of all these changes is that the engine now has a “more visceral and more vocal character”.
Adjustments to the ratios and calibration of the eight-speed automatic gearbox also mean the Vantage is claimed to have “punchier” in-gear acceleration and snappier shifts – as well as more distinct characteristics in each of the drive modes.