The V8 Vantage coupé was launched in 2005 with a free-revving all-alloy 4.3-litre V8 producing 380bhp and 302lb ft, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox or Speedshift six-speed semi-automatic. Suspension is by double aluminium wishbones with front and rear anti-roll bars. The body is aluminium and, as standard, the interior is trimmed in leather and the fascia in alloy, while the seatsare 10-way electrically adjustable. Original options included a sat-nav that was bad even then. The Roadster followed in 2007 and prices for these now start at around £35,000.
There were mutterings about the car’s relative shortage of torque at lower revs but Aston was already working on a more powerful engine, which it released in 2008. The 4.7 V8, which replaced the 4.3, produces 420bhp but, crucially, 347lb ft at lower revs. So equipped, a Vantage 4.7 covers 0-62mph in 4.7sec, two- tenths faster than the 4.3, but it’s in the mid-range that the hike in power is most keenly felt. The 4.7 is cleaner than the 4.3 but road tax starts at £400 compared with the 4.3’s £165. Other changes included a new centre console and new 19in alloy wheels.
Prices for the 4.7 start at around £42,000 (we spied a 2009-reg one-owner 4.7 coupé with 35k miles and full Aston history for £42,480) but £50,000-plus is where the sweetest 2010-reg cars and younger reside.
Meanwhile, also in 2008, envious 4.3 owners were offered the chance to upgrade their Vantage with a new induction system and ECU software that boosted power to 400bhp and torque to 310lb ft. The 4.7’s popular Sports Pack option, comprising Bilstein dampers and lighter alloys, was also made available. It’s worth keeping an eye out for these.
Obviously, with its extra muscle, a 4.7 would be nice to have but a cherished 4.3 is better value. It’s just as achingly beautiful too. If you don’t throw it a backward glance every time you walk away, you don’t deserve one.
How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view - STUART GOLDSMITH, SENIOR ENGINEER, RIKKI CANN
“The Vantage’s V8 engine is strong and reliable but it doesn’t like being taken for granted. Make sure the car has been properly serviced. That doesn’t mean the work must only have been carried out by main dealers. The specialist service network is just as good if not better since they work on a much greater variety of cars. Check the correct tyres have been fitted and all are in good condition. Air-con and heater controls need to be working correctly as they can be very expensive to put right. When properly maintained at the standard you’d expect of an Aston Martin, a V8 Vantage can be surprisingly affordable to own.”