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Aston Martin's Vantage enters a new age with an old-school sports coupé demeanour

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With 656bhp rather than the 503bhp of its immediate predecessor, the latest 2024 Aston Martin Vantage has moved on to a new performance plane.

It was a serious sports car before but the comprehensive overhaul for 2024 has, as with the DB12 we were so impressed by in 2023, significantly shifted the Vantage’s capabilities.

It costs from £165,000 on the road before options (as of May 2024, when deliveries start) and, as we’ll see, this old-school charmer and bruiser with a dynamic heart has little to fear from its similarly priced rivals.



aston martin vantage review 2024 26 front static

In appearance, the 2024 Vantage is mildly tweaked, enhanced and more muscly than the car that preceded it, but it maintains a DNA that has been around since the V8 Vantage launch of 2005. If you see this car and that earlier model together, you’ll know they’re from the same family.

The latest model is now at 1981mm wide across the body, which is a not insignificant width. The chassis, a blend of aluminium extrusions and castings, is a similar architecture to the DB12’s, though this car is shorter of wheelbase than that (at 2692mm) and in overall length (at 4496mm) because it’s a sports car, not a grand tourer.

As we write, it’s Aston’s most focused series model, though one might expect a more hardcore variant of the Vantage later, and we’re still expecting more mid-engined series production cars too. Aston’s overall range plan has altered a few times over the years, but cars like the Vantage and a DB model are a constant.

But despite this Vantage being a sporting model, it is, according to Aston Martin director of vehicle performance Simon Newton, a road car rather than a track car. We have tried it in both situations. The chassis is more torsionally rigid than ever. Aston makes no claims for global torsional rigidity, but points to places where it has enhanced local stiffnesses for his model: there are sheer panels front and rear, the front longerons are better tied together, and the front top mounting point brace is both lighter and stiffer than in previous Astons, plus there’s one across the boot at the rear too.

The engine is a Mercedes-AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with a 5%-shorter final drive than the Vantage’s predecessor (“we liked the ratios,” says Newton), while it has electric power steering with, unusually for a car on this architecture, no NVH-reducing coupling where the steering column attaches to the chassis, to increase steering precision.

It’s rear-drive via an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, with double-wishbone suspension all around with coil springs and Bilstein adaptive dampers and bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tyres (275/35 R21 front and 325/30 R21 rear).




There's a new interior, with cues and hardware and software of a type that were originally introduced on the DB12 and that we were really impressed by. Aston believes in buttons and dials, and the little rollers that adjust temperature and fan speed and audio volume are truly lovely. There’s a digital instrument panel that has pleasing graphics but the gear indicator is too small: Aston is aware and says a fix is quickly on the way.

Stitching and material and perceived quality is high too, save for a flexing door pull on our late pre-production model. (It was said to be representative of production cars but, by the time customers start receiving cars, this may be sorted.) The driving position is straight and low and the seats provide a good blend of support and comfort.  Vantages have had a high window line and relatively inboard seating for a while, which can make them feel wider and less wieldy than they are. I found myself raising the seat more than I might in, say, a Porsche 911, so I could see some bonnet. Pedals are broadly spaced and the not entirely round wheel widely adjustable.



There’s so much power from the latest Vantage that you don’t need to use much of its reserves on the road, but the further around the rev band you dare to get, the less lag there is.  Not that, at road speeds, you’ll want for response. The engine revs to 7000rpm and makes peak power at 6000rpm but it’s making its 590lb ft peak by 2000rpm and there’s always enough to shove it out of corners with ease.  It sounds terrific too. Without a back-to-back test, I couldn’t swear to it but I’m convinced there’s more woofle and growl than any previous Aston application of the AMG 4.0-litre, to make it one of the most entertaining sounds on the market.  It enhances the old-school charm of a car like this, a sports car with a big heart that talks to drivers in a way that fewer and fewer cars do.  On a circuit, that the engine revs to ‘only’ 7000rpm and has pleasingly short gearing means it’s easy to ask for a downshift before the engine is quite ready, and to run out of revs quickly under acceleration.  So while the V8’s specific 164bhp-per-litre turbocharged output makes for some lag at lower revs, it made sense, for me, to get into a smoother, less frenetic, driving style with the car. No high-rev stabbing at the throttle until it’s ready to grip (or poke itself sideways), but drive a gear higher and surf out on the torque of the engine as that builds. You could quite imagine being a gear higher in many supercars. Aston offers two brake options: standard cast-iron rotors, 400mm at the front and 360mm at the rear, and optional carbon-ceramics that save 27kg all round. The idea is that they don’t affect the ride quality or brake feel, though, says Newton, but are just more capable at dealing with track temperatures. Newton and his team have hardened the brake pedal feel so that it’s more linear and there’s more resistance to push against.



Our drive was on both road and track, with a good amount of time dedicated to each, and on the road first, which I think is the better way around, giving good opportunity to see which modes suit it best. And on smoother asphalt, although it’s clear this is a more potent proposition, I don’t think its appeal has been made more focused.

On its softest damper setting – called Sport – it does feel like an all-road kind of set-up. I’m told the dampers are quite good at separating primary and secondary ride and, fair enough, the Vantage does roll over most bumps confidently with no looseness of control.

There’s a reassuring honesty to it, and a reasonable amount of agility. Aston did experiment with rear-steer but felt that it didn’t make the car predictably more agile, and that it’s sufficiently short enough to be a sports car without it.

The steering is around 2.27 turns between locks and even in its lighter setting is settled in a straight line. I’d want a comparison test to be certain, but I think it’s less immediately responsive than, say, a Ferrari Roma’s. And while a Porsche 911 Turbo is a straight-line monster, the front-engined nature of the Aston makes it a confident car at speed.

Does that limit its agility? Less than natural physics ought to dictate, one suspects. Weight distribution is 50:50 (a dry weight figure is the only one we’re quoted, at 1605kg), and the differential and damper responses are all routed through one big control systems module so they can monitor a driver’s inputs and hope to give what it thinks is the right outcome.

A damper can allow a little lean at the front and the differential open itself completely to aid turn-in, for example, and then things can stiffen on exit to keep the car rotating. This means cars are a much greater tuning job than they used to be in order for them to feel natural, so it’s a credit that the Vantage does. It has absorbing, involving and naturally very engaging road dynamics, and steering that filters bad stuff and lets a modicum of good stuff through, whichever weight you choose.

The lighter one is still middling, and I preferred it. There are five drive modes, from Wet through to Track, which adjust the dampers through three stages and the steering through two weights. A short press of the stability control system puts it into a lighter mode, an extended press turns it off and opens up a nine-stage traction control, which defaults to level five (for optimum launch), limits slip in level one, allows smoky getaways in eight and is all off in nine.

The Monteblanco circuit near Seville, where we had a track outing, has some lumps on it, to the extent that Aston recommended Sport+ rather than Track damper settings. Road behaviour here is mostly just amplified, so what is an old-school front-engined handler can feel a bit clumsy until you get into it. On a constant throttle, there is a touch of steady-state understeer, as there should be, so it pays to plant the nose and keep it that way by slowly bleeding off of the brakes as you turn in.

The steering weights up willingly and the rear starts to become more mobile. Get into it, and get it right, and it’s a charmingly capable bruiser, with a willingness to absorb mid-corner bumps and retain its composure, and slide around predictably if you choose. But I wonder if it does feel more at home as a road car. Rather satisfyingly, that’s fine: I suppose it should do. And there will surely be more track-happy versions to come. 



aston martin vantage review 2024 22 front tracking

Economy is 23.3mpg and CO2 output 274g/km. It's too early to tell on depreciation but cars this engaging are rare, which will help its long-term appeal.



The Vantage is the sort of predictable but gnarly and involving driving experience found at only a select number of points through the new car market these days, from Toyota GT86 to Ford Mustang and to here.  It might have been a more hardcore car had former Aston CEO Tobias Moers, once of AMG-Mercedes and quite the fan of a hot rod and to heck with the finer nuances of ride quality, remained in charge of the company. I get the vibe that Aston engineers were pleased to bring more deftness back into the 2024 Vantage’s chassis as the car was developed after his departure. “Astons always have to breathe,” says Newton, who “likes cars to roll in a little bit”. It does, and with real engagement as it does it. So sit back, enjoy the easy breathing of the chassis, the very heavy breathing of that engine, and crack on having fun in one of the most charming and entertaining sports coupés of the moment.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes.