The details are luxuriously effective; notice the intricate xenon lights with inner LED indicators, the cut-out vents struck through with a bone line of chrome that flows into the metal of the door, and the elegant flip-out door handles. Even the rear-view mirrors are unusual, with long, slim supports locating them in front of the side glass quarter light.
Revisions in 2012 saw a number of styling tweaks lifted from previous special edition models. The changes brought a lower front bumper with a larger air intake and splitter, new side skirts and a rear diffuser.
The chassis contributes only 183kg to the Aston’s kerb weight – a figure we measured at 1585kg. It’s clothed in a mixture of aluminium, steel, composite and magnesium body panels, and they make a truly spectacular suit. A surprisingly low, squat car, its proportions promote an aggressive aura even before the shape is taken into context.
The Vantage is considerably more compact than big-brother DB9: 313mm shorter, 60mm lower and 140mm shorter in the wheelbase. The result is a definite wheel-at-each-corner stance with less overhangs – always a prime ploy for creating aggresion.
The familiar Aston grille is present on a nose that spreads out into a bluff, wide-arched front with pronounced wheel arches, before flowing tightly back into a typically Ian Callum coupe form. It then bulges back out with thick-set rear arches and a cut-off tail with fat twin tailpipes.
Aston offers the Vantage in two different flavours: a V8 S and a more potent V12 S model, with a touch more power and looks that are a touch more aggressive. The former pumps out 430bhp from its 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine, while the latter musters a mere inconsequential 565bhp from its naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 unit. The limited run GT8 and GT12 use the same engine as there road-going namesakes, but the GT8 punches out 440bhp, while the GT12 manages 591bhp.