A new boss means a new plan for a grand old British brand, and this is how it starts.

Now under new ownership and with former Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers at the helm, Aston Martin has yet another plan and vision for the future.

The business has had a much-needed reality check over the past 12 months. It has been made much more efficient and pragmatic, and this time, Moers insists, it will build its success from firmer foundations.

Shark-nose grille has been quite extensively rethought (make of that what you will). The chunky frame and mesh grille of the standard car are replaced by vertical and horizontal vanes and a more integrated look. It’s a bit more classic Aston

Having become CEO in August 2020, Moers waited until March 2021 to announce the first car in his plan for the most famously elusive business turnaround in global sports car making – and it wasn’t a million-pound collector’s item or a right-on zero-emissions pariah. It was a better version of the firm’s core two-seater.

The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition is the new range-topping, series-production version of the Vantage front-engined super-sports car. It’s cheaper than its immediate predecessor (the Vantage AMR) but offers an even clearer connection with motorsport, having been pitched as Aston’s showroom version of its specially engineered Formula 1 safety car.

Months ago, having reviewed all of its current model line-up, Moers’ first challenge to his engineering team was to develop the Vantage to its full potential as a driver’s car, and to make it a considerably faster, better-handling track machine without compromising its on-road performance.

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The resulting car, Aston claims, is nearly 15 seconds faster around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife than the regular Vantage, but it hasn’t resorted to a big power hike or a sticky track-day tyre to produce its magic.

Now to find out how much quicker it’ll go around Autocar’s dry handling circuit.

The Aston Martin Vantage line-up at a glance

With all of last year’s 007 Edition specials now built and sold and the manual-equipped AMR versions slashed, the Vantage range is back to four cars in total: two coupés and two roadsters. All have a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8, which is available in two states of tune.

There’s a dizzying number of leathers you can choose, and just as many exterior colours among Aston’s contemporary metallic, satin Q, special Q, special AML and exclusive Q paint shades. As options, the priciest colours cost £10,995.