WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOS: ASTON MARTIN
Aston Martin has unveiled the latest generation of its Vantage sports car at its team’s Silverstone headquarters in Northamptonshire, UK. The new Vantage continues the 74-year lineage of the nameplate, and it was revealed alongside a GT3 race car version as well as the brand’s AMR24 Formula 1 machine.
The latest evolution of the Vantage emphasises driver engagement in a similar manner to the recent DB12, which Aston Martin described as a ‘Super GT’, bridging the gap between the razor sharpness of a traditional supercar and the luxury and speed of a grand tourer.
With this in mind, it’s no coincidence that Aston decided to unveil the new Vantage alongside its GT3 sibling, as well as the team’s challenger for the upcoming F1 season. “These three brothers in speed embroider our DNA with new dynamism,” asserted executive chairman Lawrence Stroll. “[It] demonstrates our ambition to be a leading force in F1 and create the world’s finest and most thrilling sports cars.”
The origins of the Vantage can be traced back to 1950, which, coincidentally, was the first season of the Formula 1 World Championship
The origins of the Vantage can be traced back to 1950, which, coincidentally, was the first season of the Formula 1 World Championship. Back then, the Vantage nameplate denoted an uprated engine package for the DB2. The Vantage badge was next used to mark high-performance DB5 variants in the 1960s, before becoming a standalone model in the 1970s.
Powering the 2024 Vantage is an updated version of the company’s hand-built 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that delivers 646bhp and 590lb ft to the rear axle via ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The power and torque figures represent 30 percent and 15 percent increases respectively over the previous model’s, and make the newcomer the fastest Vantage-badged car in marque history.
These impressive performance figures have been achieved with the introduction of modified cam profiles, optimised compression ratios, larger turbochargers and cooling enhancements. Furthermore, Aston claims that the new engine is more sonorous, visceral and sharper than the previous model’s.
The introduction of a shortened final drive, new shift calibrations and an updated launch-control system allow the new Vantage to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 202mph. An electronic differential with torque vectoring, slip control, engine torque management and a motor sport-inspired adjustable traction-control set-up help the driver to access the car’s new level of performance.
Aston engineers have also made improvements to the Vantage’s chassis and suspension systems. The car weighs in at 1605kg (dry) and boasts a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, thanks in part to an all-aluminium body structure. The suspension architecture is the same set-up as the previous model – double wishbones up front and a multi-link system at the rear – augmented by new state-of-the-art Skyhook adaptive dampers.
Meanwhile, improvements have been made to the car’s rigidity thanks to a host of chassis improvements. These include underbody stiffening components such as revised front and rear undertrays, a re-engineered and re-positioned front body crossmember, a new engine cross brace and added strengthening between the rear suspension towers. Aston says this has resulted in a more refined car, which also boasts more precise and balanced handling characteristics than the previous model.
The improvements to the powertrain, chassis and suspension systems are complemented by the standard fitment of lightweight 21-inch forged-alloy wheels that conceal vast carbon-ceramic brakes: 400mm front discs and 360mm rear discs. These not only provide excellent stopping power, but also contribute a 27kg saving to unsprung weight.
Visually, the new Vantage boasts a more purposeful stance, with bodywork that is 30mm wider. Updates to the styling modernise the package, the most obvious of which can be seen in the redesigned front end. The front grille has been enlarged to increase engine cooling, while intakes in each side of the front bumper also aid airflow as well as add a touch more aggression. An integrated front splitter aids high-speed stability, and new Matrix LED headlamps bring the design language in line with that of the DB12.
The side profile is characterised by the return of Aston’s side strakes, which extend from vents set into the car’s front wings. The rear of the Vantage most closely resembles the outgoing model’s, although the arches have been widened to accommodate the large 11.5J rear wheels. In addition, vents have been added to the bumper and the diameter of the quad exhaust tips has increased.
Open one of the frameless doors, and you’ll discover that Aston Martin has been equally busy when it comes to the interior. The design aims to combine the car’s apologetically sporting pretensions with luxury and comfort in a similar manner to the DB12’s. A combination of high-quality Bridge of Weir leather and carbonfibre clad the electrically adjustable sports seats, dashboard and centre console. The modern integrated infotainment system, meanwhile, should sound excellent through Bowers & Wilkins’ 15-speaker surround-sound system.
Vantage deliveries are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024. For more information, click here.