Now time to fly

Kitzbuhel. The fog still lies in the valley. We zoom towards the cloud line in the Aston Martin Vantage, which rushes from serpentine to serpentine on the mountain road like a predator.Bassy rumbling, greedy for gas, and roaring on the short straights, the V 8 biturbo with 510 hp, sharpened by AMG once again with another fist in the neck, passes on its power, channeled via a ZF eight-speed automatic and an E-differential with torque vectoring qualities, which reacts to driving situations in milliseconds, to the rear wheels. The remaining ingredients 685 NM/2000-5000 rpm, 0-100 km/h in 3,6 sec, 314 km/h top speed.

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Kitzbuhel. The fog is still in the valley. We zoom us with Aston Martin Vantage, which jumps like a predator from serpentine to serpentine on the twisting #mountainroad, towards the cloud line, growing with a bass, starving for throttle, and then roaring up the short straights, the AMG engine places anotherfist in your neck. The sharpened V 8 Biturbo with 510 hp, its power, channeled through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and an electric differential with torque vectoring qualities that react to driving situations in milliseconds to the rear wheels. The remaining ingredients 685 NM / 2000-5000 rpm, 0-100 km / h in 3.6 sec, 314 km / h top speed.

But not today. The fun really starts here on this twisting austrian mountain road. Despite the minimally rear-heavy weight distribution, the Vantage feels slightly front-heavy on our mountain road swing. This is probably caused by the extreme track configuration of the rear axle, which was chosen to stabilize the rear. The understeer can be minimized by turning and repositioning the Vantage at an early stage, with the right rhythm the Coupe then remains largely neutral. Supported by the chassis structure made of aluminum, the transaxle construction with a torsion tube made of metal alloy and a drive shaft made of carbon fiber, also through the low-centered mid built-in AMG biturbo far behind the front axle, results in a front mid-engine concept with a balance of almost 50:50.

Well balanced though, you get support from the air with an aerodynamic concept which essentials are front splitters, in the absence of a radiator grille for weight reasons, air vents, rear diffuser and a rear tail flip. This aerodynamic mix results in an #venturi #effect on the underbody which results in a #downforce of 77 kg. Well done.

But not here and now.The fun really starts now.Despite the minimally rear-heavy weight distribution, the Vantage feels slightly top-heavy when swinging on mountain roads. This is probably due to the extreme track values of the rear axle, which are supposed to stabilize the rear end. Understeer can be minimized by turning in and out early, and with the right rhythm, the coupe then stays mostly neutral.Supported by the aluminum chassis structure, the transaxle construction with a torque tube made of metal alloy and a drive shaft made of carbon fiber, also by the AMG biturbo, which is mounted low and far behind the front axle, the result is a front-mid-engine concept with a balance of almost 50:50.y

Well balanced also.It is supported from the air with an aerodynamic concept whose essentials are a front splitter, in the absence of a radiator grille for weight reasons, air vents, a rear diffuser and a rear tail flip. This aerodynamic melange results in a #Venturi #effect on the underbody which results in a #downforce of 77 kg. Well done.

Feel connected

The seating position conveys a sense of connectedness. The Vantage is not one of those sports cars that squeeze you under the roof or sway back and forth in their pews. Seat height, seating position, lateral support and steering wheel adjustment deliver a very good seating position for both everyday use and the race track. The integrating ergonomics are outstanding. The raised side line, which is almost at shoulder height, also adds to the feeling of connectedness.

The gearshift paddles are fixed instead of rotating. The design of the paddle shifters is as much a matter of taste as Wisky Scotch or Malt – some people swear by them, while others wave them off. We like the paddle shifters, because you don't have to take your hand off the steering wheel at any time when you're at the limit, for example to shift up just before exiting a bend.

Speaking of shifting. Whereas the predecessor was ordered with a manual transmission, ZF's eight-speed automatic does its job really well in the current Vantage – comfortable and barely noticeable gear changes in automatic mode, quick shifts in manual transmission mode.

By the way.A manual transmission (first gear down on the left, by the way) can weigh around 100 kilos: wonderful! British also dog leg), ceramic brake system and some carbon components save. Unfortunately the manual gearbox for the "normal" Vantage is currently not available after just under a year.

When it comes to weight, Chief Engineer Becker should in future make even more of a point of his past at Lotus, the lightweight construction forge. With a weight of 1.At 710 kilos, the automatic Vantage carries around a bit of flab. Becker has been with Aston Martin since 2015 and previously worked for the traditional British company Lotus for 26 years, so he's learned all the tricks of the trade in terms of driving dynamics with his mother's milk. But of course the new wind is not blowing through chief engineer Becker alone, but through the members of the entire development team, who have all done a good job together.

Make your choice

Both the powertrain and the adaptive suspension can be adjusted independently in Sport, Sport plus and Track settings. For the race track visit in particular, one can immediately switch to the track tuning without any problems in each case. The name says it all. Not only the switching procedures go then still faster over the stage, also the damper characteristic curve precipitates so still kerniger. All in all, the whole driving precision of the new Vantage results from the noticeably increased chassis stiffness.

The electromechanical adaptive steering, which masters the entire range, supports the dynamic driving performance from relatively smooth and comfortable to a tightened manual torque in track mode.

Power, good grip and driving precision

Short change of scene. A short trip to the Fahrtechnik-Zentrum Saalfelden shows that the Aston Martin Vantage is a car that offers you a "you" relatively quickly at the limit and becomes a buddy type. Thanks to the driveability, you can approach the limit quickly and effortlessly.

The Vantage reacts with quite spontaneous turn-in behavior at the first moment of steering, which then turns into a slightly wiping out steering understeer of the front axle. When accelerating out afterwards the tail presses into easy performance oversteer. To keep the Vantage as neutral as possible on the course, you shouldn't overload the front axle at the entrance to the bend and brake too late into the bends. From the apex, the accelerator pedal should not be maltreated too digitally. A progressive and rounded driving style is the key to success at the limits, especially with the Vantage.

Even in the faster passages the Vantage behaves good-naturedly and largely inconspicuously. If you like it puristic and want to work properly in the limit range, you can deactivate the ESP completely. But the tendency to oversteer demands a more sensitive foot on the accelerator. The ESP track mode is recommended for those who want to retain some reserves in the absolute limit range. Especially in ticklish places, where the rear axle is quite unloaded under load, or when changing direction at higher speed, the ESP function, which resembles a traction control and regulates minimally, gives you a lot of confidence. And confidence at the limit, as we all know, makes you go faster. There's also nothing wrong with the good grip level of the Pirelli Zeros, which were specially designed for the Vantage and are not sports tires.

Beauty and the beast

Back to our mountain road. We take a breather and contemplate. No flowing in beauty as for example with the DB 11. The body of the Vantage stretches on the ribs of its aluminum body like the sport Lycra of a Tour de France participant. The Vantage visually exudes performance and aggressiveness in all its feel. Marek Reichmann, Aston Martin's designer, would put it like this: "One single line, which creates all the drama.

The no nonsense approach to design continues in the interior. Perfect trimming of seat and steering wheel. Skilful center console. Playground for tinkerers. About camera switch for front/rear.The car is started via the light-pulsing start button.As a British peculiarity, the sophisticated controls also feature real quartz buttons. The gears are selected via the glass knob D, or the aforementioned extra-long paddles, er, shift paddles. Extra praise for the knee pads. There's also cargo space under the tailgate, and the rear seat recesses also prove practical.The Vantage's Comand infotainment system has Mercedes roots. There are also two vanity mirrors for those who don't want to mess around alone. Advantage Gaydon. Some Italian bolides with sonorous high-society port names on the Riviera still have some catching up to do.

The new era

The Vantage breaks a little with the cliche of British sports cars.In the 2000s, Aston Martin was always a sports car with a beautiful design, always powered by highly emotional naturally aspirated engines with eight or twelve cylinders. Restrained elegance met a large-volume aggregate with heavenly sound More purchase reasons did not need it over nearly two decades. For those who thought a Ferrari or Lamborghini was too ruckus and a Porsche 911 not rare enough, the gentlemen's sports cars from Gaydon in the UK were the place to be.

But the Vantage recalibrates the Aston Martin DNA. Not only beauty and sound alone, now there is also strengthened the fist in the neck, whereby the Vantage is also still quite not only pure track tool, and can also be quite still a little comfy. Tradition is not just the preservation of ashes, with Conolly leather-lined interiors and sheepskin floor rugs, but the perpetual rekindling of the fire with power, dynamism but still distinct aesthetics.A new form of interweaving elegance and function.British always means cool in some way.

What we like ?

Clean, iconic and British cool.

What surprises ?

Not suitable for sporty, stately driving off one's own lands.

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