Seven decades as a marque’s icon is a ton of pressure on the Vantage, yet the 2018 model does Aston Martin proud as it joins its stable of thoroughbreds. Originally designed in 1951 as a high-output engine option for the DB2, the Vantage quickly established itself as a model in its own right with exceptional releases, including the twin-supercharged V600 Le Mans and the V8 Vantage.
The blood of a sporting dynasty runs deep to power the new model with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Aerodynamic performance anchors this release with a clever diffuser and cooling system, as well as integrated side gills and an upswept rear deck lid that inhibit turbulence and generate a significant level of downforce, guarding an effortless driving experience.
Behind that ease, though, is serious muscle and the aesthetics serve to remind you that this is a beast who will leap when nudged – it goes from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds. Pure sculptural forms create an athletic, predatory stance, emphasised by minimal front and rear overhangs, burly flanks and broad haunches. The sports car cockpit continues that aggressive visual language with sharp lines while a low driving position creates a greater bond with the road when behind the wheel. New head and tail lights complete the dramatic design, exuding poise, confidence and sex appeal.
The Vantage is equipped with an Electronic Rear Differential – an Aston Martin first – linked to the electronic stability control system, and both are fully integrated with the engine, transmission, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, Adaptive Damping and electric power steering systems. Wrapped in the best of British craftsmanship, this results in a car built for agility and responsiveness; a hunter disguised as a suave urban warrior.