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Aston Martin V8 Vantage Driving Report: Luxury Coupe or Sportsman?

Dino Eisele
Aston Martin V8 Vantage in the driving report
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T stop, routine check. High octane rushes into the tank, the hood is already unlocked. Lowering the center of gravity as light as a baking sheet, it swings upwards. Heavy and massive, on the other hand, the oil cap - other manufacturers make a set of alloy wheels from it, but probably not as stylish as this detail of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

The design in general: a flood of rushing admiration pearls over them in general A sense of style as an excitingly elegant body. But the base model Aston Martin V8 Vantage does not want to be reduced to that. Where else is a high-revving V8 engine so close to the bulkhead and so close to the asphalt in the bow? Who else can afford dry sump lubrication that is resistant to lateral acceleration? How often do engineers place a gearbox directly in front of the rear axle to favor balance? When is a mechanical limited-slip differential allowed to direct the traction?

Aston Martin V8 Vantage also for tall people

Now Aston Martin is stepping up: A steering geared more directly to 15: 1 instead of 17: 1 , brake discs enlarged from 355 to 380 millimeters on the front axle, ten millimeters wider tires all around and coordinated springs, dampers, stabilizers, suspension bushings and engine mounts - so that everyone can now recognize the driving dynamics of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In order to explore this, a comfortable seating position helps immensely, which not all sports car manufacturers see. In the V8, however, even drivers who could not resist an above-average body growth fit comfortably under the Alcantara sky.

The partially transparent key now quietly disappears into the slot provided in the piano-coated center console as a flat, integrated style element. After a brief press, it wakes up the 4.7-liter engine loudly, and makes neighbors clink their coffee dishes frantically with its barking. Such authentic V8 sound clouds rarely waft through the air, filling the environment with their own bass. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage doesn't need any ingenious speaker sound tricks. Well, he gets a bypass-controlled exhaust system on the way, but remains a long way from any sound synthetic.

At least one small steak for breakfast

This authenticity is revealed shortly after rollingalso in other disciplines, because the lightness of the form has apparently already roared away from the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The clutch pedal, gearshift lever and steering require at least a small steak for breakfast and punish weak limbs with limited functionality. In the meantime, before the driver's eyes, the repeatedly inspiring spectacle of the counter-climbing needles on the speedometer and rev counter begins. If necessary, they rise faster than share prices can fall: In 4.9 seconds, the 426 hp Aston Martin V8 Vantage should storm from zero to 100 km /h, cheer over 7,000 rpm and only fail at 290 km /h due to air resistance . But that wasn't a problem even before the facelift, so dead straight strips of asphalt are ignored for the time being.

Where are the mountain passes of this world when they are needed? No matter, then the foothills of the Alps. Here the Aston Martin V8 Vantage compensates for the comparatively high effort with a wonderfully analogue driving pleasure, gives the feeling of delivering yourself directly to the driver. It is of course up to him to precisely select braking and apex points and to dose the gas precisely, whereby the Vantage offers the best possible support.

More lateral support in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is desirable

Every little movement with the tip of a finger or toe immediately generates a reaction from the 1.6-ton Aston Martin V8 Vantage, which only with gross intent crosses the threshold into the realm of oversteer and almost always rages on this side of the lowlands of understeer across the country . Regardless of its directness, however, the steering occasionally fails to transmit all the fine data of the forces acting on the tires in order to achieve the playful agility of a Porsche 911. Significantly more consistent: the coordination of the suspension, which is equipped with double wishbones. It interlocks the 19-inch wheels with the road and offers reassuring traction despite strict spring and damper rates. Roll? So please. Lateral support, yes, the driver wants more of that.

The wish list almost ends there. Perhaps the somewhat confused infotainment controls known from Volvo should gradually look for new role models. Until then, the drive takes over the fun, smashing its progressive eight-cylinder thunderstorm from the two tailpipes. Above all, Aston promises literally “more drama” - nonsense - from the redesigned rear diffuser. Even the overture before reaching the 4,000 rpm mark offers more of this; the main theme with the exhaust flap open calls to mind the acoustic brilliance of internal combustion engines full and hoarse. With the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the sound completes the total work of art of a classic sports car in the best sense of the word: exciting, noble, rough-hewn, fast and, yes, absolutely beautiful - right through to the oil cap.

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