Aston Martin Vantage in endurance test

How does the automotive aristocracy prepare themselves for the profane lowlands of everyday life? Aston Martin can't do that on principle? Well, only the Vantage has an umbrella on board as standard. So be careful!

The verdict before the verdict is the real enemy of the verdict. That's right, it's also called prejudice. English cars seem to have invented the prejudice: Nice, but… Behind the but, word of mouth, milkmaid bills and wannabe anecdotes weave a poisonous web of misjudgments.

Since the new Bond film is just starting and Daniel Craig is of course allowed to astonize again as a British secret agent, we wanted to have a go. Well, the number 10,000 before the kilometers makes it clear that we are talking about an endurance test sprint: a small marathon to part with omnipresent slanders - or to confirm them.

So Aston Martin Vantage, in rich orange with black rims. Chic, but misleading. "I've always liked McLaren cars," says a half-witted gas station owner, without smiling to cushion the faux pas, "but maybe it's just the color combination." Yes, McLaren's "factory colour" is papaya orange, historically often combined with black. But firstly, the shade of orange at Aston Martin is called Cosmos Orange, secondly, in Gaydon they don't even know where Woking is located. And thirdly, mockery of this kind rolls off Aston Martin's more than 100-year company history like water on a wax jacket.

Perfection instead of character

At "Aschdon", as the Swabians call it, you carry your nose up, and there are good reasons: For 20 years the brand has only marched upwards, first through design, then through technology. In the meantime, they have even arrived in Formula 1! And now the powertrain, which used to be sold as the soul of an Aston Martin when you still cobbled together the engines yourself, comes from the German Daimler. Incidentally, this also applies to Formula 1. It may cost character, but it brings perfection.

You don't want to imagine the engine without the engine, because you know for sure that you might have to imagine the whole brand without it, which would be a shame given all the beauty. The silhouette of the Vantage sparkles spectacularly, the waist is sexy. What is difficult - drawing and proportions - they did well in England, but then stuck on the pinched MX-5 headlights at the front. And in the back they got by with the crayon in the baroque swing. It could have been a really awesome, perfect, extraordinary British sports car. He almost got it.

Not even with an aggressive color scheme does the Vantage create controversial feelings in everyday life. On the contrary. "My Name is Bond, James Bond."The chief police officer, who is on duty on a Stuttgart exit road, looks puzzled after the announcement, then very slowly raises his hand to the gun, only to grin broadly: "Then you can continue driving." All the coal for the globally valid one 007 myth is well laid out.

With astonic stoicism

Image and silhouette are in harmony. But that's not the point. The lowlands of everyday life? Copes the Vantage stoically, almost astonically. Let's take the powertrain from Daimler ", which we do not call Mercedes or AMG for reasons of Englishness. Four liters, two turbos, 510 hp, 685 Nm. Sounds like a lot of noise? Not at all. At Aston Martin, the cabin crew are skillfully shielded from intrusive expressions of life, discretion is the order of the day of the brand. The Vantage is a GT for long journeys, not an ego subwoofer.

Of course, the performance is completely sufficient, usually just wanting to is enough. There He can also do it, 200 km/h is on the clock after 13 seconds, despite a weight of 1,723 kilos. He refrains from using the background noise and cannon fire as in the case of the Daimler. The eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF is the perfect ruler in spirit: Depending on the driving mode, the sovereign switching unit seems to anticipate the desired gear and serves it without a trembling tray. The last and eighth gear dims the presence of the engine on long stages, then the Aston Martin scrubs kilometers with the frugality of a Greek donkey: 12 to 14 liters at 3,000 rpm and a speedometer of 180.

Of course, Dr. Jekyll can also play Mr. Hyde at the push of a button, the genes have already been deposited at Daimler. Then the V8 transforms from a servant to a gathering tooth, which can sometimes rumble like thunder when the engine revs up. Aston Martin reserves the right to push further towards the borderline in the future with the Vantage with model spreads. The standard model is the zero line for the customer base that doesn't want to be too conspicuously conspicuous.

Whoever sits inside the Vantage is spared from extrovert exposure. The cabin nestles tightly around the owner, the seating position is low. Very deep. The number of pre-existing conditions (obesity, prolapsus nuclei pulposi, arthrosis deformans) accumulated over the years determines the elegance of the sitting position. It can happen that the elegance of the car is at odds with the elegance of the movement of the owner, so public display should be weighed. If you have self-doubt, you should park further away.Only: Who then sees the beautiful car?

Inside, everything is as it should be: the ergonomic triangle of seat, steering wheel and pedals can be neatly adjusted so that every stature feels well appreciated, although those with short torsos and long lower extremities might complain that they no longer see the street because of sitting low. gift.

Customer taste led the way when it came to the interior: Solid materials scent the interior, all glare has disappeared, muted black tones sedate the driver with noblesse. The central dashboard display is the increase in sobriety, not a drop of passion is spilled here.

34. This is the number of manual controls on the center console of the Vantage. We translate: Digitization is great, but if nobody can find anything anymore, it's stupid too. So at Aston Martin they prefer to make sure that everyone can find everything: one function equals one button. The well-off and apparently more mature clientele will appreciate that. We also.

Some of the customers might wonder how they know the switches and menu navigation. But they could have asked the same question 20 years ago, and the answer would have been more disappointing then than it is today. The Daimler (AMG/Mercedes, you know) not only delivers the hammer under the hood, but also other supporting structural elements: operating levers for indicators, cruise control, windscreen wipers, the controller on the center console. And the whole Comand infotainment system. Reprehensible? I wooh! Anyone who has ever driven the predecessor of the Vantage for a longer period of time will distinguish pragmatically between Disadvantage (earlier) and Advantage (today).

The English whimsy has thus completely escaped from the Vantage, which can be seen as a compliment under the criteria of everyday life. The sat nav navigates, the air conditioning cools, the music plays - and none of it needs to break nerves! The Vantage executes the necessities, which can also be expected at a test car price of 217,000 euros.

The driving itself? Subdued speed is the keyword, exuberance would be the stimulus word. When everything is dry and the electronic helpers stand guard, the Vantage shines with decent traction and a high level of conciliation. When it rains cats and the guard dogs sleep, you realize how well the violence has been domesticated. On "Sport" the driving comfort is convincing despite large wheels and flat tires. Comfort is not a conflict of goals here, but a priority. This is great for everyday driving.

Be fast, slow down

While borderline chatter doesn't play a role in the endurance test, it's worth mentioning that the Vantage has reduced its reluctance to push the limit.If you want to drive really fast with the Vantage, you should rather slow down: brake straight, steer slightly below the grip limit, accelerate slightly below the grip limit. The Aston can do that, it's good for it, that's exactly what the track mode with tighter damper tuning, fast gear changes and tight steering is for. Anyone who still thinks that they absolutely have to unpack the whip will hardly get any faster.

Aston Martin has conquered modern times with its engine, steering, brakes and operating system. The specifications are based on global standards - not on English ones. Rarely do goblins appear: with Tacho 303, the windscreen wipers snapped out of their resting position behind the hood and went on a snuggling course with the A-pillars. Funny lapse. If it really rains, the Vantage driver becomes a goblin: he would have a noble umbrella in the trunk, alone, he forgot that - and still gets wet.

Which proves that prejudices are eliminated through experience - otherwise they drag themselves through the whole story as misjudgments.


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