2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe

Aston Martin has made one of its smartest moves yet. In revising and refocusing its entry-level two-seat sports car V8 Vantage, it is providing an immediate answer to those who are questioning the direction taken by this sector's all-conquering giant, the Porsche 911 991. And how.

2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe
Gallery17

Aston Martin has made one of its smartest moves yet. In revising and refocusing its entry-level two-seat sports car V8 Vantage, it is providing an immediate answer to those who are questioning the direction taken by this sector's all-conquering giant, the Porsche 911 991. And how.

Aston Martin has also honed the styling, in typically understated but well-judged form. There's a cleaner and more defined front end, inspired by the deep aero-tuned splitter, while the sides gain definition from more sculpted side sills. There's a rear diffuser and a bigger ducktail-style rear wing too.

The 4.7-litre V8 engine is unchanged, so still produces 309kW, 7kW down on the more potent Vantage S. As suggested by a peak power point of 7,300rpm (and a so-so torque figure of 470Nm), it's an engine that loves to rev: the bite above 4,000rpm is in real contrast to the relative lethargy below it, something accentuated by a long-travel (but beautifully weighted) accelerator pedal.

And the noise is to die for. Mechanical and pure, it trades the brutish exhaust bellow of some OTT rivals (Jaguar XKR-S and Mercedes AMG) for a smoother, more satin-laced howl. You hear the engine work rather than the exhausts roar. It's sophisticated and very engineering-led.

 

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