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Aston Gets in Gear With Launch of New Vantage

Vantage GTE race car also makes its debut.

by on Nov.22, 2017

The new Aston Martin Vantage has been rebuilt from the ground up, sharing little with its predecessor.

For a brand that could go years without even a modest refresh of its line-up, Aston Martin is certainly kicking things into gear. The British marque has been busy rolling out a procession of new products, including two versions of the DB11, a track-ready Valkyrie, its first-ever electric car and now two all-new versions of the Vantage, one for the street and one for the track.

Expected to start at somewhere around $150,000 once it lands in the States, the two-seater is being positioned to take on the more powerful versions of the Porsche 911, and is a critical link in the broad expansion plan envisioned by CEO Andy Palmer when he come onboard at Aston three years ago.

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“A true sports car with a sharper look and a keener dynamic edge, the new Vantage is the Aston Martin pure driving machine enthusiasts have been waiting for,” proclaimed Palmer. “Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge,” he added, considering the outgoing Vantage was “the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history.”

The latest iterations of the Vantage is almost entirely new from the ground up. If anything, it shares more with the new DB11 – primarily its bonded aluminum architecture – than the outgoing sports car. The new Vantage weighs in at 3,366 pounds, or roughly the same as a 911, and about 300 pounds lighter than the current version.

The new Vantage completes the 0-to-60 mph sprint in just 3.6 seconds.

Aston has not only put a premium on reducing mass, but also on improving aerodynamics. There’s a revised front splitter, as well as a new rear diffuser, air flowing across a much cleaner underbody. The front wheels get new air curtains to reduce turbulence and drag, with an integrated rear spoiler increasing high-speed downforce.

(Aston aims for the ragged edge with Valkyrie AMR Pro. Get a look. Click Here.)

The drivetrain on the street version is the same 4.0-liter biturbo V-8 found in the DB11 and produces 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic, no manual available on the new Vantage line. Aston claims the new model will hit 100 kmh  (62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 195 mph.

The Vantage GTE Racer. The new Vantage comes in more than 300 pounders lighter than the outgoing model.

Aston pushed the powertrain back to achieve a 50:50 weight balance. And, for the first time on any of its products, an Electronic Rear Differential, or E-Diff, will be offered on the new Vantage. Among other things, Aston claims, it can go from fully open to fully locked in milliseconds, much more rapidly than a conventional, mechanical differential.

Other features include torque vectoring and an adaptive damping suspension system. To put all that power to the pavement, meanwhile, the new Vantage opts for Pirelli P Zero tyres on its 20-inch alloy wheels.

(Aston Martin drops the top with new DB11 Volante. For the story, Click Here.)

Visually, the new Vantage bears more than a passing resemblance to the DB10, a one-off developed specifically for the most recent James Bond adventure, “Spectre.” It shares some details with the DB11, however, including the clamshell hood.

The interior of the new Vantage is focused on the comfort of the occupants, including offering more headroom this year.

Inside, Aston said its goal was to create “a more immersive driving experience.” There are the requisite luxury features, of course, including heated sport seats, a large navigation screen and a range of infotainment functions. There’s also better headroom than in the outgoing model.

Meanwhile, there are new rotary and toggle switches, many of which, along with the shifter buttons, have been repositioned to a triangular-shaped center console. Aston has also found ways to squeeze in more cabin storage, a real shortfall on the old Vantage.

Aston has big plans for the new Vantage on the track, as well, setting it up for a run in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

This year's Vantage has no manual transmission available.

“Built to comply with the FIA’s strict GTE class regulations, the new Vantage GTE takes the road car’s core design and dynamic capabilities to a whole new level through extensive optimization of the powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics,” the company notes.

The project was handled in-house at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, the project led by Technical Director Dan Sayers. He oversaw the development of the outgoing Vantage GTE which, among its 36 victories, can claim two class wins at Le Mans.

The V-8 is shared, albeit modified for track purposes. The big rear wing is one of the most noticeable visual changes. Under the skin, the Vantage GTE also will feature track-ready brakes, suspension and tire modifications.

(To see more about Aston Martin going 100% hybrid, Click Here.)

“Motorsport is fundamental to the DNA of Aston Martin,” said racing division president David King. “I can’t wait to see the new car race in anger at Spa next year and continue to write motorsport history”.

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