If the DB11 initiated the latest new era of Aston Martin, then the 2018 Vantage looks to be the full realization of it. Taking cues from James Bond’s DB10 in Spectre, of which only 10 were made exclusively for the movie, the 2018 Vantage significantly differentiates itself from the rest of Aston’s GT lineup. “If the DB11 is the gentleman, the Vantage is the hunter,” says chief exterior designer Miles Nurnberger.
While it retains the Vantage’s basic proportions of a front-engine coupe with a low-arcing roofline, it’s decidedly more aggressive and athletic looking than its predecessor. With its sloped shark nose and its more open front grille, the Vantage seems to be sniffing at the ground for lunch.
A defined crease, not unlike the white streamer lines trailing off cartoon Superman’s feet, extends from the car’s large black side vents, then fades across the coupe’s doors toward the Vantage’s muscular haunches. Standing still, it looks like it’s breaking the law in 48 states.
All of the aerodynamic elements are incorporated seamlessly within the structural design of the Vantage, meaning there’s nothing to deploy and there are no extra bits bolted on.
If the front end of the Vantage is on the prowl, then the rear end is in full peacock mode. All of the aerodynamic elements are incorporated seamlessly within the structural design of the Vantage, meaning there’s nothing to deploy and there are no extra bits bolted on. A complex rear diffuser controls turbulence off the tires and, with the help of the front splitter and the side gill panels, is intended to help create significant downforce.
Despite being two inches shorter than a Porsche 911, the Vantage’s wheelbase is almost 10 inches longer than the current 991-generation Carrera. The long wheelbase and short overhangs make the Vantage appear visually rooted – and it means there’s ample room inside the cabin.
The new Vantage’s interior has more of a cockpit feel, with everything from the doors to the dashboard sculpted in a concave-type fashion away from the driver, like a wavy wall on a modern Frank Gehry building. This creates more negative space inside the car, accommodating a taller driver more easily.
The new Vantage has 510 hp and is about 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Aston says the 0-60 mph time should take 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 195 mph.
Bond’s bespoke DB10 also inspired the center stack and console, which moves once horizontal elements to more of a waterfall configuration, including the transmission buttons that are now arranged in an efficient triangular cluster. Even the steering wheel is sheared squarely at the bottom, giving the driver more legroom.
Weight distribution is neutral at 50/50, and the 4.0-liter biturbocharged V8 sits as close to the middle of the car as the all-new aluminum chassis, first seen on the DB11, will allow. With a seamlessly riveted structure and aircraft construction, as well as a solid mount rear subframe, torsional stiffness is said to be vastly improved over the outgoing Vantage.
That marvelous Mercedes-AMG-sourced engine, specifically tuned for the Vantage’s requirements, generates this creature's heartbeat. The engine mapping, fuel mapping, gearbox mapping, and exhaust tuning are all unique to the Vantage. It makes 503 horsepower, which is 80 more than the last V8 Vantage GT, along with 505 pound-feet of torque. And at 3,373 pounds, the new Vantage is some 300 pounds less than its predecessor, for a greatly improved power-to-weight ratio. Aston Martin says the 0-60 mph time should take 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 195 mph.
The e-diff links to the stability control system and electronically varies the torque sent to each of the rear wheels.
Shorter intermediate gear ratios in the new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission mean the Vantage rolls through them quicker and more smoothly. Sometime after the Vantage’s initial deliveries in the second quarter of 2018, a manual transmission version becomes available, and while it’s purely speculation at this point, we’re hedging bets it will be a version of the seven-speed stick from the outgoing V12 Vantage S.
The new Vantage gets an electronic rear differential, available from Aston Martin for the first time. The e-diff links to the stability control system and electronically varies the torque sent to each of the rear wheels. Adding to the driver’s experience, both traction and stability control can be completely switched off if so desired. To make sure the car is as playful as possible, engineers tuned the torque mapping on snowy, icy roads in Sweden. We love the idea of sliding this thing around in the snow. Good thing we have a Detroit office...
The suspension architecture in the front is the same double wishbone as the DB11’s, just tuned for a stiffer, more sporting feel. And the Vantage now wears Pirelli P-Zero running shoes. Either cast iron or carbon fiber brakes are available.
Deliveries start in the second quarter of 2018, with Vantage pricing starting at $149,995 in the U.S.
When asked about a V12 down the road, Aston Martin claims there’s no option currently in the works. “We’re not even sure if (the V12) would fit,” one of the public relations folks joked. We’ll see about that.
The new Vantage, priced at $149,995, is part of the second phase of Aston Martin’s second century plan after the DB11’s introduction. Next in line: replacing the current Vanquish with the new version sometime in 2019. Beyond that, a portfolio expansion with the DBX sends Aston Martin into uncharted, but necessary, SUV territory. A new mid-engine sports car is said to be waiting in the wings, in addition to the reinvestment in the Lagonda brand, and the electric RapidE will quickly jolt the company into the electrification space.
If a major complaint of the British brand is that’s there’s not been enough character differentiation between Aston Martin models, then the 2018 Vantage is poised to clear up any misunderstandings. And if it drives as good as it looks, we’re sold.
Source/Images: Aston Martin
Gallery: 2018 Aston Martin Vantage
Introducing the new Vantage: the successor to a true sporting dynasty
- All-new Vantage defined by bold new look, intensified performance and dynamics
- Powered by 4.0-liter, 503bhp/505lb.ft twin-turbo V8 mated to eight-speed ZF transmission
- Maximum speed 195mph.
- 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds
- First Aston Martin to be fitted with an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff)
- Deliveries scheduled to begin second quarter of 2018
21 November 2017, Gaydon: Vantage. An evocative name for a magnificent bloodline of thoroughbred sports cars. For seven decades the heartbeat of Aston Martin’s purest models, successive generations have built an enviable reputation for thrilling performance and enduring popularity. Today this formidable sporting dynasty is poised to hit new heights with the introduction of the new Vantage.
A spectacular new Aston Martin sports car demands a bold and distinctive design language. Pure, sculptural forms create an athletic, predatory stance, while the minimal front and rear overhangs, muscular flanks and broad haunches express the agility and dynamism inherent within the car. New head and tail lights form dramatic new signatures giving the Vantage unmistakable road presence and contribute to a strong and individual identity within the growing Aston Martin model range.
Aerodynamic performance is central to the Vantage concept: the front splitter directs airflow underneath the car, where a system of fences channels cooling air where it is needed, and also ensures the rear diffuser is fed with clean airflow. The design of the diffuser creates an area of low pressure air, while simultaneously preventing turbulence generated by the rear wheels from disrupting the flow of air exiting centrally from beneath the rear of the car.
Together with the new side gills, which have been integrated into the body surface and bleed air pressure out from the front wheel arches, and the pronounced upswept rear deck lid, the Vantage generates a significant level of downforce - a rarity on any production car and a first for a core production Aston Martin model.
The exciting design story continues inside the Vantage, with a dynamic and focused sports car cockpit that rejects long, fluid curves in favour of sharp, focused lines denoting the more aggressive nature of the car. A high waist interior theme and lower driving position creates a more immersive driving experience, and contributes to significant gains in occupant space and significant improvement in headroom compared with the outgoing Vantage. A combination of rotary and toggle style controls have been used for their unmatched tactile and intuitive functionality. Likewise the PRND transmission buttons have been moved into a triangular formation so as to cluster major controls into clearly defined zones. The interior also offers generous stowage space, with useable room behind the seats and generous double-tier storage areas.
The heart of the Vantage is Aston Martin’s potent new alloy, 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible for optimal centre-of-gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, this high performance, high efficiency engine returns a CO2 figure of *245g/km yet develops 503bhp at 6000rpm and 505lb.ft from 2000-5000rpm. With a dry weight of 3373lb this gives the Vantage formidable power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios - something vividly demonstrated whenever the throttle is squeezed. Detailed tuning of the induction, exhaust and engine management systems has given the Vantage a truly intoxicating character and soundtrack.
The Vantage deploys its impressive power and torque to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 3.6 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 195mph, it employs a sophisticated suite of integrated electronic systems to offer maximum control and driver enjoyment. These include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The speed-dependent electric power steering has 2.4 turns lock- to-lock for a perfect combination of quick-wits and precise, intuitive control.
For the first time on an Aston Martin the new Vantage also features an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff). This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car’s behavior, and react accordingly to direct the engine’s power to the relevant wheel. Unlike a conventional LSD, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds. At higher speeds, the Electronic Differential’s speed and sensitivity of response enables the system to take very fine control of the car’s dynamic behaviour. It makes the car feel much more composed both in terms of its straight-line stability and its cornering performance, providing the driver with increased levels of confidence to explore and enjoy the car’s capabilities to the full.
The chassis is an evolution of the latest generation bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11, though some 70 per cent of the structure’s components are new for Vantage. Balance, strength, rigidity and weight efficiency were all priorities in the new Vantage design, as was handling purity and consistency. Highlights of the chassis include a solidly mounted rear subframe for an enhanced feeling of direct connection for the driver, new Pirelli P Zero tyres developed specifically for new Vantage and the latest generation Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes.
Thanks to full integration of engine, transmission, E-Diff, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Damping and the electric power steering systems, each mode optimises every area of the car as one. With each step the Vantage gains in agility and responsiveness, its character becoming progressively sharper, more vocal and more exciting. This is the essence of the Vantage driving experience - a car that’s never less than connected and engaging with the breadth of capability to revel in challenging roads and bare its teeth on track.
The Vantage features a high level of standard equipment, including keyless start/stop, tyre pressure monitoring system and Parking Distance Display, Park Assist and front and rear parking sensors. The In-Car Entertainment system - controlled and viewed via a centrally mounted 8” LCD screen - comprises of the Aston Martin Audio System, Bluetooth® audio and phone streaming, iPod®, iPhone® and USB playback. There is also an integrated satellite navigation system and wi- fi hub.
Being an Aston Martin, the new Vantage also features a high level of craftsmanship, evidenced by flawless paintwork, luxurious Alcantara® and leather upholstery and a fabulous level of finish using tactile natural materials of the highest quality. There is also extensive scope for personalisation via a generous choice of options. These include forged alloy wheels in a variety of finishes, Sports Plus Collection (comprising Sports Plus seats and Sports steering wheel), carbon fibre interior and exterior detailing and a Premium Audio System.
Aston Martin President Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history. Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’m enormously excited by what we’ve created: a new Vantage that’s more explicit in looks and intent, wrapping heart-pounding performance and dazzling dynamics into an everyday usable package. 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.”
The new Vantage is on sale now with a recommended retail price from $149,995 in the USA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2018.