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ADVANTAGE ASTON (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
If you can't afford that top end exotic supercar, Aston Martin's new generation Vantage could be the next best thing. Jonathan Crouch presses his nose to the glass.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 81
Aston Martin's new era Vantage is a modern high performance icon of unmistakable character, styled to seduce and engineered to thrill. It's the most affordable supercar the British brand makes, but many will tell you that it's arguably also the very best. This time round, there's Mercedes-AMG-sourced V8 power beneath the bonnet, but the performance is still as sensational. This was the first Aston Martin to directly take on Porsche and Maserati and it remains an emotional but very tempting choice.
Backgroundword count: 183
There was a time late in the last century, when 'Aston Martin' meant something very different. An iconic British brand, to be sure, but a maker of handbuilt sportscars aimed at older buyers romanced by name and heritage in the face of compelling evidence that German and Italian rivals were better made and finer to drive. The gorgeous DB11 of 2016 was a sign that the future might be different but it was still an old-style GT rather than an out-and-out sportscar, the kind of design still most likely to appeal to Aston enthusiasts. A slightly smaller model with younger, more dynamic orientation was needed. A car that someone with little prior interest in the brand might buy. A car you could seriously choose over a Porsche 911 or a Maserati GT. A car like this one, Aston Martin's new generation Vantage. For seven decades, the Vantage nameplate has been the heartbeat of some of Aston Martin's purest models and was first used in 1951 on a high-output engine option for the DB2. So what's in store this time round? Let's find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 214
Like the DB11, the Vantage borrows its engine from what is arguably its closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG GT. This 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 develops 510PS and puts out 685Nm of torque in the Vantage's state of tune (10Nm more than it develops in the DB11). Aston says that this gives its entry-level more a lightly more urgent feel than its pricier GT-orientated stablemate. It should certainly feel like that on the road, where the 62mph sprint is dispatched in just 3.7s en route to a 195mph maximum. Detailed tuning of the induction, exhaust and engine management systems has given the Vantage a truly intoxicating character and soundtrack. Power and torque is deployed to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and for the first time on an Aston Martin, this Vantage also features an 'E-Diff' Electronic Rear Differential. This differential is linked to the car's electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car's behaviour, and react accordingly to direct the engine's power to the relevant wheel. Unlike a conventional limited slip differential, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds. There's also a latest generation Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes.
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