2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Review Page 1 of 3 Reviews …

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Aston Martin Electric Cars

2009 Aston Martin V8 Road Test Review

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Test Review

WE HAD IT for four They, like the scenery, in a blur.

You see, you can’t sit in an Martin and think ordinary At the wheel of the V8 Vantage, everything a little surreal. It heightens senses, makes your beat faster, and electrifies around you.

And all those cars you’re sharing the with suddenly become a more threatening.

But it’s all it of course. There is no such as a negative when you’re in one of the world’s most desirable cars; and one that sounds and and goes like the V8 Vantage. (So is what it’s like to be rich. )

Is the V8 Vantage not one of the most and beautiful of modern sports

Most people don’t stare when you pass in a car like this; they they eat it with their And some, for the few seconds as you drive by, see else.

So, how good is the V8 Vantage, very . We packed a notepad, a and a ruler, and set out to find out.

What is there not to like the V8 Vantage’s gorgeous hand-crafted Tough, low, lean and it sits fat on massive 19-inch with 235/40 ZR19 Potenza’s up front and 275/35 rears.

‘Ours’ with the Pack, came with lightweight five-spoke alloys, Bilstein dampers, up-rated and anti-roll bar.

Its sculptured sweep back from a signature Aston Martin over a long bonnet, low screen and outrageously pumped If you catch it approaching in your mirror, it has the menace of a closing Pointer.

The lingering image of the rear, which is what be staring at for mere seconds as it into the distance, is of superbly haunches sitting squat a wide, wide track.

it is only when you park to a sensible car that you realise the V8 is not very big. It is in fact the size of a Volkswagen Golf in of the shadow it casts on the ground.

But never guess it. It sits — all muscular elegance and presence.

Besides the optional Pack, our tester came curious black striping; a nod to the GT4 s racing livery, but we think the car handsome enough without any touches.

There is a kind of flawless to its panels and in the translucent depth of the paint that gives the V8 a classical and rare elegance.

The chrome, the LED rear lamps and headlights, the flush-sitting lever-style handles, all-metal grille and vents, and even the Aston badge crafted by a jeweller are all absolute premium fare. for the enjoyment of an exclusive few.

But it is not the beauty of the beast that the Vantage its appeal; contained in its coachwork is the latest in metal and technologies.

The comparatively lightweight but body is a bonded aluminium incorporating magnesium alloy, alloy, steel and composite panels. Roof, bonnet and are aluminium; rear tail-gate and fenders are polymer composite and impact bars are extruded

There is also more simply style behind the bonnet. The 4.7 litre V8 sits back against the firewall, with the rear-mounted transmission, to the V8 Vantage s astonishing on-road

The doors rise as you open (called ‘swan doors’), the lower leading edge scraping the footpath. There is no defacing the lines of the rear. The hatch, sitting over a that s big enough for personal for two, has a rear spoiler duck-tail style into its

The interior

The exclusive hand-finished carries over to the interior. sumptuous-feel full-grain leather, headlining, and a stylish centre of die-cast zinc alloy

The leather dash, with seams, is trimmed like an club chair. A domed binnacle, containing two beautiful style gauges on an etched and glass backing plate, perfectly in place ahead of the The displays, Organic Electroluminescent are soft on the eyes, stylish and clear.

The multi-function steering just right for feel and is adjustable for tilt and reach.

In the console, below the sat nav display, are the controls for the Sportshift transmission and ‘Comfort’ setting. While more stylish, these be vaguely reminiscent to anyone who the old Valiant press-button torqueflite

And, setting it all off, the glass, stainless steel and ‘key’, the ECU, which red on ignition, simply reeks of and class.

It’s snug inside, the space is quite small, but and legroom is generous and it never claustrophobic. The seats too, shaped for performance driving heavily bolstered wings and are firm-fitting but comfortable.

Even a long day in the saddle, they felt right.

The handbrake at the driver’s right thigh. a flyaway style, something drivers of classic English cars are used to, but which, it is easy to use, will be to many.

There is little to about at this work-bench. The could perhaps be a little fiddly, some of the buttons in the console are a bit of a stretch with the set back, there is nowhere to put things and the glovebox is simply too

I made the mistake of taking the out of the glovebox and couldn’t get it back in So don’t expect to get much than a glove, two parking and four guitar picks in

The piece de resistance in the cabin is the absolutely sensational 700W Martin Premium Audio with Dolby Pro Logic II. It has a and imaging that will not the most dedicated audiophile and it make your ears before it distorts.

Equipment and

The V8 Vantage is all about the drive, but does not mean you get the appointments of a It’s top-deck premium inside and laden with

It comes with electric with position memory, a disk drive navigation automatic temperature control, computer, LED map reading lights, parking sensors, heated screen, tyre pressure and battery disconnect switch.

fabulous 700W Aston Audio System and six-stacker CD with full iPod USB connector with Waveform Format (WAF), Windows Player (WMA) and MPEG audio file compatibility. It is Bluetooth integrated.

For passive there are dual-stage driver and airbags and side airbags. standard on the V8 Vantage is dynamic control (DSC) which too much in your face traction control, anti-lock (ABS), electronic brakeforce (EBD) and emergency brake (EBA).

Mechanical Package

At the of the V8 Vantage, as the model’s name is its deliciously balanced 4735cc V8. All it features quad overhead 32 valves, forged steel and conrods and dry-sump lubrication

Exactly ‘square’, with a 91mm stroke and bore, it is a free-spinning unit with throttle response.

Maximum of 313kW is not available until at the electronic cut-out at 7300rpm. torque of 470Nm is at a much user-friendly 5000rpm. These give the V8 Vantage a 4.8 seconds sprint and will carry it to a top speed of 290km/h.

Over the model, the cylinder heads are with new intake ports and inlet valves, increased 34.9mm to 35.9mm. The result is even at high revs, it sounds breathless or as though tripping over itself.

fitted with a stainless exhaust system with bypass valves, when you the taps you are presented with one of the sounds of the modern age a highly and exquisitely engineered V8 in thunderous chorus.

It is intoxicating, you simply do it just once.

When sedate driving is called there is a ‘Comfort’ button to the of the start key which controls the mapping.

In the default ‘sports’ the mapping is aggressive. But put it into mode and the edge is taken off allowing smoother and more throttle control. (Meaning you inadvertently launch yourself the car in front.)

While a conventional manual is also available, V8 Vantage came with the Sportshift automated manual

It can be driven in full-auto mode a matter of punching ‘D’ on the console or used manually via the

Mounted at the rear with a slip differential, the Sportshift can take a little while to to (it’s not as intuitive nor as smooth as a DSG It’s a little slower, a little hesitant until are moving (and worse it’s cold), but you soon to its quirks.

It’s a smart though. In full auto the Sportshift utilises information from the steering wheel to whether to hold a gear or up or down and also has hill detection for engine braking.

things under control below are independent double front and back with springs and monotube dampers. geometry is employed up front, and anti-lift at the rear. Bilstein are standard throughout.

The front rates have been by 11 percent at the front and five at the rear over the previous and the front lower suspension arm have been stiffened by 22

Steering is power assisted and pinion with just turns lock to lock. meaty but not heavy, even at speeds, and the adjustable leather wheel is a beauty.

Brakes are ventilated grooved discs at the 330mm at the rear, with four-piston monobloc calipers. on them and you will feel you have lassoed a stump they will make eyes pop, time time.

The Drive

Press the ECU into the slot in the centre and it glows red as the 4.7 litres within into life with an burble.

The Vantage simply the most beautiful sounds. at idle there is an ever-present whirl sitting just the impatient growl of the highly-tuned V8.

as if the car is straining at the leash before left the car park.

Aston Martin Electric Cars

Of course, to an Aston Martin without the shoe is to miss the point. is a sports car, an expensive yes, but with masses of and road-hugging dynamics.

Press to select drive, nail the and things happen very But while it’s fast, a home-grown V8 will stay in for the first couple of seconds. when the revs and speeds that the Vantage comes its own.

Above 4500rpm a monster. Thanks to the exhaust valve, the engine note of multi-valve V8 passes from a bellow to an outraged visceral and things begin to blur.

The changes in auto mode are and clearly defined. With change, there is a jerk of then an instantaneous brutal as the rev-needle races again the anti-clockwise dial.

There is no in the backwards rev counter — hit the limiter at 7300rpm, and it just things. But with six-speeds, and a to spin its head off, the V8 has long, long legs in gear.

It is fabulous fun but best to the track: the legal limit is in mere heartbeats from

Slowing is accompanied by short rasps with each the throttle blipping automatically each change.

And if you feel you to occupy yourself with the changing (as if there is not enough on), it is simply a matter of things in hand with the for full manual control. To to auto mode, just ‘D’.

It is equally entertaining and fabulously around a winding pass.

For or spearing from one corner to the the Vantage’s explosive power in middle rev-band between and 6000rpm means that it can be launched from the apex to It’s as if everything has suddenly put into fast-forward.

Powering on, you can hang the tail out, thanks to its superb front-rear it simply refuses to bite the at the wheel.

‘Turn in’ is sharp, it sits as flat as a and the structural rigidity ensures you can get the power down hard and without unsettling things on

In a car like this, you don’t communicate with the road, it an on-going discourse: you are always of the subtleties of what’s happening

At the wheel of the V8 Vantage you speak to the and it speaks back to you.

taut this is a performance car all but it’s not uncomfortable; at speed, is minimal jarring and judder on all but the of road surfaces.

In fact, for a focused performance drive, the V8 is surprisingly user-friendly. Around you could almost call it It’s no limo underneath, but far from harsh.

That our Vantage, with the optional suspension package was firmer the standard car. Some may it too firm. Better, in our view, to the extra shekels and stick the softer standard ride.

The is nicely weighted, neither light nor too heavy, the turning is good, and it doesn’t sit so low that always worried about the undersides approaching the servo

Importantly, there is enough in the suspension for tackling speed without getting mown by an impatient Prado or X5 driver.

The is also easy to get in and out of. The doors wide and, while low, you don’t feel putting yourself into a just to get behind the wheel.

In exotics you need a portable a jemmy bar and a tub of vaseline just to get in and out of the driver’s seat.

You can also set it in ‘D’ for drive and forget it. The function of the transmission which can a while to get used to in normal and in getting away from the is a boon in stop-start driving and for parking spaces.

The secret to it is in the use of the throttle. It requires a more delicate touch town. If you’re ham-fisted (or it can be a little fidgety in traffic.

for a car with such performance the V8 Vantage is easy enough to around town to be an everyday Provided you can tackle the not inconsiderable of the ‘entry’ price, that is.

You do not need to feel you are killing the every time you bring it out of the The V8 Vantage returns a combined of 13.2 l/100km not half bad in terms, especially for one with a V8 in its long low snout.

The verdict

Martin’s V8 Vantage is a very car. As if you needed reminding, the “POWER, BEAUTY, SOUL” up on the instrument panel when you the ignition.

Hand built at in the UK, it is achingly stylish, brutishly and comes with one of the most sporting badges in the business.

Of for most of us, the V8 Vantage Coupe s tag, well north of its retail price by the time you it registered and on-road, makes it a and unattainable aspiration. With that figure rises to and with the Sports Pack, as add another $6620.

World the motoring press has fallen itself lavishing superlatives on its lines, superb balance and performance. To date more 10,000 have been globally.

If it was our money, we’d specify the manual over the but who wouldn’t put this car in their in a heartbeat? The V8 Vantage is, quite and as Aston Martin claims, one of the most desirable sports

We won t argue with that.

Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars
Aston Martin Electric Cars


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