All-new Aston Martin Vantage debuts with twin-turbo V8

Max Verstappen plays with the Vantage while Aston talks image

Aston Martin took the wraps off the all-new 2019 Vantage this morning, and I'm really liking what I'm seeing.

Aston Martin have used a combination of rotary and toggle style controls.

However, with the Vantage, even more than the recently launched DB11, everything beneath the skin is essentially a cherry-picked selection of everything that's cutting-edge in terms of sportscar capability, starting with the engine. "The Vantage is about being the hunter". That might help avoid the messy interfaces seen in endurance racing when top-level LMP1 cars need to pass the slower GTEs. The Brits have really focused on making the new Vantage drive and handle like an Aston Martin should.

As the name suggests, the new Vantage will be competing in the GTE Pro segment of the WEC season, and has a hard act to follow after its V8 Vantage GTE predecessor.

As you'd expect from a fire-breathing GTE racer, details include a jutting front splitter, enormous bonnet air vents and a rear wing so big you could sleep on it. Holgate called the diffuser a signature of the Vantage. It's set low down and far back in the chassis for a ideal 50:50 weight distribution.

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Now we want to know: How would you configure your 2018 Aston Martin Vantage? Holgate said: "With the special projects, we can push our DNA a lot further than we originally thought, and that's given us the confidence to not be so precious about features on the production cars". More importantly, though, it will make a more Aston Martin-like sound than an AMG sound. It's tuned to produce 505lb ft of torque at 2000-5000rpm, a small increase on the DB11. Zero to 60 miles per hour happens in 3.6 seconds, an eight-speed ZF automatic is the sole gearbox (good, but a stick would be better) and it's got some innovative new technology at work. Aston Martin claims estimated fuel economy of 26.8mpg on the combined cycle. A V12 version is expected to be offered later; the last Vantage V12 attracted rave reviews.

Balance of Performance will obviously dictate its final output, but we do know that Aston has partnered with several new technical partners to otherwise maximise its ability.

If you'd ask any kid to draw the silhouette of a race auto for the road, you'd probably get something quite close to that of the new Vantage.

It sends power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission (sorry, no manual transmission is available...yet) and electronic torque-vectoring limited slip differential capable of 100 percent lockup.

Aston Martin finally allows the current Vantage to retire after a 12-year career, as an all-new model is in town. The vehicle also gets Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes. Its large 20-inch alloys are shod in specially-developed Pirelli P-Zero tyres. The front wheels feature two-piece 400mm steel brakes, with 360mm ventilated co-cast discs at the rear. Like the DB, the Vantage sports a push-button transmission, and there's a very Mercedes-like central controller for the infotainment system.

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