by Martin Pretorius
First launched in 2018 and remaining essentially unchanged since then, the 2023 Aston Martin Vantage is still one of the most visually-arresting sports coupes out there. That seductive aluminum skin hides some serious muscle - you don't need a V12 Vantage for satisfying performance, because even the regular Vantage is capable of borderline vicious acceleration. This is due to the new-generation stamped, bonded, and riveted aluminum space frame, derived from that in the DB11, which keeps its weight under control. The AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 is good for 503 hp and 505 lb-ft, rising to 527 hp in the spruced-up F1 Edition.
With its engine behind the front axle and a rear-mounted transaxle between the rear wheels, the Vantage Coupe has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution for responsive but balanced dynamics. Competitors to the Aston Martin Vantage include the Audi R8 and 992 Porsche 911, which offer comparable performance for similar money. A review of these opponents will show that they go about their business in different ways, however, because the Aston Martin is the only one with the classic combination of a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. And it's unerringly pretty, to boot.
Nothing has changed in the specifications or appearance of the 2023 Vantage Coupe, and both the standard and F1 Edition carries over from 2022
While official pricing has yet to be confirmed, the new Aston Martin Vantage coupe is likely to cost around $145k for the base V8, followed by the F1 Edition at over $170k. These prices exclude a destination charges as well as any options that you may add.
See trim levels and configurations:
It might be the smallest Aston Martin with the least power in its family, but the Vantage is still a proper performance car. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine is sourced from Mercedes-AMG, and produces 503 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque in base Vantage trim and 527 hp in the F1 Edition, so, given the Vantage Coupe's curb weight of about 3,400 pounds, performance is rapid indeed. Expect a 0-60 mph dash in around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph.
Straight-line speed is only one part of the Vantage story, however, because its handling is arguably even more impressive. With the transmission mounted between the rear wheels, an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and the engine placed behind the front axle, its driving dynamics promise classic front-engine, RWD coupe characteristics, and the experience behind the wheel bears this out.
The handling balance is neutral up to very high limits, with some throttle-induced tail-out antics available at the ragged edge. And through it all, the steering remains responsive and communicative, pointing the car's nose exactly where the driver wants it to go without hesitation. These excellent driving dynamics don't even come at the cost of comfort, because the ride quality is surprisingly compliant for a car with such handling abilities.
As far as performance, driving dynamics, and sheer style goes, the new Aston Martin Vantage Coupe is right up there with the best of its genre. Its engine is a firecracker, the chassis is more than up to the task of exploiting the demands made by the performance on tap, and it's beautiful enough to park in the lounge just to stare at it. But there are other, more-compelling alternatives in this class.
The Porsche 911, currently in its 992 generation, has matured into an excellent all-rounder over the decades, and similar performance to the Vantage can be had for quite a bit less money in the USA if you choose the right 911. Not only will a 911 GTS run with the Vantage in a straight line and around the bends, but it has two more seats and a more-modern, better-made cabin with more standard features.
The Audi R8, now in its run-out phase, also costs roughly as much as the Vantage, is just as cramped inside, and has a similarly dated interior, but compensates with its mid-engined layout and howling V10 engine. There are plenty of delectable alternatives at this price point, but this has never deterred Aston Martin customers before, and it's unlikely that it will do so now.
You can either go for the base model, or, for not much more, you can have an Aston Martin in Racing Green that looks like a Formula 1 safety car and has an extra 24 horsepower. However, the latter isn't very customizable, so if you'd like to tailor your Vantage, the base model will have to do. As for us, we'd take the revised suspension, steering, and aero of the F1 Edition, retain the Racing Green color scheme, and tack on the premium audio system and touchpad infotainment controller for ease of use.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe: