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Bold Styling Decisions: 2019 Aston Martin Vantage

Those curves. Those hips. Uh, we'll stop there.

Back in 2014 when the latest James Bond film, “Spectre”, was in pre-production, producers were hanging out at Aston Martin’s design studio in Gaydon. They were there to decide 007’s next ride. It had to be sexy, of course, but also display confidence and athleticism. Aston Martin figured the soon to be unveiled DB11 would be suitable, but then a producer spotted a sketch for something else pinned to the wall. That sketch was for the all-new Vantage, whose design wasn’t quite locked down yet, but the overall styling direction was.

That was the car James Bond needed next, the producers (we’re totally paraphrasing) said. Problem was Aston Martin was not ready to show that car, but a solution was soon found: the film-only DB10. At the time we didn’t realize just how much it previewed the all-new 2019 Vantage design. Comparing both side by side, we are of the firm belief the Vantage, which will be making its global pubic debut next week at Geneva, looks even better. Like its immediate predecessor, the new Vantage will undoubtedly go down in automotive history as one of the most beautiful designs ever – and it was justifiably hard to top the outgoing Vantage. But Aston Martin managed to do just that.

The new car’s styling is athletic, muscular, and dynamic while still managing to push the brand’s design to a whole new level. Starting up front, the mesh-covered grille, which flows directly into the splitter, is flanked by ultra-slim LED headlights with the brand’s logo stamped proudly in between. That splitter, by the way, directs airflow underneath the car, where it’s cooled through a system of fences, and then fed to the rear diffuser. The sculpted hood has a center bulge letting us know there’s something powerful lurking underneath: an AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 503 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque. Notice the minimal front and rear overhangs and how they literally bend into the car, eliminating any unnecessary mass.

The so-called side “gills,” located just behind the front wheel wells, are fully integrated into the body and bleed air pressure out from the front wheel arches. That upswept rear deck lid is more than just a pretty touch; it also generates downforce. Unlike, say, the One-77, the new Vantage does not have a very long hood (despite being front-engined) or extremely curvaceous lines, but instead features sharp, focused lines that are perfectly tailored to its macho nature. This focus of keeping the Vantage’s proportions as compact as possible also helped, among many other things, that coveted 50:50 weight distribution. Even from its rear end, the new Vantage looks spectacular.

The narrow LED taillights are connected by a thin LED strip running along the trunk. Below it is the dramatically styled diffuser that creates an area of low pressure air while also preventing turbulence generated by the rear wheels from impeding the flow of air as it exits from underneath. If you get the impression the Vantage has some track design inspiration then you’d be correct. Aston Martin proudly says it blended styling elements of not only the DB10, but also the track-only Vulcan, without question one of the most radical-looking Aston Martins of all time. While the larger DB11 required a more graceful appearance in tune with its grand touring nature, designers were able to go a bit wild with the Vantage.

Think of it as the DB11’s younger brother who can never get into serious trouble because he’s so darn good looking and charming, despite never trying to conceal his tendency for naughtiness. Above all, the new Vantage signifies a huge leap forward for Aston Martin design. It’s clearly an Aston, but at the same time it’s a departure from everything else before it, including the stunning DB11. The new Aston Martin Vantage is a stunning creation from a historic brand that’s been doing more in only the past few years to push its own design boundaries. It’s no wonder those James Bond producers fell hard for it from sketches alone.

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Aston Martin Vantage
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$160,000
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