Facelifted Aston Martin Vantage to be Released at Geneva

Facelift

Visually the facelift has been minor, but major changes to handling and performance have taken place.

Ahead of its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin has announced some of the engineering updates and refreshed styling that have been made to the 2012 Vantage range. The facelift itself is relatively minor but changes to handling and performance are significant. The company has described this as the biggest range overhaul since 2008, with the base 420hp 4.7-liter V8 Vantage benefiting from upgrades that were first seen on the Vantage S, such as quicker steering, bigger brakes and wider tires.

More feedback and agility comes from the installation of a new steering column, revalved power steering and a quicker ratio (15:1 from 17:1). New 380mm, two-piece ventilated cast iron front discs and six-piston calipers enhance braking at the front, resulting in "significantly increased stopping power and pedal feel." Tires are now 10mm wider and a brake-holding Hill Start Assist set-up comes as standard. The standard six-speed manual transmission has been kept although Aston is offering the new seven-speed Sportshift II automated manual transmission as an option.

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With the extra gear, closer ratios and refined shift quality, the specially designed gearbox will provide faster and more precise shifts and thus optimize acceleration. Styling changes inspired by both the Vantage S and limited edition Vantage N420 will characterize the 2012 V8 Vantage, which gets a new lower front bumper and air splitter, restyled sculpted side sills and a diffuser-equipped new rear bumper. Both the V8 Vantage Coupe and Roadster will benefit from these technical and styling enhancements, with entry-level models priced at £84,995.

The 430hp Vantage S comes in at £99,995 and gets the news Sportshift II gearbox as standard in addition to a sports exhaust, an aerodynamic styling package described as "motorsport-derived and carbon-fiber detailed," and a hand-stitched leather interior. Also standard is the new integrated Garmin satnav, cruise control and Bluetooth. No changes have been made to the V12 Vantage, while the range-topping V12 Zagato, limited to just 150 units, will be priced at a shade under £400,000 with deliveries to start in Q4 of 2012.

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