Aston Martin's styling department has set trends for years. Will the rest of the industry adopt these crazy lights?
As the march of performance-oriented engines prevails over regulations that force them to become more fuel efficient at the same time, manufacturers of high-end sports cars that can tackle the tall order of high performance and low emissions at the same time are gaining confidence. They seem to think that all the other slow cars on the road are going to be forced to eat their dust. To ease that pain, automakers like Audi and Lexus are pooling design resources into incredible taillight designs to at least give the losers something to look at.
And now it's Aston Martin's turn to join the party with the new Vantage. With its rear end teased in a dark image released to the public, we can see the silhouette of the Jaguar F-Type-fighter accentuated by a long strip of a taillamp that runs from one end of the car to the other. Aston Martin has already blown us away with the extreme taillight design it bestowed on the Vulcan and the Valkyrie's rear end already looks radical enough to be an attention-grabber on its own merit, but the Vantage's taillight shows us that designers is experimenting with a new look entirely. Aston Martin left the rear end of the Vantage covered by a white sheet, making it so that the taillights are the teaser's defining characteristic.
Though we've seen previous Vantage test mules exhibiting a One-77-like taillight strip that visually enlarged the rear by hooking the light strip inwards towards the center after taking a downward turn, this design is entirely new. It's also in line with the Vantage's rear end that we saw in leaked patent images a couple of months ago. This revelation, along with previous images we've seen of the camouflaged Vantage test mule, further proves that Aston Martin will design its entry-level grand tourer to look like the DB10 that debuted in the James Bond movie "Spectre." Aside from the looks, the Vantage will also feature a lightweight aluminum architecture that'll be a shortened version of the DB11's to sharpen up dynamics.
Power will come from either Aston's own 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 that makes 600 horsepower in the DB11 or the 4.0-liter twin-turbo AMG-built V8 that makes 500 ponies in the DB11 V8. Purists will be happy with Aston Martin's expected decision to keep the six-speed manual while performance-seekers or those who can't drive stick will be left with a dual-clutch transmission to work with. Expect to see the new V8 Vantage in the metal by the end of this year with the V12 coming after, likely at some point in 2018.