The update of the Aston-Martin V8 Vantage for 2008 was a welcome change. The original car wasn't exactly lacking, but the changes that were made fine-tuned an already great machine. Since that upgrade, we've all been holding our collective breath waiting for the update to the N400 edition. Built to commemorate Aston-Martin's run at the Nurburgring 24 Hours, it was basically a hardcore version of the Vantage.
While the old N400 upped the horsepower of the original Vantage from 380 to 400, the N420 doesn't come with a power bump. Some of the more keen-eyed readers will have cracked Aston-Martin's code and figured out that the N420 is getting 420 horsepower out of the 4.7 liter dry-sump V8, the same as the standard car. The transmission options remain the same as well: either a six speed manual or a Sportshift sequential. So if there's no extra horsepower, what do you get for all of the extra money (about $21,000) that you'll be paying to have this over the standard car?
It might be more important to ask how much less you get, because weight is where the number difference is. Through the use of weight-saving materials, Aston-Martin has trimmed 60 pounds from all over the car. The Sport Pack comes standard for the suspension as well, which helps greatly with handling, and is where most of that extra money goes. New rims, exhaust tips, and several new paint options are also included. The N420 is certainly more hardcore than the standard car, but it isn't quite as purpose-built as some of the competition.
A Porsche GT3 can just about be driven from the dealership straight to the track, but the Aston isn't quite there. Of course, if you plan on driving it on regular roads, this isn't a bad thing.