The original Aston Martin Vantage was a raw V8 that provided old school thrills at the expense of modern levels of refinement and technology. Its stunning shape may have aged well but a replacement has long been overdue and the fully redesigned Vantage will be with us in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model.
The interior of the new Vantage is as much of a departure from the old car as the exterior design. A large 8-inch touchscreen sits atop two rectangular air vents and unlike in some competitors, there are still a row of physical buttons and switches around the transmission tunnel.
There is now a digital instrument panel with two display screens and the latest Mercedes-sourced safety and technology systems are integrated into the cabin. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is still present and the two seats are sculpted to offer high levels of lateral support. The surfaces can be covered in a variety of top-class materials and be finished to the usual high levels of craftmanship that is expected from Aston.
Whereas the old Vantage was a tough old sports car with an unforgiving single-clutch automatic transmission and hard ride, the redesigned model with its adaptive shock absorbers will be far more accomplished when it comes to rougher road surfaces but it will still be the sportiest model in the modern Aston Martin line up.
Much of the platform is shared with its DB11 big brother and the 50:50 weight distribution, electronic limited-slip rear differential and torque vectoring system also promise to provide far higher levels of grip and agility around corners too.
Lacking the active aerodynamics of the DB11, the Vantage uses more traditional solutions such as an aerodynamic undercarriage and bodywork that directs the airflow over the car to provide the required downforce at speed.
The Mercedes AMG derived turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is shared with the DB11 and makes an identical 503 horsepower although torque is slightly higher at 505 lb-ft. With a lower curb weight, the Vantage should be the quicker car and it offers a 3.5-second 0-60 mph time.
An 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, purists may be interested to hear that a manual transmission is on the cards too. These performance figures should see the new Vantage match similarly powerful 911 and AMG GT offerings. It is also a big step up from the old naturally aspirated V8 and economy levels should be significantly improved too.
Standard features will include 20-inch alloys, an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth, WiFi and smartphone integration. Keyless entry, adaptive dampers, an electronic rear differential, park assist systems and a full range of driving assists will also be part of the base trim level.
A Tech Pack offers blind-spot monitoring, active park assist, powered steering column and glass switchgear. The Comfort Pack adds seat heating and 16-way power seat adjustment. As is the custom with any Aston product, there will also be a vast range of paint and trim options for shoppers to pick from. Personalized luggage sets and a variety of car covers are also on offer.
While the redesigned Aston Martin Vantage won't be with us until later in 2018, the order books are already open. This new model promises a far sportier drive than the larger and more expensive DB11 and the new Vantage is aiming its sights squarely at the 911 and AMG GT.
With a totally redesigned chassis, a powerful new engine and the latest safety and technology systems it should be a serious contender in this highly competitive sector.