Truth be told, the Vantage is nothing like any other Aston Martin before it. While the DB11 was the first to be unveiled under the carmaker’s “Second Century” plan, it was the smaller two-seater brother launched next that genuinely broke the mould. It eschews the conservative Aston look for a more aggressive and – dare I say it – fresher design that gels well with the British marque’s ambitious sights as it navigates its next 100 years.
Just look at it – a menacing, orca-like mien that swoops fluidly to the squat, wide hips at the rear end as if it is poised to attack. And the stupendous machine has the performance and handling chops to match its exotic appearance. The seat embraces you as you sink into it, the “cockpit” enveloping you not unlike that of a fighter jet. To show that it means business, the Vantage has no cop-out “comfort” mode. The thrill-meters for the suspension and engine mapping start from “sport” and go from there to “sport plus” and ends at “track”.
Power and stability
Unless you are in Sepang, the middle setting is where you would want to be. Here, the springs are nice and tight for tenacious cornering without sending the smallest pothole judder up your spine. And it is where the exhaust is unmuzzled to channel all the raps and roars from the Aston-tuned, AMG-sourced V8 in full sonic glory directly to your ear drums. An aluminium body bonded rigidly with aeronautical glue and an electronically controlled diff with torque vectoring ensures miles of motoring fun.
It does nought to a hundred in 3.6 seconds but it is not all hooliganism – this is after all still the gentleman’s car of choice. Pads are thoughtfully mounted on either side of the transmission tunnel to cushion your knee as you clock in the cornering G’s, as are the seat controls, so that you can easily reach over from your seat to adjust the passenger’s chair before she gets in.
The Vantage is the sort of car in which you would gladly turn around 300km from your hotel because you had left your toothbrush on the sink. Just to relish the incredible experience of piloting such an extraordinary machine for that bit longer.