Monday, October 26, 2009

Aston Martin 4.7 V8 Vantage Review

Aston Martin 4.7 V8 Vantage Rear Detail

The gorgeous Aston Martin 4.7 V8 Vantage not only stirs your soul but is also a proper rival for Porsche’s acclaimed 911, writes The Wheel Deal

Nearly five years since the Aston Martin V8 Vantage went into production, it still has the power to turn our spines into jelly. In fact, designed by Henrik Fisker, the chap responsible for the DB9 and BMW’s Z8, this hand-built British sports car is probably one of the most alluring automobiles to ever charge across the surface of our planet. Moulded from a sweet blend of aluminium, magnesium alloy and steel composite, Gaydon’s smallest coupé looks flawless from any angle and, just like some smoldering femme fatale in a slinky black dress, shamelessly hotwires your soul with its pure, concentrated beauty. Seemingly impossible to ignore, once you get closer to the Vantage and open one of those rising swan doors, you’ll notice its cockpit is equally breathtaking. I’ve driven many sports cars, both old and new, and it’s fair to say that very few of them have interiors that excite you quite like the one inside this particular Aston. It’s definitely not the most ergonomic environment in the world, what with all those buttons sprawled across the centre console, but in terms of detailing and the way it makes you feel behind the wheel, well, it’s bloody brilliant. From the leather-lined dash and subtle red stitching to those chronographic dials and black Alcantara roof liner, sitting inside the Vantage makes you feel two parts Monte Carlo playboy, three parts Le Mans endurance racer. And that’s even before you ram the “Emotional Control Unit” into its slot and fire up that engine.

An all-alloy V8 bolted low and well behind the front axle to combat understeer, it explodes into life with a howl and settles at a low-pitched but menacing rumble; every last one of those pistons pumping with intent. Surprisingly lazy and relatively slow to react lower down the rev-range, once you floor the throttle and watch the steely needle flick past 4000rpm, this lump really comes alive, quickly shedding that yank-like gruffness and replacing it with all the metallic rage and fury that only a proper British thoroughbred can muster. Forward momentum, although it doesn’t really feel like it, is thunderously fast and before you know you’re racing along at speeds that should only ever be exploited out on the safety of a racetrack.

Aston Martin 4.7 V8 Vantage Fast Facts:

Engine: 4735cc V8 petrol
Power: 313kW at 7300rpm
Torque: 470Nm at 5000rpm
0-100km/h: 4.7 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 290km/h (claimed)
Fuel Consumption: 13.2l/100km (claimed combined)
Price: R1 850 000

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Rear

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Wheel Detail

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Interior

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