Motoring and Property Editor
11:36 AM 17th April 2020
The New Vantage – An Astonishing Car!
There are not many things that would get me up at 5.30am on a cold, dark autumnal morning. However, the prospect of a day with Aston Martin and the opportunity to drive the then new Vantage was not to be missed.
Although used to driving myself to car events, the lovely Aston Martin PR team insisted on sending a car to pick me up and ferry me to the Northumbrian venue. The Newcastle-based driver had set off at 3am in order to pick me up and I felt obliged to chat rather than doze off to sleep in the back of his comfortable cab.
A quick breakfast and presentation at the remote and rather wonderful Lord Crewe Arms at Blanchland and my driving partner and I were ready for the off, with wonderful driving roads beckoning, destination the Scottish Borders.
It is usually a fight for the first drive, but my codriver was happy to be a passenger. The narrow roads, powerful and expensive car were I suspect a daunting prospect.
With no such qualms and always ready for a challenge, I was happy to begin proceedings.
First there was time for a quick walk around the car, a chance to take in the new car’s far more aggressive lines. The previous Vantage looked like a scaled down DB9 – nothing wrong with that as solid sales proved.
This time round there is a clear intention to differentiate the Vantage from its big brother DB11, the aim to appeal to a younger audience looking for a more eye-catching car with sporting intent. In that regard, the company has clearly succeeded.
Stepping inside, the Aston’s cockpit exudes quality, with the finest leather adorning the seats. It’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel.
A press of the starter button and the powerful 510PS V8 engine burst into life. Drive engaged and we eased ourselves gently into the drive ahead.
Immediately apparent is the sharp and accurate steering, which allowed the coupe to be placed with pinpoint accuracy along the initially narrow country lanes. Time to relax and gradually up the pace.
Once extended, the snarling engine catapulted the Vantage from corner to corner, the powerful brakes shaving off speed with alacrity when called for. With little if no body roll, the Aston impressed with its cornering prowess and could carry a surprising amount of speed into each turn.
Once on to A-roads, and to the obvious relief of my passenger, the Vantage settled into a mostly comfortable cruise. I say mostly, as even in its softest suspension setting, the car has a firm ride. At times this may prove to be tiresome I suspect, but I was having too much fun to care.
All too soon it was time to hand over the driving duties and enjoy the stunning scenery as it flashed by. Unsurprisingly heads turned at the sight of our £1m Aston Martin convoy and I hope we brightened up a gloomy day in the northeast.
So, would I buy a new Vantage over say a Porsche 911. It’s a vexing question as the 911 is such an accomplished all-rounder.
The British-built car does however match the performance, has a finer interior and then there’s the air of exclusivity an Aston offers.
But no, I would choose the DB11 from the Aston stable. It is almost as quick, but offers a more supple ride, ideal for those of us getting on in years. No doubt if you are in the lucky position to be thinking of making such a purchase you would try both cars for size.
In the meantime, whilst I await that elusive lottery win, I will return to the Aston Martin configurator. DB11 Volante – check; colour – Intense Blue; now for the options…..
Aston Martin Vantage
510PS 4.0-litre V8 engine
8-speed automatic gearbox
0-62mph in 3.6 seconds
Top speed 195mph
Combined economy 26.9mpg
Emissions 245g/km CO2