The Aston Martin Vantage. Just the name is redolent of incredible heritage, engineering prowess and the unmatched aesthetics of a long line of quintessential British sports cars from one of the most hallowed brands in the world.
At the turn of the century, Aston Martin was missing a small sports car within its stable and the Vantage had always been that car. Bringing the name back was a no-brainer, but the sports car landscape had moved on innumerably over the previous Vantage, and just thuggish good looks would not do. The new Vantage had to be stunning to look at and stunning to drive, if it were to be competitive and relevant. Luckily, Aston Martin were on a roll, the Vanquish was a huge step up for the brand and once again the new company car of a certain Mr Bond. Confidence was high and the expectant world awaited the result.
In 2003, Aston Martin showed the AMV8 Vantage Concept car at the North American Auto show. Henrik Fisker and Ian Callum penned an achingly beautiful design upon a petite but super advanced, bonded aluminium chassis. In true British-sportscar fashion, it was powered by a 4.3 litre V8 (what else?) which was front-mid mounted with the power apportioned through a rear transaxle. The weight distribution was 49/51 front and rear and other engineering details, such as the dry sumped lubrication made for a very compelling package. The production process saw very little changes and the Geneva Motorshow of 2005 debuted the V8 Vantage Coupe with the Roadster taking centre stage at The Los Angeles Auto show. Keeping the same Fisker/Callum design, sales commenced in 2006 and the world was about to be set alight again.
In many ways this happened, although the performance of the car was often in question. The 4.3 litre V8 engine sounded utterly magnificent and produced 380 bhp, but with the then new E90 M3 marauding onto the scene at a similar time with 414 bhp, the performance goal posts were quickly moving on. It was of little consequence, the Aston selling on its stunning looks inside and out and of course it occupied a rarefied level of coolness which little could touch. The performance was addressed in 2007 with the addition of a larger 4.7 litre engine and other developmental changes to keep up with a competitive market. This was especially helpful for the Vantage Roadster, which was some 100 kilograms heavier than the Coupe.
The 2012 update was where the Vantage really came of age. The V8 now produced some 430bhp and the Sport Shift ll gearbox gained a seventh ratio and was at its most highly developed. A quicker steering rack was fitted, along with bigger brakes and wider tyres which increased the dynamic envelope of the Vantage. The exterior was updated with the obvious addition of chunkier skirts and large vents and the interior benefited from higher quality materials. The whole car appeared to take a further step upmarket and this final update has seen the car reach the end of its lifecycle. It will always be the prettiest Vantage and one of Aston Martins longest running and most successful models.
RHD, Tungsten Silver, Bright finish grill, Brake calipers black, Carbon Site Strakes, Exterior hood colour Black, Obsidian Black Contempoary Caithness leather upper trim, Obsidian Black Contempoary Caithness leather lower trim, Obsidian Black Rakona headlining inner, Sports seats (electric memory and heated), Warm Charcoal seatbelts, Silver stitching (upper, lower, A pillar, carpet, steering wheel), Seat Embroidery silver, Vantage S logo headrest Embroidery silver, Aston Martin 700W Premium Audio, Piano black pack, Electric and heated memory seats, Sat Nav, Auto dimming rear view mirror, Convertible wind deflector, front parking sensors.
The exterior design of the Vantage is curvaceous and athletic, giving the impression of the metal work pulled tightly over a muscular chassis – a wonderful form to show off the Tungsten Grey paint. Aerodynamic additions are wrought from glossy carbon fibre, giving a hyper contemporary feel to the exterior, with the bright finish grill providing an elegant frontal area.
Tungsten Grey (HB AST5119H) must be one of the finest colours to grace an Aston Martin. It is a complex hue with a very obvious metallic flake, sparkling proudly as it catches the sun. Aston Martin paint is always incredibly smooth and this example is the perfect example, showing a deep glossy depth and lustre. There is virtually no blemishes of any sort on the paint and this Roadster S presents beautifully.
The contemporary Aston Martin interior is a fusion of elegance, sensual lines and detail touches of the highest quality. Obsidian Black is the colour of choice for both upper and lower interior zones, highlighted beautifully by the silver stitching across the interior, providing a sharp and cool contrast. Piano Black is the trim of choice giving a glossy feel to the centre console and a tactile finish as you reach for the various buttons that punctuate the trim.
The interior is in fantastic condition, with very few marks to report with exceptionally soft and supportive leather on the seats and only the slightest signs of wear to the drivers side bolster. The multitude of controls all work as they should and the heated seats are a particular highlight, encapsulating the occupants in a heated bubble and allowing for roof-down motoring in the colder months.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Traditional engineering and a British Beef design ethos are the hallmarks of the Aston Martin engine in the Vantage S Roadster. The spec and numbers do the talking – a naturally aspirated V8 with a swept capacity of 4.7 litres producing a mighty 430bhp. But the engine itself gives a much greater idea of its potential when you start it – bursting into life with a gratuitous roar that melds all of your sonic V8 fantasies into one spectacular kaleidoscope of sound.
There can be few more emotional and evocative driving experiences than piloting a Vantage S Roadster, with the unfiltered sound of that V8 swelling around you as you blast down to Goodwood or Le Mans on a road trip. Of course, being an Aston Martin, as you shift up the box, the Roaster S takes on a much more relaxed gait, allowing more discreet and comfortable progress to be made. The 7 Sport Shift ll gearbox is a marked improvement on the first iteration, smooth and easy to use but with a brisk mechanical feel when you are driving in a more spirited fashion.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
In keeping with the elegant and restrained colour scheme of this Vantage Roadster S are the alloy wheels, finished in a polished dual tone silver. They catch the light beautifully, accentuating the fabulous and high grade Aston Martin paint. In keeping with the fastidious owners, the wheels are free of any marks or damage.
The tyres are a set of premium Bridgestone Potenza RE050A’s. Sized 245/40/19 on the fronts and 285/35/18 on the rears, they all show good tread.
First registered on the 01/06/2012, this Vantage S Roadster has only had 1 former keeper. It has covered a 27,679 miles and only serviced at main Aston Martin agents, as detailed below.
10/06/2013 – 4,141 miles – Grange Aston Martin
06/06/2014 – 12,099 miles – Grange Aston Martin
26/05/2016 – 17,600 miles – Aston Martin Amersham
01/06/2017 – 22,944 miles – Aston Martin Amersham
22/05/2018 – 27,679 miles – HWM Aston Martin
The fully stamped service book also annotates every Anti Corrosion Inspection carried out on time and HWM Aston Martin confirm that there are no outstanding recalls. The spare key and two tracker cards complete the history file.
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