Aston Martin Paramount 500

Supercharger takes V8 Vantage to over 500bhp, but it’s no match for a V12

Evo rating
  • The power of the V12
  • But not the glory

A plaque bearing the name of the man who originally built this Aston Martin Vantage’s 4.3-litre V8 sits proudly on the front of the engine. ‘Andrew Gough’ it reads. We notice it when we lift the bonnet to get some snaps of the car’s defining feature and photographer Chris Rutter turns to me and says, ‘Do you think he’d be happy about what’s been done to his engine?’

I’m not sure to be honest. This V8 has undergone some pretty invasive surgery that has fundamentally altered its character, turning it into a rival for the 510bhp V12 Vantage if its creator’s claims are to be believed. Berkshire-based tuning and styling specialist Paramount Performance (www.paramount-performance.com) has plenty of experience working on Astons and in response to customer demand has employed the supercharger experts at GMR to help develop this, the Paramount 500.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Available for both the 4.3 and the later 4.7 Vantages (with even greater returns), it’s a very professional installation. Sure, the main pulley belt has to do a bit of ducking and diving, but the supercharger itself (an Eaton TVS) barely takes up any more room than the standard car’s airbox and there’s plenty of engineering nous in evidence – it’s ages before I spot the slim raiser plates on the suspension turrets that lift the strut brace out of harm’s way, while the supercharger’s water-cooled set-up means there’s no need for a bulky intercooler (you do, however, need to remember to top up the built-in reservoir occasionally).

Nevertheless, liberating an extra 150bhp without beating panels or cutting any extra holes in the bodywork strikes me as a real achievement. So what effect has it had? Unfortunately our test car wasn’t quite the full ticket – the team is having difficulty getting the supercharger’s ECU to piggyback the car’s black box, and the niggles still hadn’t been ironed out for a second drive before we went to press. As it stands, the Paramount 500 shows masses of promise, although the tendency to stall, fuel starvation, an overly sensitive throttle and valve timing that kicks suddenly at 4500rpm rather than being fully variable all need attention too.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The supercharger itself is great, though. It’s very quiet in operation with a pleasingly insistent swell of torque, and up towards the top end you’re left with no doubt that it’s good for over 500bhp – it feels every bit as rapid as the V12, hurling itself over the Lambourn Downs. There’s a similarly elastic delivery too, although initially there’s a sense that the supercharger is building up a head of steam before it reaches some sort of critical mass and really gets going. I’m not sure if it needs to be quite so loud, though – the new exhaust (aimed at the US market) is obnoxiously shouty.

The chassis handles the power OK, but the driving experience doesn’t have the rich, velvety texture of the V12 Vantage and I doubt it ever will. At the moment the £15,000 upgrade cost looks steep, but with used V8s now dipping below the £50K mark, you could have, say, 75 per cent of the V12 for 50 per cent of the cash.

Specifications

EngineV8, 4308cc, supercharger
Max power536bhp @ 7300rpm
Max torque413lb ft @ 5000rpm
Top speed190mph (est)
0-60mph4.0sec (est)
Conversion price£15,000
On saleNow
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/aston-martin/202732/one-of-two-aluminium-bodied-aston-martin-v12-vantage-zagatos-up-for-sale
Aston Martin

One of two aluminium-bodied Aston Martin V12 Vantage Zagatos up for sale

12 Jun 2020
Visit/aston-martin/202727/aston-v-aston
Aston Martin

Vanquishing point - the first and last Aston Martin Vanquish models go head-to-head

11 Jun 2020
Visit/aston-martin/202715/revenant-automotive-reveals-new-look-for-aston-martin-vantage
Aston Martin

Revenant Automotive reveals new look for Aston Martin Vantage

10 Jun 2020
Visit/aston-martin/202692/aston-martin-looks-to-axe-500-jobs-and-cut-sports-car-production
Aston Martin

Aston Martin looks to axe 500 jobs and cut sports car production

4 Jun 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bentley/bentayga/201999/2020-bentley-bentayga-revealed
Bentley Bentayga

2020 Bentley Bentayga revealed

Bentley’s Bentayga SUV has been given a big refresh, with a new look, interior and tech
30 Jun 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202829/tecnomar-launches-4000hp-v12-lamborghini-yacht
Lamborghini

Tecnomar launches 4000hp V12 Lamborghini yacht

The V12-powered yacht is Tecnomar’s most capable offering yet, and takes inspiration from Lamborghini’s most recent models
30 Jun 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202819/fk8-honda-civic-type-r-fettled-by-mugen
Honda Civic Type-R

FK8 Honda Civic Type R fettled by Mugen

Japanese Honda tuner Mugen has released a handful of parts for the latest Civic Type R 
29 Jun 2020
Visit/bmw/i8/202821/bmw-i8-reaches-the-end-of-production-here-are-the-final-18-cars
BMW i8

BMW i8 reaches the end of production – here are the final 18 cars

As the final i8 rolls off the production line in Germany, BMW celebrates with 18 unique examples
29 Jun 2020