Aston Martin Vantage review – engine, gearbox and tech specs

Fast and fun Vantage is very different to its predecessor, but fun, and faster than ever

Evo rating
Price
from £120,900
  • Strong performance, decent ride and engaging chassis
  • Feels big, messy cabin switchgear

Engine, gearbox and technical specs

Under the Vantage’s clamshell bonnet is the same Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that debuted recently in the DB11. It’s essentially the ‘hot-vee’ unit that’s also used in the Mercedes-AMG C63, E 63 and GT. The agreement with Mercedes-AMG means that Aston isn’t allowed to make any internal changes to the unit, but bespoke induction and exhaust systems, plus a remapped ECU, promise to give the engine a unique Aston sound and character.

Besides, even in off-the-shelf form the V8’s vital statistics of 503bhp and 505lb ft are hardly to be sniffed at. The latter figure is developed at just 2000rpm, hinting at some real muscle for the rear wheels to cope with, but more on that later. Mated to the Mercedes engine is the now familiar ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which Aston favours over Mercedes’ more complicated seven-speed unit.

In a first for Aston Martin, the new Vantage also has an e-diff in place of a traditional mechanical LSD. This unit allows for greater tailoring of the handling characteristics, plus superior traction, which is welcome news on rear-wheel drive machine with so much torque. New for 2020 is an optional seven-speed manual transmission, which is a unit developed from the dog-leg unit used in the previous-generation V12 Vantage S. Although it lacks finesse, it does unlock a more immersive side to the Vantage's driving experience.

Under the skin, the Vantage uses a heavily revised version of the bonded aluminium architecture first seen on the DB11. Over 70 percent of the components used are new, with a focus on greater rigidity for shaper handling. Also new are the subframes, which carry the multi-link rear axle and double wishbone front suspension.

As with the DB11, the Vantage features extensive use of hidden aerodynamics. Despite its clean profile the Aston actually delivers genuine downforce, a feat that’s been achieved courtesy of a front splitter, vents in the front wings, a number of underbody channels and a huge rear diffuser.

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