Aston V8 Vantage N420 review
Built to celebrate Aston Martin's racing successes, we drive the special edition V8 Vantage N420.
What is it?
A special edition V8 Vantage that celebrates Aston’s global racing exploits. Features sports suspension and exhaust, lightweight wheels and a carbon splitter, side strakes and diffuser. It costs £8k more than the stock model and for another £4750 can be ordered with a ‘Race Collection’ colour scheme. These include yellow, green and blue with contrasting ‘lipstick’ and cant rails, as seen on the Nurburgring 24 hour racers. It costs £96,995.
There’s no change to the 420bhp, 4.7-litre V8 but it sounds more thunderous thanks to the new, lighter exhaust. In all, there are 27kg of weight savings, the bulk coming from the carbonfibre-backed bucket seats. The sports suspension brings 45 per cent stiffer springs and revised anti-roll bars – stiffer at the front and softer at the rear - and those good-looking wheels are worth over 1kg a corner.
What’s it like to drive?
Superb. There’s good detail through the well-weighted steering and despite the firmer springs the ride is still comfortable. It can feel stiff laterally and a little choppy over lumpy B-roads, but there’s plenty of poise and grip in the corners. Pushed really hard it can feel rather elastic beneath you but if you’re up for it the set-up allows you to work the rear tyres up to and over their limit with decent confidence. The optional ‘sportshift’ automated manual works well in ‘sport’ mode, less well in ‘comfort’.
How does it compare?
It’s a more convincing driver’s car than the standard Vantage for not a great sacrifice in comfort, and it’s a well balanced package so you don’t find yourself hankering after more power or torque. That said, Jaguar’s new special, the 523bhp, £85K XKR 75 is much faster, more bespoke, more hardcore and will be rarer, too.
Anything else I need to know?
You can get most of the N420’s kit as options on a standard Vantage, but like the previous N400 it’s nicely detailed, an appealing package
|Max power||420bhp @ 7000rpm|
|Max torque||346lb ft @ 5750rpm|
|Top speed||180mph (claimed)|