Chassis, Engine and Performance
The V8 Vantage has endured the most extensive test and development programme in the Company’s 91 year history during which 78 Prototypes were vigorously tested more than 1½ million miles. In Dubai over 12,000 miles of testing was carried out where ambient temperatures regularly hit 48ºC and the bodywork of the cars reached 87ºC.
High speed testing was conducted at the Nardo test track in Italy and extensive testing was carried out at Nurburgring’s Nordschleife in Germany, and cold weather testing in temperatures as low as -30ºC was undertaken in Sweden.
The V8 Vantage is the second model to use Aston Martin’s unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Constructed from lightweight aluminium extrusions, precision castings and pressings, the underframe is bonded with aerospace adhesives and mechanically fixed with self-piercing rivets.
Certain complex parts of the frame are precision die cast in aluminium; the door inner panels are cast magnesium and the windscreen surround is a one piece aluminium casting.
The frame is bonded with cold-cure adhesive which has exceptional damping properties that help soak up the vibrations which may otherwise appear if the structure was welded.
The unique architecture provides an excellent backbone, while the use of sophisticated materials such as lightweight alloys, magnesium and advanced composites for the body further contributes to the car’s low weight and class-leading rigidity.
The V8 Vantage uses a combination of aluminium, steel and advanced composite exterior panels. Composites are used for panels with a high degree of complexity and a deeper shape, such as the front wings, which incorporate the distinctive side strakes.
Aston Martin’s engineers have worked with Ford Research and Nottingham University to develop RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) composite panels, using unique processes and materials, resulting in composite panels and extremely high surface finish. The process ensures that the optimum amount of reinforcement material is used in each area of the panel to ensure optimum strength and weight.
Steel pressings are used for the body side panels to achieve the sheer depth of the design. This delivers the required style without resorting to using several panels in the rear three-quarter area, resulting in a remarkably clean and uncluttered appearance.
The V8 Vantage is very much a pure sports car, so from the outset, the priority of Aston Martin’s engineers was to focus on a lightweight, compact size, agility and power. At just 4.38 metres long it is compact and very nimble and is the smallest model in the Aston Martin range.