Beautiful as it is, it is clear that the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is not the car of choice for anyone with a fondness for the planet.
Beautiful as it is, it is clear that the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is not the car of choice for anyone with a fondness for the planet. Although improvements have been made to the fuel economy, the figures still remain in the guilty range of 19.9mpg for the urban cycle, 27.3mpg for the extra-urban and 20.4mpg is the official figure for the combined, while a massive 328g/km of CO2 is exhausted from the twin tailpipes.
These figures are for the test car, which came with a super slick, six-speed manual gearbox. The action is so good that you find yourself changing gear just for the sake of it even though the ratios make it almost unnecessary. For an exhaust note that will have you heading for the nearest tunnel to give your ears even more of a treat, it is best to stay in second or third gear – it is also a good way to avoid points on your licence although it is not guaranteed as third will take you well beyond the legal limit.
The older version had quite a heavy clutch but for 2008, this has been rectified and is now much easier to use. For those who prefer two pedals to three, there’s the revised Sportshift, automatic transmission. It instantly adds £3,000 to the £91,000 price tag of the manual V8 Vantage Roadster but the improvements to shift qualities and speeds, makes it worth it. The revisions were necessary to take account of the increased power and torque, while simultaneously improving the dynamics. There are many different functions to the Sportshift ‘box but the main improvement is that the transmission and not the engine, dictates how best to use the engine’s outputs, thus making acceleration a lot smoother.
Poise is the word that best attributed the V8 Vantage. The chassis and suspension have been stiffened and improved and combine with Bilstein dampers for increased body control and superb ride quality and the layout of the engine and transmission systems, ensures balance.
The driver sits as close to the centre of gravity as possible and close to the point of axis, when cornering, making for a relaxed drive to the point of serenity, even on the fast bends and quick getaways.