Aston Martin’s revival is well under way.
Aston debuted the redesigned Vantage on Tuesday, and the company’s CEO, Andy Palmer, claims it is “the best car” of his 38-year career. The new model already is available to order, with an MSRP of $149,995, though deliveries won’t begin until the second quarter of 2018.
The next-generation Vantage is especially significant for Aston Martin, as it’s the second model in the British automaker’s “second century” plan. Aimed at revamping Aston’s current offerings and expanding its lineup moving forward, the strategy involves launching seven new models in as many years, the first of which was the 2017 DB11.
The Vantage therefore will incorporate lots of technology that first appeared on the DB11, such as its eight-speed automatic transmission. It also utilizes a bonded aluminum chassis, similar to that of the DB11, though roughly 70 percent of the components have been designed specifically for the Vantage.
In addition, since its 503-horsepower V-8 takes up less space than a V-12, the Vantage has wheelbase that’s 100 millimeters (roughly four inches) shorter than the DB11’s. As a result, it’s extremely agile, which led Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen to echo Palmer’s feelings about the car after he tested a pre-production prototype.
Based on the first two models of the “second century” plan, it’s clear that Palmer is succeeding in injecting some life back into the Aston Martin brand.
When Palmer first signed on as CEO in 2014, Aston Martin was in a position where it wasn’t even financially stable enough to develop the next generation of its lineup. Three years later, it has debuted two models, each of which features multiple firsts for the company.
The Vantage, for example, is the first production car from Aston that generates a “significant” amount of downforce — thanks in large part to its race-inspired rear diffuser. It’s also the first Aston Martin to sport an electronic limited-slip differential, which works with the traction control system to react much quicker than a conventional mechanical LSD.
If this is what the “new” Aston Martin is capable of on its own, we can’t wait to see how impressive its Ferrari 488-fighter will be, with Palmer having recently hired three key Ferrari engineers.
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