My friend Chris Burdick over at Automoblog.net seems to have had quite a bit of fun test driving the 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage! The 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage gets a 4.7L 420hp / 347 ft-lbs engine upgrade which only delivers 0-60 in 4.7, still a step up from its previous 4.3L 380hp! The new model has a Sports Pack option ($3,785) which includes new sexy and lightweight 5 spoke wheels and Bilstein dampers.
For Chris' detailed and thorough review head over to his blog and read his 2009 V8 Vantage Review!
When Aston Martin released the hugely popular V8 Vantage in 2006, they fitted it with a 4.3-liter V8 and 380 horsepower. This wasn't enough for many people, since the Vantage's competitors such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 were easily faster. Finally AM decided to up the ante for the 2009 V8 Vantage and bore out the engine to 4.7 liters, add a high-performance Sports Package and tighten the chassis, making the Vantage a real kick-in-the-nuts to Porsche and Audi.
Not wanting to leave the 2006-2008 V8 Vantage owners behind in their 380 HP weenie-mobiles, Aston Martin created an upgrade package allowing them to increase their horsepower to 400, add around 7 ftlbs of torque, and hit a slightly higher top speed of 177 mph.
All of this is done through a new air intake system originally designed for the DBS which opens a valve at 5500 RPM, letting more air in and allowing for more power. The engine computer has also been tweaked to optimize ignition timing and allow for a higher octane fuel to be used.
Additionally, due to the popularity of the new Sport Pack option on the 2009 Vantage, Aston Martin is allowing previous owners to retrofit a Sport Pack onto their older car. The Sport Pack increases handling performance with upgraded springs and Bilstein dampers, and adds the sexy new lightweight 5-spoke alloy wheels.
Still not as quick as the 2009 V8 Vantage, and you still can't get the excellent Sport/Comfort mode in the Sportshift 2009s, but it's definitely an upgrade that I hope many will take. Pricing has not yet been announced, but don't expect it to be cheap.
Check out our 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Review
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New for 2009
Since its release in 2006, the V8 Vantage had a 4.3-liter V8 which produced 380 horsepower. Much more than that, and the light-weight Vantage would keep up with its older brother, the V12-wielding DB9. In an effort to keep that from happening (and pissing off DB9 owners,) Aston Martin kept the Vantage's power down. This made the Vantage slower than its arch rivals - namely the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8. But not anymore.
For 2009, Aston Martin got fed up with Porsche owners stepping all over them with their run-of-the-mill 911s. They increased the displacement of the V8 from 4.2 liters to 4.7, upping the horsepower to 420, and increasing torque 15% to 347 lb-ft. What we have now is a full-fledged power-house. And I couldn't be happier.
Along with the bigger engine comes a modified clutch for manual transmissions, as well as a new program for Sportshift equipped cars to change between Sport and Comfort mode which changes the car's dynamics drastically, turning it from an excellent sports car into a comfortable cruiser. Additional changes for 2009 include a revised center console, an "ECU" (Emotion Control Unit) replacing the previous standard key, LED interior lighting, and new wheels, along with quite a few other small changes. The exterior is untouched this year (don't fix something if it isn't broken.)
Options and Trims
Engines and Drivetrain
The 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage gets a new 420 horsepower 4.7-liter V8 engine, and comes available with either a 6-speed manual or Sportshift (paddle-shifter) gearbox. If the Sportshift option is chosen, the customer gets a new dual-throttle map mode, which allows them to choose between the default Sport mode, or a more tame Comfort mode. Comfort mode makes it easier to drive in high traffic or on the highway, reducing some of the jerkiness of the transmission and throttle, but doesn't respond to driver input as quickly.
An exciting new option for the 2009 V8 Vantage is the Sports Pack, which includes lightweight 5-spoke alloy wheels, re-tuned Bilstein dampers, up-rated springs and a revised rear anti-roll bar (on the coupe only.) The new wheels are very sexy, as you can see in the pictures. Aston Martin says the Sport Pack is very popular, chosen on 50% of all V8 Vantages produced, and will be offered as a retro-fit on all 2008 and below Vantages soon. Our test car had the Sport pack, and I was very impressed with the increased handling ability.
Additional options include an upgraded audio system, heated front seats, cruise control, bluetooth connectivity, GPS navigation, memory seats and mirrors, front parking sensors, HID headlights, and a few accessories such as a first aid kit and an umbrella. As usual, you can also customize the colors of the various interior trim and seats, from the color of stitching on the carpets, to the color of the headliner.
Do I really need to say anything here? The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is one of the most beautiful cars on the road today, inside and out. The new 5-spoke wheels included in the 2009 Sport Pack are great looking. Available in both a Coupe and Roadster, the V8 Vantage is one of few cars that look equally good in both variations.
Inside, the leather is beautifully hand-stitched with a thread color of your choice. The redesigned center console is finished with graphite silver, and houses the new glass ECU, first introduced on the DBS a couple years ago. An Alcantara headliner rounds out the luxurious interior. This car is nothing short of a work of art - from the instrument panel to the wheels; headlights to taillights, everything about this car screams sexy.
What we liked
Damn near everything. The V8 Vantage is a pleasure to drive, and the power bump for 2009 was a smart move for Aston Martin. The Sport/Comfort mode is great, and the Sport Pack will appeal to all driving enthusiasts. Handling is exceptional around corners, and the enhancements for 2009 keep you from feeling any flex in the chassis.
This is one of the most beautiful cars on the road today, and the swarms of people pointing and staring with jaws dropped won't let you forget that you're driving it. The engine note is fantastic at any RPM; a low-pitched growl of which you'll never tire. Extensive customization options, although expensive, let you have your Aston any way you want.
What we didn't like
There really isn't much to complain about with the Vantage. Aston Martin fixed the power issue that was a previous complaint, but I would still like to see some faster acceleration. Even with 420 horsepower, the 0-60 time is 4.7 seconds. While that's not a bad time, getting beaten off the line by a BMW M3 would be embarrassing. But then again, you're not buying an Aston Martin for the 0-60 time; you're buying it for the pleasure of driving it - and it delivers.
My only other complaints about the V8 Vantage are minor - there is a large blind spot out the rear due to the styling. That, however is a non-issue, since fixing it would require altering the styling, and that's not something you want to do to this car. In this case, the blind spot is worth it. Since I'm nitpicking, I think that cruise control should be standard, and the footwells are too narrow as well - I could see it becoming cramped in the manual transmission version.
Pricing and Warranty
The V8 Vantage is the cheapest way to get into an Aston Martin, but this "baby" Aston will still set you back at least $120,000. Here are the base prices:
The Sports Pack comes in at $3,785, HID auto-leveling headlights are $795, and Premium Audio $1,595. Many other options are available, and you can customize the exterior and interior colors any way you choose. The no-cost options are limited to eight "Fast Track" choices, while the nine "Contemporary" colors will cost you $750. DBS Special colors will cost $1,895, and any Special colors such as the Sunburst Yellow paint will run $3,785. Want your car to match your favorite shoes? Send Aston Martin your shoe and they'll match it for $3,785. Same thing for the interior - choose your leather, trim, carpeting, stitching, and headliner colors…the list goes on.
Before You Buy
Unless you're a fanatic about manual transmissions, check out the Sportshift option. Our test car had Sportshift, and not only does it do a great job as a paddle-shifting gearbox, but the Sport/Comfort modes alone make it worth the extra cost. It even gets slightly better fuel economy than the manual.
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Aston Martin release today 6 photos of the upcoming Rapide. 2010 Aston Martin Rapide comes with a 6.0 L V12 engine producing 500 HP, with a top speed of 290 Km/H. 100 Km/H is achieved under 5 seconds. 2010 Aston Martin Rapide will have it's debut at Geneva Motor Show in March 2009. The basic price is arou [...]
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So you bought an Aston Martin V8 Vantage with a 4.3 litre engine, not knowing the company would soon offer a stronger 4.7 litre engine down the line. And now you're feeling a bit inadequate. Well, good news for you.
Owners of a 4.3 Vantage are getting a new performance option. AM is making available a 20 horsepower upgrade to the engine in the form of a retro-fit induction system based on a similar unit in the DBS.
This system has two switching airbox-valves which open up at 5,500rpm to give an increase in air intake to the engine. To keep combustion under control, the engine ECU has been reprogrammed to improve ignition timing. These changes let the car better utilize high octane fuel, getting better overall performance.
Posted by sato at 10:46 AM
Think the 380bhp 4.3-litre Aston Martin V8 Vantage is not powerful enough? The firm is now offering a 20bhp upgrade for owners of the recently replaced coupe. The retrospectively fitted kit features a revised induction system that boosts bhp up to 400, while torque is increased by 10NM to 420. What's more, those drivers can also specify the Sports Pack handling upgrade as seen on the new 4.7 V8 Vantage. Both upgrades are available from franchised dealers costing £1,500 and £3,300 plus fitting, respectively.
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It's not unusual for Her Majesty's Secret Servant to employ the same car in more than one movie. The iconic DB5 appeared in "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball," so why not let 007 have another go at Aston's freshened flagship, the DBS, for "Quantum of Solace?" For 2009, the DBS offers the optional availability of a six-speed automatic transaxle, 2+2 seating, a new 20-inch wheel package, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The DBS shares its layout and architecture with the DB9, but is much sportier and differentiated enough to earn its own name. Available in coupe form only, its sinuous body is crafted of aluminum and carbon fiber. There's no change underhood: 510 horsepower still boils out the same 5.9-liter V-12 the model was launched with in late 2007.
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This is the first official image of the new Aston Martin Rapide four-door super-saloon. Obtained exclusively, this computer-generated rendering from Aston shows the final production form of its new Rapide saloon. You can see a second image, and read about exclusive ride in the development V12 Vantage. News Car.
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Walking up to the Aston Martin DB9, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to drive it or sleep with it. If running your hand over the DB's sculptured haunches and taut lines doesn't give you a warm feeling in your nether regions, you should surrender your pistonhead privileges at the door. Very few inanimate objects attain this level of beauty; those that do either rock your world or break your heart, or, as in this case, both.
Sean Connery's Bond, James Bond, would punch you in the face while kissing your girlfriend. His Aston Martin DB5 was beyond cool. By the 1990s, Bond drove a range of product placement-mobiles, and Astons looked like Jaguars (and vice versa). While devastatingly quick, Astons handled like trains. And then the Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage restored a sense of dignity. But-- the Vantage's 4.3-liter V8 stumped-up "only" 380 hp. When critics questioned, Aston did the English version of flipping them off: nodded their collective head and shrugged their shoulders. But now, finally, Aston unleashes the 2009 Vantage with a 4.7-liter V8. Power jumps from 380 to 420. Torque is up, and the dashboard is new. I recently exercised the convertible version, the Vantage Roadster, for a few hours on a sun-drenched day to see if Bond's whip is suitably... nasty.
We've all been there: deeply smitten by a witty, intelligent, urbane, drop dead gorgeous potential partner. Whether it's an actual acquaintance or a distant celebrity, their innate hotness sets our souls ablaze. And then, eventually, familiarity breeds contempt. The wit becomes tiresome, the intelligence debatable, the urbanity mundane and the beauty-- well that stays. Despite the obvious physical attractions, the time eventually comes when you realize that true love tends to forget. And yes, I'm talking about the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
I know an American editor with access to the world's best automobiles. When Aston Martin loaned him a DB7 for a California rally, he said the British car made him long for his Porsche. Aston should have given him a Vanquish.
The Vanquish's appearance is the most obvious advantage. The car has enough visual drama to make a DB7 look mundane, or a Carrera look like a suppository. The enormous rear wheel haunches are the aesthetic departure point. Ian Callum has done a remarkable job blending this bulky cliché into the DB7's svelte shape. Combined with a perfectly proportioned reiteration of the classic Aston nose, the result is the first Aston since Bond's DB5 to combine aggression with elegance. The design's only weakness-- the elliptical boot line-- will be remedied by the forthcoming Zagato version.
There's an absurd scene in Goldeneye, where agent 007 races a hottie through the winding roads above Monte Carlo. Bond is behind the wheel of a DB5. The girl is driving a Ferrari 355. Guess who wins? Preposterous. That said, if you're not the type of person to take an informed view on the relative merits of Aston's straight six vs. Ferrari's 32-valve 8-cylinder power plant, or the handling implications of conventional vs. electronically damped suspension, the scene made perfect sense. Handsome Bond in beautiful car duels beautiful girl in gorgeous car. That's more than enough information for the average moviegoer.
Encountering a fully restored DB5 39-years after its screen debut (in Goldfinger) it's easy to understand the filmmakers' choice. The Aston still looks fast enough to take on a Ferrari - any Ferrari. Although Touring of Milan sculpted the shape, the DB5 is nothing like the delicately proportioned Ferraris and Maseratis of its day. Examined in detail, the Aston appears to be an automotive farrago, combining a 'smiling bulldog' front grille, muscle car front air scoop, mini-Cadillac tapered wings and Volvo-esque rear window. Taken as a whole, it's the automotive equivalent of a Saville Row suit: butch, yet infinitely elegant. Like Bond himself, the DB5's design somehow manages to combine infinite sophistication with unbridled aggression.
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The new Aston Martin DBS gets a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
(Credit: CBS Interactive)
The Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, and sitting in one is a very special experience. Sitting in a DBS and listening to a Bang & Olufsen audio system takes that special experience and adds a ...
Posted by sato at 10:38 AM
One of 77.
Aston Martin's new GT, the One-77, seems to be an exercise in pushing the Aston brand even further toward the stratosphere. The idea behind the One-77 is to offer a personally tailored car to 77 wealthy customers prepared to part with as much as $2.5 million. Fundamentally, the One-77 is similar to its lesser kin, the DB9 and the Vanquish, but the V-12 engine has been enlarged to 7.0 liters and turns out 650 horsepower. The aluminum structure is replaced with a carbon-fiber composite hull, and the body is clothed in a new aluminum skin. Expect a show car next year that also will be shown to 500 potential customers that Aston has identified. It seems this ultra-exclusive Aston is not the rumored "DBX" replacement for the Vanquish, though some of the technology from the One-77 may find its way into that car.
Keep Reading: Aston Martin One-77 - Car News
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The dirt road.
Aston Martin has teamed up with luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre to produce a chronograph watch with a personal built-in transponder that can lock and unlock the doors of the DBS. Dubbed the AMVOX2 transponder, the watch lacks any buttons as its functions are activated by pressing the crystal face. The antenna for the door opener follows the curve of the inner bezel ring. The $37,900 price boggles the mind. Would you really want your watch to be your car's key fob? What if you decided to wear your sporty-looking Swatch on the day you decided to take your DBS for a spin?
Keep Reading: Aston Martin AMVOX2 - Car News
Posted by sato at 10:37 AM
Aston shows that it has little trouble doing what Porsche clearly can't: build a beautiful four-door sports car.
While we still haven't received official information on the upcoming Aston Martin Rapide super sedan, Aston Martin has released a pair of computer-generated images following two weeks during which leaked images found their way onto the sites of numerous online publications. And though they are not actual photographs, they are revealing enough to confirm that, unlike that of the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin's sex-a-licious form vocabulary is indeed scalable to four-door proportions.
Essentially a DB9 coupe with an extra foot or so of wheelbase and two additional doors, the Rapide shares much of its styling DNA—long nose, ducktail deck, and stacked grille—with its saucy two-door platformmate. The Rapide also incorporates a door crease like that of the V-8 Vantage, as well as smoother cheeks and a thin strip of chrome trim on the back. Unique to the Rapide are One-77–style hood vents, nicely detailed headlamps with vertical LED running lights, and an all-glass roof (which, come to think of it, might be nice on the coupe, too). Inside, think DB9 with two rear bucket seats and perhaps a few unique touches and you won't be far off.
Keep Reading: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide- Official Images
Posted by sato at 10:35 AM
It's been nearly three years since we first caught a glimpse of the Aston Martin Rapide at the Detroit Auto Show. During that time, Aston has expanded its lineup to include the DBS, a refreshed DB9 and a new V8 Vantage, each of which was strictly an evolution of an existing model. However, the Rapide will be the first all-new Aston in years, and judging by these recent spy shots, a production version is right around the bend.
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