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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

DB12 styling and more grunt handed to Aston Martin Vantage

With 490kW/800Nm underfoot, the Vantage's AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 now produces 115kW/115Nm more than before.

Its most recent gains having been the introduction of the coupe and Roadster versions of the range-topping V12 two years ago, Aston Martin has showcased the comprehensively updated Vantage V8 ahead of the commencing of deliveries in the second quarter of this year.

No more Spectre styling

The first significant change to Gaydon’s smallest model since its unveiling in 2017, the Vantage now bears a closer resemblance to the flagship DB12 coupe, with Aston going so far as to bill it “the most driver focused and fastest Vantage in the nameplate’s 74-year history”.

ALSO READ: Aston Martin V12 Vantage revealed as nameplate’s bent-twelve farewell

Mounted on 21-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tyres, the Vantage’s revised aesthetic comprises DB12-style headlights with Matrix LEDs, a new grille seemingly inspired by that of the erstwhile DB7 Zagato, a new lower front splitter and wider wheel arches to accommodate the new wheels.

Aston Martin removes covers from facelift Vantage
At the rear, the changes have been small, but easy to spot. Image: Aston Martin

It’s track width increased by 30 mm and cooling said to be better by 38% as a result of the restyled frontal facia, the alterations go further as Aston has also redesigned the rear bumper to feature wider side vents, fitted larger quad exhaust outlets and frameless mirrors to go with the pop-out door handles.

Seemingly all-new inside

Inside, the interior’s transformation has been more dramatic and akin to a completely new model than a mid-life overhaul.

In addition to a new steering wheel and paddle shifters, again lifted from the DB12, the centre console has been reworked to accommodate not only the series of physical buttons and toggle switches, but also the new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that moves from the centre of the dashboard.

Aston Martin removes covers from facelift Vantage
Interior has been dramatically renewed. Image: Aston Martin

Called Pure Black, the rectangular display has been developed in-house by Aston and incorporates both Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation.

The dash itself also being new along with the slimline air vents, the final nuances involve upgraded materials, new colours, a new but also more conventional design for the digital instrument cluster binnacle, and a choice of two sound system developed specifically for the Vantage by Bowers & Wilkins; the standard 11-speaker with 390-watts, or the optional 15-speaker with aluminium double dome tweeters that cranks out 1 170-watts.

New underneath

Even more extensive than the interior are the changes to the Vantage’s underpinnings and chassis Aston Martin says has been done to “deliver maximum thrills and driver engagement”.

As a means of also compensating for the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing more power than before, the platform’s changes comprise a re-positioned and stronger front cross member, stiffer suspension mounting points, retuned front and rear undertrays and dampers stiffened-up at all four corners.

Aston Martin removes covers from facelift Vantage
A selection of materials and colours will again be offered. Image: Aston Martin

It doesn’t stop there as in addition to the electric power steering having been recalibrated, the dampers themselves feature a bandwidth increase of 500%, while the electronic differential has also been overhauled.

Finally, the software for the Electronic Stability Control, traction control and launch control have all been revised, along with the Integrated Brake Slip Control system and torque vectoring.

Providing stopping power are cast iron brakes utilising a 400 mm caliper design at the front and 360 mm at the rear. A lighter, 27 kg, carbon ceramic setup can, however, be had as an option.

Same-same more power

As mentioned, the Vantage receives a more boost from the Mercedes-AMG-sourced V8. Still hooked to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox, the unit now cranks out 490kW/800Nm, an uptake of 115kW/115Nm.

Top speed is therefore up from 313 km/h to 325 km/h, with 0-100 km/h improving by one-tenth-of-a-second to 3.5 seconds.

Roadster soon

Still to be priced, expectations are that the facelift Vantage will go on-sale before year-end in South Africa, although before then, expect the revised Roadster to emerge first before eventual approval is given.

NOW READ: Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster revealed as first and final bent-twelve drop-top

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