The first of the Aston Martin eight cylinder cars was the DBS V8 in 1973 which is now simply referred to as the Aston Martin V8. This vehicle became the company's mainstream car for two decades before Aston Martin decided to change things up with the new Vantage and Virage models of the 1990s where the V8 grew into a 550 HP 5.3 Liter twin supercharged monster. Both the Vantage name and V8 moniker were brought back in 2005 with a 4.3 Liter motor making 380 HP and 302 lb-ft of torque before being revamped in 2008 with a larger 4.7 Liter V8 that makes 420 HP and 347 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission. This new engine brought the car's 0 to 60 MPH time down to 4.7 seconds while raising the Aston's top speed to 180 MPH.
Aston Martin unveiled the production version of its eagerly awaited V8 Vantage at the 2005 Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday 1st March.
First shown as a concept car at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the V8 Vantage immediately caused a worldwide sensation as it allows Aston Martin to enter a new sector of the premium sports car market with a genuine alternative to other cars that are currently on offer.
After producing six cylinder engined cars for around two decades, Aston Martin introduced the DBS V8 late in 1969. Under the DBS’ the long bonnet a new V8 engine was installed. Designed by long time Aston Martin engineer, Tadek Marek, the engine had made its public debut in the less than successful Lola T70 LeMans racer. The advanced engine featured double overhead camshafts and Bosch fuel injection. For various reasons production of the Tadek Marek V8-powered Aston Martins would continue for over three decades.
When Aston Martin needed a competitive version of their GT racer, the DB4 GT, they turned to Zagato. The Italian coach builder specialized in constructing light weight, slippery bodies, ideally suited for racing needs. Although the finished product was not the competition success hoped for, its rarity and stunning looks have made the DB4 GT Zagato one of the most sought after Aston Martin models. Some twenty years later Aston Martin and Zagato teamed up once again to relive the success had with the DB4. The plan was to build a limited edition Zagato bodied version of the V8 Vantage model.