Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage

The Vantage is the best-selling nameplate in Aston Martin’s history, and here are a few things that you should know about it

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The Aston Martin Vantage came out in the late 1970s and has left an indelible mark on automotive history. This Grand Tourer was touted as ‘Britain’s first supercar’ because of its might and prowess. And while we all know that the Aston Martin Vantage has been James Bond’s preferred choice of car, there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. So, here are some things that you should know about the Aston Martin Vantage:

The Original Vantage Was Quicker Than A Ferrari!

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage
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The first Aston Martin Vantage came out in 1977 and made a mighty good impression on its debut. It shared its engine with the Lagonda and came with performance specs better than some of the best names out there. It could sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.3 seconds, making it one-tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari Daytona! It missed out on trumping it in the top speed department, though. The Aston Martin Vantage V8 had a top speed of 170 mph compared to the Daytona’s 174 mph. However, the 170 mph spec still made it "Britain’s First Supercar".

The Vantage V8 Dropped The Top

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage
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Aston Martin’s love affair with Vantage Volantes started in its first run itself. Just to be clear, the term was coined in 1965 with the short chassis Volante and the DB6 Volante. The British automaker built 534 examples of the Vantage V8 in its 12-year run from 1977 to 1989. In the last three years, Aston Martin produced 166 convertible ‘Volante’ versions. It wasn’t just the dropped top that differentiated it from the standard coupes; the car came with wider wheel arches, extended side skirts, a larger front spoiler, and a rear spoiler.

There Was A ’Prince of Wales Spec’ Vantage V8

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage
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An order from Charles, Prince of Wales, was the one final thing Aston Martin needed to generate the hype it deserved. Not that it hadn’t gained popularity on its own, but serving the royalty is an achievement of a different kind. Prince Charles had ordered an Aston Martin Vantage Volante in 1987, but asked the automaker to deliver it without the air dam, the side skirts, and the wheel arches. As is with anything that has a ‘celebrity’ status – for the lack of a better word – attached to it, this spec became public knowledge and was better known as the ‘Prince of Wales Spec’, or PoW. Aston Martin received orders for a total of 26 Volantes in the PoW spec, which brought the total production of the original Vantage V8 Volantes to 192 copies before the curtains were drawn.

German Panache in a British Car

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage Exterior Wallpaper quality
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While the Vantage is as British as they come, the car actually has a German heart, one sourced from the good folks at Affalterbach who know more than a thing or two about good, powerful engines. If it’s still not clear, I’m talking about a Mercedes-AMG engine that powers the 2021 Vantage V8. The M177 engine is a twin-turbo V-8 that displaces four liters and churns out 503 horses and 505 pound-feet of oomph. This workhorse is mated to a rear-mounted, ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox. Fun fact: Before switching to the Mercedes power plant, Aston Martin made use of the Jaguar-inspired AJ-V8 engine called the AJ37.

Well, it’s not just this; even the tech inside the cabin is sourced from Mercedes. The COMAND system inside the Vantage is also supplied by Mercedes, which is an eight-inch display that supports Bluetooth media streaming, navigation, etc. For your information, the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage price starts at close to $150,000.

A Special Aston Martin In James Bond ‘The Living Daylights’

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage
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We all know about the Aston Martin-James Bond connection. That love affair has been going on for the longest time (not counting the two times Bond drove a Lotus Esprit). It’s also no secret that almost every Aston Martin that featured in the franchise was a special model, but did you know that the V8 Volante used in the 1987 ‘The Living Daylights’ was actually owned by Aston Martin Lagonda’s chairman Victor Gauntlett? The car was featured in a few scenes ‘No Time To Die’ as well. Now that’s something you can tell your friends and family the next time you’re binge-watching James Bond movies!

The Henrik Fisker Connection

Things Every Enthusiast Should Know About the Aston Martin Vantage
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If you are a car enthusiast, then there’s no way you don’t know who Henrik Fisker is. The renowned automotive designer is responsible for some of the legendary car designs to have graced our planet. While he may have gone entrepreneurial in the last decade or so, he is primarily famous for designing cars like BMW Z8, the Fisker Karma, the Aston Martin DB9, and even the Aston Martin V8 Vantage!

After serving BMW for 12 years, Fisker left the German to join Aston Martin. Here, he designed the DB9 and the Vantage show car that was presented in 2003, which later went into production and was up for sale in 2005. Aston Martin and Fisker may not see eye-to-eye now, but it was their professional marriage that led to one of the coolest car designs ever to come to life.

A Tragic End Of A Romantic Relationship

Aston Martin's One Last Hurrah To The V-12 Engine Comes In The Form Of The V12 Vantage Exterior
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Courtesy of an electrified future and stricter emission norms in place, many automakers are slowly retiring the big engines (except for Ferrari that’s being a total rebel… and we love it!). Aston Martin recently announced that the famed pairing of the brand’s smallest sports car and the biggest engine – the Vantage and the V-12 mill – has come to an end. But, the British automaker has decided to give this pairing one last hoorah, and that is in the form of the 2023 Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

The 2023 V12 Vantage will be powered by a 5.2-liter, twin-turbo V-12 engine that churns out a whopping 690 horses and 555 pound-feet of torque. A ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox will route power to the rear wheels exclusively. It receives a unique calibration that’s inspired by the V12 Speedster and the Vantage F1 Edition. The car can sprint to 62 mph from rest in just 3.5 seconds and go on up to 200 mph to hit its top speed.

The automaker will produce just 333 examples of the sports car, and all of them have already been spoken for. There’s no word on the pricing, but it might have gone for around 300,000 bucks a pop.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Managing Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - siddhant.d@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a managing editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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