Too upscale to be called merely a "base” trim, the 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe is better served as the “entry-level” trim. All of which is not to say that owners are getting a stripped sports coupe; on the contrary, this snazzy 2-seater sports a V8 powerplant and sport-tuned suspension that provide better-than-acceptable power and superb handling characteristics. The handsome exterior is enhanced by 19-inch painted alloy wheels with performance tires, body-color heated power-adjustable mirrors and powerful brakes that can be spiffed up with calipers available in a number of eye-catching colors. Inside, look for premium leather, power-adjustable sport bucket seats and automatic climate control, as well as leather and genuine alloy trim on the doors, dash and center console. Complementing all of the above are power windows, remote power door locks, rear parking sensors and telescoping tilt-wheel steering, with a 160-watt stereo system bolstering a 6-CD changer and a USB connection. Oh, and this classy hatchback coupe also boasts 10 cubic feet of trunk space.
Options, meantime, include cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free communications, heated seats, upgraded 19-inch wheels, a variety of upholstery and chrome appearance upgrades, satellite radio and a universal remote garage door opener. Packages include either the Aston Martin 700-watt premium audio system or the concert-worthy Bang & Olufsen 1,000-watt system with 5 tweeters and 5 woofers. Finally, this particular coupe is eligible for the heady Sports Pack, which features diamond-turned 19-inch forged alloy wheels, upgraded suspension components and a tweaked rear anti-roll bar.
No matter the suspension choice, the rear-wheel-drive-only (RWD) 2012 V8 Vantage Coupe is powered by a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 420-hp 4.7-liter V8 engine and comes with a 6-speed manual transmission able to throw down 346 lb-ft of torque to the tune of 14 mpg city/21 highway of required premium unleaded. A 6-speed auto-manual transmission is also available in this classy Coupe with performance numbers running the same as the stick shift, though mileage drops a smidgeon to 14/20.
Standard safety equipment aboard the 2012 V8 Vantage Coupe includes 4-wheel antilock braking, as well as traction and stability control. Front side-mounted airbags are also standard in this snazzy 2-seater, not to mention self-leveling xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, rear parking sensors and a remote antitheft alarm. Optional safety equipment, meantime, includes front parking sensors and an enhanced remote security alarm system.