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2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Overview
Aston Martin is not ordinarily the first name that pops up when discussion turns to Euro-style sporty 2-seaters. But its 2016 V8 Vantage offers a relatively inexpensive sports coupe and roadster that looks sharp, performs flawlessly, and includes a number of high-end features.
Again offered as a coupe and a soft-top convertible (roadster), the V8 Vantage returns in 3 trims: the base V8 Vantage, the V8 Vantage S, and the sporty V8 Vantage GT. All trims are rear-wheel-drive (RWD) only and offer Aston Martin’s traditionally broad range of customization options.
Though some in the media wonder if the V8 Vantage may be a bit dated in style and amenities, no redesign seems to be planned for the near future. But the V8 Vantage does sport a few noteworthy tweaks for the upcoming model year. A couple of new color choices, Cinnabar Orange and Ultramarine Black, join the already extensive exterior paint palette, and Aston Martin’s new AMi II infotainment system, with real-time vehicle status information and torque meters, debuts in all 2016 trims. Each 2016 V8 Vantage also comes with a new “waterfall” center stack and features enhanced alloy wheel designs.
The V8 Vantage is constructed with a lightweight frame and body composed of aluminum, carbon fiber, and alloy materials, keeping it agile and composed on the road. The standard 4.7-liter V8 powerplant, mated with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or an available 7-speed auto-manual shifter, provides 420 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque in the base V8 Vantage, while the V8 Vantage S and GT iterations boast an uptick of 10 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque in addition to a “Sport” button that adapts throttle response and shift points to match your current driving mood. Mileage isn’t pretty, with both coupe and drop-top versions of all trims estimated at 13 mpg city/19 highway/15 combined for stick-shift editions, and 14/21/16 for trims with the auto-manual. And strangely, while the base V8 Vantage is clocked from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, the S and GT editions have put up exactly the same sprint numbers in various track tests.
Complementing the new color choices, reworked center stack, and debuting Ami II infotainment technology are redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels and heated power-folding mirrors, a leather-trimmed interior and seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Additionally, a remote garage door opener, front and rear parking sensors, GPS navigation, and a rear-view camera also come standard aboard all 2016 V8 Vantage iterations, along with a 6-CD changer, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio input.
The upcoming year’s V8 Vantage S, in both coupe and roadster form, adds a standard carbon fiber front splitter, a sport-tuned suspension, and upgraded cabin appointments, while the V8 Vantage GT adds unique badges and graphics, front and rear carbon fiber splitters, contrasting upholstery stitching, and a variety of brake caliper hues.
As mentioned, the 2016 V8 Vantage lineup is eligible for nearly unlimited personalization choices, but some of the more popular options remain a premium audio upgrade, heated seats, and a pair of premium audio systems, including a high-end Bang & Olufsen stereo upgrade. Further optional equipment includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a sport exhaust system.
Standard safety equipment aboard each V8 Vantage iteration again includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted airbags with head protection chambers, self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, and a remote antitheft alarm. The V8 Vantage Roadster boasts standard pop-up roll bars, and an augmented antitheft system is available on all trims.
Though Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage represents the cornerstone of the British automaker’s sales success, and loyalists will mightily dispute the implications of this, such rivals as Jaguar’s hot looking F Type, Porsche’s legendary 911, and Audi’s stylish R8 each offers, in the opinion of most reviewers, a more engaging drive, better looks, and newer amenities. However, should you want your Aston Martin to more closely match the competition, you can shell out for the more powerful V12 Vantage S coupe and its convertible V12 Vantage S Roadster sibling, which are covered in a separate preview.
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