Mid-life facelifts of performance cars usually involve a token power bump to go along with a visual fettle and a bit of updated interior tech. There’s nothing token about the performance uplift experience by the new Aston Martin Vantage, however - it’s now packing around an extra 150bhp. Crikey.
This gives a new peak power figure of 656bhp from the Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, and to save us the maths, Aston Martin has pointed out that this is an increase of 30 per cent. Torque, meanwhile has swelled by 15 per cent to 590lb ft.
Interestingly, the additional poke is the work of Aston Martin’s engineers, not those of AMG. The team tweaked the camshaft profiles, fiddled with the compression ratio, slapped on larger turbochargers and beefed up the cooling package accordingly. We’re promised “a sharper, more visceral and more vocal character” from the engine.
Put your foot flat to the floor from a standstill, and provided you have sufficient traction off the line (the new launch control system should help in that regard), 0-62mph will arrive in a mere 3.4 seconds - half a second faster than the outgoing model. The top speed is up by 7mph to 205mph.
Thankfully, Aston Martin didn’t just crank up the power by a third and leave the old chassis to deal with the newfound levels of V8 fury. The car gets a comprehensive list of changes to aid the dynamics, including alterations to the car’s structure. The front cross member is now further back to make the mounting points for the front double wishbones stiffer, and there’s a more rigid strut brace.
Strengthening between the rear strut towers meanwhile bumps up rear axle stiffness by 29 per cent, and there are new front and rear undertrays “for greater lateral stiffness”. The adaptive dampers are new, and the electronic power steering has been fettled.
The electronics work via a new six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), and the big news is the installation of one of those very much in-vogue multi-position traction control dials. Aston’s is called Adjustable Traction Control (ATC), and it has eight levels of assistance to choose from.
Finally, the car’s enormous 21-inch wheels are wrapped in the new Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tyres, and just behind that combination, you’ll find 400mm brake discs squeezed by six-piston calipers for the front, and 360mm rotors with four-pot calipers at the rear. Carbon ceramic discs are available optionally.
There is an actual facelift element to all of this, too, and the changes are hefty ones. The body is some 30mm wider, and there’s a massive new grille that feeds 29 per cent more air to the enlivened V8. There are fresh Matrix LED headlights, ‘frameless’ door mirrors, a modern interpretation of the classic Aston Martin side strake, and at the rear, a wider bumper with fatter quad exhaust pipes. Lovely.
Perhaps a bigger deal is what's gone on inside - the old Vantage's cabin was one of its weaker elements. The new car gets a comprehensive interior design refresh while also gaining a new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen. Aston has, though, made a point of keeping physical buttons for things like climate controls. Praise be.
Production of the new Vantage will start at some point during the first quarter of 2024, with initial deliveries kicking off in Q2. The word is that the car will start at around £165,000, pitching it into battle with the Porsche 911 Turbo.