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2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Preview (video)

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Marie-Andrée Ayotte
Sweet dynamics
The finely honed, sober lines of the Aston Martin family, its unique finish and handcrafted cabins, those are the stuff of automotive dreams. For a car that’ll set you back at least $140,000, you wouldn’t expect anything less from the celebrated British manufacturer and its seductive V8 Vantage.

Interestingly, Aston Martin Racing returns to International GT Motorsport in the FIA World Endurance Championship with its 2012 V8 Vantage S. That’s great publicity for the brand’s entry-level model.

2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is sportier than the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, slightly more potent than the Maserati GranTurismo and more exclusive than the Audi R8.

Each Vantage is hand-built in the manufacturer’s Cologne, Germany plant. The cabin is draped in fine leather, topstitched by hand, in the colour of your choice. The paint is mixed using traditional methods, for a glossier shine that’s unique to Aston Martin. The engine is calibrated and inspected by experts on site. You can even have the doorsill plate customized. Lovingly hand-crafted, indeed!

Resting on a light, all-aluminum chassis, the V8 Vantage remains faithful to the 2008 iteration while benefiting from various improvements. The base model receives a slightly lower front bumper and a larger air intake to better cool the engine and brakes. A diffuser built into the rear bumper gives the V8 Vantage a menacing look while improving underbody airflow.

Nothing new on the engine front: the 4.7L V8 still puts down 420 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque on the base model. It’s mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, but now the Sportshift II 7-speed sequential gearbox introduced last year on the V8 Vantage S is also available as an option.

Inspired by the V8 Vantage S, said base model boasts superior driving dynamics, courtesy of a reduced steering ratio, 380 mm ventilated front discs with six-piston callipers and tires that are 10 mm wider.

As for the S, it features 430 snorting ponies, 361 lb-ft of torque and a sportier exhaust system that creates an even more guttural and intoxicating sound. The V8 Vantage S can only be fitted with the Sportshift II transmission. Inside, navigation, cruise control and Bluetooth all come standard.

The Dynamic Stability Control system now offers a less intrusive Sport mode and can even be completely deactivated if you want to tear up the track. For the road, Hiss Start Assist is now delivered standard.

2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage front 3/4 view
Les V8 Vantage et V8 Vantage S 2012 sont disponibles en formats coupé et décapotable Roadster. (Photo: Aston Martin)

As for speed, you can hit 290 km/h in the base model and 305 km/h in the S. The 0-100 dash takes 4.9 seconds.

The 2012 V8 Vantage and V8 Vantage S are available as a coupe or roadster convertible. As for the 510 hp V12 Vantage, the 2012 edition remains unchanged.

While Aston Martin hasn’t revolutionized its successful model for 2012, the lucky owners of this latest vintage will no doubt enjoy the careful attention that went into crafting their car.
2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
aston-martin v8-vantage 2012
2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
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Marie-Andrée Ayotte
Marie-Andrée Ayotte
Automotive expert