Today, I drove the nicest car Iíve ever been in.
The new Aston-Martin Vantage, powered by a TT AMG V8.
First, I must say it is gorgeous and I much prefer its looks over the DB11.
It is not small, and carries about 3700 lbs., split about 50/50. Transaxle and all that.
The V8 is very good; 503 hp @ 6000 rpm and 505 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
The manual transmission version isnít due for another year.
Steering felt very good, but no twisty roads were used. Feedback seemed reasonable.
For the same reason, I canít offer an opinion on handling.
The Vantage has more hp than I really need, but that makes it pretty fast.
Zero to 60 mph: 3.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 7.1 sec
Standing ľ-mile: 11.4 sec
Top speed: 195 mph
The automatic seemed pretty good. I manually shifted and also used in in full auto mode.
The shifts may not be as quick as a dual-clutch unit, but the transmission was very smooth on the highway, in traffic and around town. Itís never jerky, something that cannot be said of your writer.
And...I only went for the clutch pedal twice on the test drive.
Ride was better than articles had led me to expect. It is a quiet car inside, but the exhaust can be adjusted to be much louder.
Settings are Sport, Sport Plus and Race. (No ďnormalĒ for the new Vantage, you understand.)
The Vantage felt smaller than my TT Supra (even though it isnít) and, I didnít feel as if I were in a well as in the Supra. Its seats have electric height adjustment.
I did not like the driving position in the Supra. It always felt as if Lassie was coming to save me. Possibly, with Timmy in tow.
When my cat meows, I sometime say, ďWhat? Did Timmy fall into the frigging well again?Ē Cat does not get this joke.
Vantage interior looked very good indeed. Great stitching, really nice leather.
Did I mention that this car is gorgeous?
Lots of doodads in the interior, including some cool camera tricks. More switches and button that I could learn in an hour. Or, a week.
More options are available than I could learn in a month. No, I donít want a carbon fiber roof or even one in a different color than the rest of the car.
I do not need carbon brakes. Or, the $5000 red painted calipers. Geez, really??
The problem I may have is mostly psychological. Can I actually own a car that costs $160k? Could I leave it in a parking lot? Drive among the plebeians? Bear the pressure of nubile young women coming on to me?
Not worry about the car every waking moment and, likely in some dreams?
The most I ever spent on a car was a mere $50k. The Supra had been used by a Toyota executive and, through my connection with Bob, the Engineer, I got a great price. Sold it at a decent-sized profit too. Then, I bought the Elise.
Uh, you know the Vantage is gorgeous, right?