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Today, I drove the nicest car I’ve 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 isn’t due for another year.

Steering felt very good, but no twisty roads were used. Feedback seemed reasonable.

For the same reason, I can’t offer an opinion on handling.

The Vantage has more hp than I really need, but that makes it pretty fast.

C&D estimates:

Zero to 60 mph: 3.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 7.1 sec
Standing ¼-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. It’s 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 “normal” for the new Vantage, you understand.)

The Vantage felt smaller than my TT Supra (even though it isn’t) and, I didn’t 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, “What? Did Timmy fall into the frigging well again?” 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 don’t 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?





 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, I asked my acct if I am nuts for considering buying one:

Yes.

It’s a depreciating asset the minute you drive it out of the showroom.

What about a used one?



Comment from a good friend and vendor on LT:

I’m a huge fan of this car. Matt Becker who is Roger Becker’s son and the former head engineer of ride and handling at Lotus tuned this car. He’s got his dad’s talent and the new Astons are simply fantastic. I love them but watching how they depreciate, I can’t help but think it is wiser to wait a couple of years and pick one up for 60% of it’s new value.

OK, well I can't buy an new Evora to hold onto for 3 years, as those resale prices may also be low, along with Jaguar.

Maybe a Mustang GT for interim. Will check out depreciation rate, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This could be instructive:

 

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I sat in one at the dealer in Charlotte. They had two. Very impressed. Better looking and more appealing than I’d expected from pics. Looks like about $200K equipped.

Very appealing. This will definitely be in the discussion when considering a Lotus 430 or whatever they offer in a couple of years.

I’ve never driven a manual with that sort of power. To me a sports car without a manual loses out on so much of the involvement we love. But not sure if that’s something I want to handle.

Sure want to try it though.

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DD5EA33B-3EEC-4625-8F7E-CDBCD68EDB94.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree. It may be a year before stick option arrives.

I really loved this car.

Here, dealer's stock was $170k, 183k.
 

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Less is Better
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I've had my Vantage for just about three years now. It's a fantastic car. It has timeless beauty in and out, in my mind, one of the top 5 most beautiful cars ever. It has soft leather covering EVERYTHING and the smell of the inside of the car is almost a drug. What most people don't know is what a great sports car it is, mine has the sports pack and this car HUSTLES. It absolutely shrinks around you as you go faster. There's heft to all the controls and the steering has a ton of feel. It's got nice turn-in with no noticeable roll and the 49F/51R weight distribution makes the car really easy to control in corners. There's alot of driver interaction and feel to all the controls and the chassis. And then there's the music coming from that 7200 RPM engine. I do wish the car were 500 pounds lighter, being all aluminum and composite. But the sound insulation and the incredible quality of the materials explains why it weighs what it does. Another surprise is how solidly reliable the cars are in general. Thank you Ford.

While I completely understand the need for Aston to move on and bring the car to the modern era, I'm actually quite disappointed in the new version. It got bigger, lost alot of it's elegance in the exterior and interior styling, lost it's dry sump oiling system and lost it's hydraulic steering rack. I wouldn't even consider one of these cars without a manual transmission, but even with that becomes available I won't be interested.

Financially, there aren't many new cars that are a worse place to put money than an Aston. The up side is that used ones are a bargain considering what you get. My advice to anyone who is thinking about one of the AMG era cars is to look at an older V8 or even better V12 car with a stick. They're screaming (literally) bargains and IMO better driver's cars. For anyone looking for a high end sports car just oozing with personality, it's hard to do better than a Vantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like the changes, but I also note that road testers agree with you about the steering feel.

I think the new exterior is very much nicer, but this may be only because we are all used to the previous model. The previous interior looks more integrated, but there were also fewer controls.

I drove a V8 Vantage in 2006, but I don't know which year it was from. I was, frankly, unimpressed. I thought that if I'd wanted a car such as that, I'd have held onto my TT Supra (420 hp at least). Was thrilled to sell that (at significant profit) and buy the Elise.

That Vantage did not seem very fast to me. Certainly beautiful.


I am considering getting a used Vantage V8 if I can get the same "bumper to bumper" warranty DeMuro mentions 415 times in his series on his Vantage.

I so liked the new one that every once in a while I think I should just buy it and eat that giant lump of depreciation. Probably not going to do that.

Thx.
 

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Less is Better
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I like the changes, but I also note that road testers agree with you about the steering feel.

I think the new exterior is very much nicer, but this may be only because we are all used to the previous model. The previous interior looks more integrated, but there were also fewer controls.

I drove a V8 Vantage in 2006, but I don't know which year it was from. I was, frankly, unimpressed. I thought that if I'd wanted a car such as that, I'd have held onto my TT Supra (420 hp at least). Was thrilled to sell that (at significant profit) and buy the Elise.

That Vantage did not seem very fast to me. Certainly beautiful.


I am considering getting a used Vantage V8 if I can get the same "bumper to bumper" warranty DeMuro mentions 415 times in his series on his Vantage.

I so liked the new one that every once in a while I think I should just buy it and eat that giant lump of depreciation. Probably not going to do that.

Thx.
To be honest, that sounds pretty one dimensional. If you're looking for speed, there's always something faster than an Aston Martin, for significantly less. One of my empoyees has a 500whp Evo that can easily outrun my AM. Godspeed, I say to him. If it needs to be explained, it's not the car for you. There's nothing wrong with that everyone likes different things.
 

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I’m always amused at how people seem to base their value of a car as being a little faster than that “lesser” car.

They are all fast as Hell, faster than anything you will ever even come close to needing in any imaginable situation (well other than outrunning some natural disaster or alien attack).

When I pull up to a stop light in our Tundra next to another truck that is lifted two inches taller, gee do I feel slighted. I hang my head and roll along in my fine tall shiny behemoth accepting being less than.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I like the changes, but I also note that road testers agree with you about the steering feel.

I think the new exterior is very much nicer, but this may be only because we are all used to the previous model. The previous interior looks more integrated, but there were also fewer controls.

I drove a V8 Vantage in 2006, but I don't know which year it was from. I was, frankly, unimpressed. I thought that if I'd wanted a car such as that, I'd have held onto my TT Supra (420 hp at least). Was thrilled to sell that (at significant profit) and buy the Elise.

That Vantage did not seem very fast to me. Certainly beautiful.


I am considering getting a used Vantage V8 if I can get the same "bumper to bumper" warranty DeMuro mentions 415 times in his series on his Vantage.

I so liked the new one that every once in a while I think I should just buy it and eat that giant lump of depreciation. Probably not going to do that.

Thx.
To be honest, that sounds pretty one dimensional. If you're looking for speed, there's always something faster than an Aston Martin, for significantly less. One of my empoyees has a 500whp Evo that can easily outrun my AM. Godspeed, I say to him. If it needs to be explained, it's not the car for you. There's nothing wrong with that everyone likes different things.
Not sure where you got that at all, as I wrote that it had more hp than I need.

As I wrote, I like the looks a lot more and its interior looked good to me (on a 30 minute test drive).

Handling characteristics are much improved according to pro writers. Matt Becker is given a lot of credit for its handling with good ride. Just as he did for Lotus.

Overall opinions say it's much better than last model. Feel free to read the reviews.
 

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Wish I’d taken a pic with the bonnet up. It basically covers the whole front end of the little beast including the wheels. The two small turbos are perched on top of the Teutonic eight. Unlike most modern cars there actually is something to look at with the hood up. Not like a Ferrari or most cars decades ago, but it is impressive.
 

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Less is Better
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Not sure where you got that at all, as I wrote that it had more hp than I need.

As I wrote, I like the looks a lot more and its interior looked good to me (on a 30 minute test drive).

Handling characteristics are much improved according to pro writers. Matt Becker is given a lot of credit for its handling with good ride. Just as he did for Lotus.

Overall opinions say it's much better than last model. Feel free to read the reviews.
This is what I was referring to:

"I was, frankly, unimpressed. I thought that if I'd wanted a car such as that, I'd have held onto my TT Supra (420 hp at least). Was thrilled to sell that (at significant profit) and buy the Elise.

That Vantage did not seem very fast to me. Certainly beautiful."
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Your assumption was a bit off. The Supra was just a better car: Handing, braking, and reliability.

Not as pretty, but great ac and no blind spots.
 

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Your assumption was a bit off. The Supra was just a better car: Handing, braking, and reliability.

Not as pretty, but great ac and no blind spots.
I'm not making any assumptions. I'm just going by what I read. There was no statement on anything about handling, braking, reliability in the comparison between the AM and the Supra. "Better" is certainly subjective. I love my Lotus more than my Aston, but in many ways, it's not "better".
 

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