I wrote in march about how the Aston Martin vantage is the ultimate head against heart battle for myself. The time finally seemed right and after being offered one part ex it finally happened. It’s by no means a fast car when stacked up against the RS7 or my GT-R but my god it’s beautiful. I’m yet to find a bad angle on it and after a good detail it looks fantastic. Of course there’s the odd niggle here and there but that’s what buying cars is like.
The Aston boasts a full interior retrim in Alcantara and Lamborghini leather, a manual gearbox, cnc manifolds, secondary decats , Larini race exhaust and nitron coilovers which perfectly frame the 21” Niche Essen wheels. So by no means a standard car. It’s for these reasons I even considered having it at all, I always felt the RS7 looked as if I’d borrowed my fathers car and I was too young to suit it. I don’t think the Aston lads will mind me saying typical owners aren’t the youngest but there’s a few lads my age knocking about and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. You’ll be surprised how many perfectly “stanced” Aston Martins there are in the Uk.
So how does it drive? The Vantage epitomises what id expect from a purists sports car, it’s hard work but immensely rewarding. The gearbox is tight but heavy , requiring a firm hand when selecting a cog. Mate this to a heavy clutch and brake-pedal with heavy yet precise steering feel and you’ve got a handful on your plate. The bite point is high as with most astons so rev-matching the first few down shifts was a little tricky yet enjoyable once honed. The steering is delicious you can really place the Aston on the road you really know what the front end is doing and how the chassis is responding to your inputs. A world away from Audi’s electric steering in the RS7. The brakes are the only oddity in my mind, a little tricky to modulate with the pedal feeling so heavy but I’m sure it’ll come with time. The noise my god the noise it’s like an angry Norse god screaming directly in your ear, the Larini race exhaust makes me feel like I’m at Spa in a GT3 racer. Looks of admiration and disgust in equal measure find me leaving the windows open ajar just to savour the exhaust note whilst pissing-off the general public.
This Vantage has been honed for track work so the ride is currently horrific, coupled with 21” wheels I’m feeling a little battered and bruised on Oxfordshire’s roads. First plans are perhaps a set of genuine N430 wheels and softening the damping of the coilovers. I think after that it will be simply enjoying the car as much as possible and a map tweak to cater for the new exhaust manifolds. All in all I feel like Bond every time I get out of it, I feel special and I don’t care how slow it is, tell me it isn’t beautiful I dare you.