HOME PAGE

Aston Martin Launches the V8 Vantage
The Third Model from Aston Martin

The new Aston Martin V8 Vantage


2nd March, 2005


Aston Martin unveiled the production version of its eagerly awaited V8 Vantage at the 2005 Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday 1st March, 2005.

First shown as a concept car at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the V8 Vantage immediately caused a worldwide sensation as it allows Aston Martin to enter a new sector of the premium sports car market with a genuine alternative to other cars that are currently on offer.

Deliveries of the V8 Vantage to customers in the UK and Europe will begin in the 3rd quarter of 2005 and in North America and the rest of the world by the end of the year.

It will be built at Aston Martinís Headquarters at Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK, and completes the current Aston Martin line-up. This now comprises the flagship Vanquish S, the elegant DB9 and the new model, the agile V8 Vantage.

"The V8 Vantage is a significant car for us," explained Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin. "It is now the third model in our range and is the culmination of the first phase of reinvigorating the Aston Martin brand around the world that began in the year 2000.

"The V8 Vantage is a true Aston Martin, built with the same high integrity and passion as all of our cars. This is the more affordable Aston Martin and its design and agility should help to widen our appeal and attract younger customers to our marque."

"The real difference is that the V8 Vantage takes us into a new sector of the market where we have not been previously represented. The V8 Vantage has all of the hand-built bespoke attributes for which Aston Martin is renowned."

Styling & Design

The exterior of the V8 Vantage is beautiful and perfectly proportioned from every angle with a low purposeful stance. Each carefully detailed feature provides graphic evidence of the painstaking craftsmanship and quality, which is synonymous with the Aston Martin marque.

The long bonnet and two-seater cabin creates an instantly recognisable stance, while minimal front and rear overhangs, combined with a wide track, appear to push the rear wheels out and enhance the extremities of the bodywork. At the rear a hatchback offers practicality not normally found in sports cars of this type.

"The V8 Vantage features many of the design cues that have become basic DNA for all Aston Martin models and are leading edge in car design," added Dr Bez.

"It was important to ensure that the design was pure, clean and innovative, while at the same time you should be able to cover the front badge and instantly recognise the V8 Vantage as an Aston Martin."

Offered with an imaginative combination of different leathers, contemporary fabrics and aluminium, V8 Vantage customers will have an extensive choice of standard body and trim colours from which to choose.

"From the outset, the look, feel and functionality of the interior was a key priority," said Aston Martinís Interior Design Manager Sarah Maynard. "We wanted to ensure the V8 Vantage reflected the new direction that the company is now taking."

The V8 Vantage is a two-seater, with the rear environment offering a large luggage shelf area accessed by a tailgate.

Inside, Aston Martinís craftsmanship is matched to striking 21st century style. The dials are made from aluminium, and together with the switchgear have a very distinct design and unique Aston Martin look and feel.

"We wanted to continue to evolve the interior design we started with the DB9," added Sarah Maynard. "The V8 Vantage has all of those attributes and like the DB9 everything you touch and see within the cabin area is special to Aston Martin. The ambience of the cabin is extremely important and we needed to ensure we continued to maintain the high standards we have already set."

Chassis, Engine and Performance

The V8 Vantage has endured the most extensive test and development programme in the Companyís 91 year history during which 78 prototypes were vigorously tested more than 1Ĺ million miles. In Dubai over 12,000 miles of testing was carried out where ambient temperatures regularly hit 48ļC and the bodywork of the cars reached 87ļC.

High speed testing was conducted at the Nardo test track in Italy and extensive testing was carried out at Nurburgringís Nordschleife in Germany, and cold weather testing in temperatures as low as -30ļC was undertaken in Sweden.

The V8 Vantage is the second model to use Aston Martinís unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Constructed from lightweight aluminium extrusions, precision castings and pressings, the underframe is bonded with aerospace adhesives and mechanically fixed with self-piercing rivets.

Certain complex parts of the frame are precision die cast in aluminium; the door inner panels are cast magnesium and the windscreen surround is a one piece aluminium casting.

The frame is bonded with cold-cure adhesive which has exceptional damping properties that help soak up the vibrations which may otherwise appear if the structure was welded.

The unique architecture provides an excellent backbone, while the use of sophisticated materials such as lightweight alloys, magnesium and advanced composites for the body further contributes to the carís low weight and class-leading rigidity.

The V8 Vantage uses a combination of aluminium, steel and advanced composite exterior panels. Composites are used for panels with a high degree of complexity and a deeper shape, such as the front wings, which incorporate the distinctive side strakes.

Aston Martinís engineers have worked with Ford Research and Nottingham University to develop RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) composite panels, using unique processes and materials, resulting in composite panels and extremely high surface finish. The process ensures that the optimum amount of reinforcement material is used in each area of the panel to ensure optimum strength and weight.

Steel pressings are used for the body side panels to achieve the sheer depth of the design. This delivers the required style without resorting to using several panels in the rear three-quarter area, resulting in a remarkably clean and uncluttered appearance.

The V8 Vantage is very much a pure sports car, so from the outset, the priority of Aston Martinís engineers was to focus on a lightweight, compact size, agility and power. At just 4.38 metres long it is compact and very nimble and is the smallest model in the Aston Martin range.

The all new 380bhp engine is a 4.3 litre, low emissions all aluminium alloy V8, unique to Aston Martin. This new V8 uses the latest technology to deliver outstanding performance in all environments.

The layout of the powertrain adopts a transaxle configuration, whereby the front mid-mounted engine is connected to the transmission Ė at the rear of the car Ė via a cast aluminium torque tube and carbon fibre prop-shaft. This configuration provides the car with a 49:51 weight distribution, giving outstanding handling characteristics and excellent all round capabilities.

Aston Martin has adopted a dry-sump lubrication system for the V8 Vantage. Often used in racing cars, this system allows the engine to sit very low in the body, lowering the centre of gravity which in turn helps to improve handling and the overall balance and stability of the car. The system also helps to improve engine durability by maintaining lubrication under conditions of extreme cornering and braking.

"This is precisely the set-up you want in a sports car," explained Jeremy Main, Product Development Director of Aston Martin. "It helps maximise all of the aspects that you need to create an outstanding sports car."

The advanced quad-cam 32-valve engine is individually hand assembled by skilled Aston Martin technicians at the companyís new engine production facility in Cologne, Germany, where every Aston Martin engine, including the V12 for Vanquish S and DB9, is built.

"The V8 engine is unique to Aston Martin," said Jeremy Main. "We share expertise within the PAG (Premier Automotive Group) organisation but this design is totally new and not a shared engine. Every significant part of it is unique from the specification of the cylinder block to the cylinder heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, inlet and exhaust manifolds, lubrication system and engine management."

The bore and stroke dimensions are optimised to provide an excellent balance between outright power and torque, while a resonance induction system improves tractability and performance.

The inlet camshaft timing is variable resulting in improved low-end throttle response, mid-range torque and seamless power delivery. Maximum power is 380bhp @ 7000rpm and maximum torque 302lb ft @ 5000rpm.

The V8 Vantage will be initially offered with a 6-speed manual transmission and other alternatives will be announced at a later date. A great deal of time and effort has been spent ensuring that the new transmission has a smooth and fast shift action to ensure its ultra close ratios can be used to maximum effect.

"It is one of the best manual gear changes in the world," added Jeremy Main. "Driving enjoyment is a very important quality of the V8 Vantage and part of this is a superb gear change action."

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Specification

ENGINE:

All alloy quad overhead camshaft 32 valve, 4.3 litre V8. Variable Inlet Camshaft Timing. Dry sump lubrication system. Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves. Front-mid mounted engine. Rear-wheel drive.

Maximum Power:

283kW (380bhp) @ 7000rpm

Maximum Torque:

410Nm (302Ib.ft) @ 5000rpm

Maximum Speed:

280km/h (175 mph)

Acceleration:

0-100km/h (62mph) in 5.0 seconds

0-60mph in 4.8 seconds

Bore: 89mm (3.504 in)

Stroke: 86mm (3.386 in)

BODY:

Two door style with tailgate and 2+0 seating. Bonded aluminium structure, Aluminium alloy, steel, composite, and magnesium alloy body. Extruded aluminium side impact bars Halogen projector headlamps, LED rear lamps.

STEERING:

Rack and pinion power assisted steering. Column reach and tilt adjust.

TRANSMISSION:

Rear mid-mounted 6 speed Graziano manual gearbox. Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre prop-shaft. Limited slip differential.

Gear Ratios:

1st 3.154

2nd 1.974

3rd 1.435

4th 1.148

5th 0.935

6th 0.775

Final Drive Ratio 3.909:1

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS:

Length:

4383mm (172.5 inches)

Width:

1866mm (73.5 inches)

(excluding mirrors)

2022mm (79.6 inches)

(including mirrors)

Height:

1255mm (49.4 inches)

Wheelbase:

2600 mm (102.4 inches)

Front Track:

1568mm (61.7 inches)

Rear Track:

1562mm (61.5 inches)

Turning Circle: (kerb to kerb)

11.1m (36 feet 5 inches)

Boot capacity:

300 litres (10.6 cu.ft)

Fuel capacity:

77 litres (16.8 UK gal / 20.2 US gal)

Kerb Weight:

1570kgs (3461Ib)

SUSPENSION

Independent double aluminium wishbones, coil over aluminium monotube dampers, front and rear anti-roll bars.

INTERIOR

Technical grain leather. Alloy finished console facia, Anthracite interior fittings, 10 way electrically adjustable seats, automatic temperature control, heated rear screen, Aston Martin system with CD player, battery disconnect switch, trip computer, dual stage driver and passenger airbags, side airbags, alarm and immobiliser.

BRAKES:

Front: Ventilated grooved steel discs 355mm

diameter with radial-mounted four piston Brembo monobloc callipers.

Rear: Ventilated steel discs 330mm diameter with radial mounted four piston monobloc callipers and separate handbrake calliper.

Anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic braking distribution (EBD), traction control (TC), electronic brake assist (EBA) and dynamic stability control (DSC). Positive torque control (PTC)

WHEELS & TYRES:

Standard

10 Spoke Alloy wheel

Front: 8.5J x 18" Rear: 9.5J x 18"

Tyres - Bridgestone Potenza tyres

Front: 235/45 ZR18 Rear: 275/40 ZR18

Optional

7 Spoke Alloy Wheel

Front: 8.5J x 19" Rear: 9.5J x 19"

Tyres: Bridgestone Potenza tyres

Front: 235/40 ZR19 Rear: 275/35 ZR19

OPTIONS:

Full natural grain leather with full Alcantara headlining, alternative facia trims available, High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped

beam) and powerwash, bright finish grille, alternative brake calliper finish (Black, Red, Silver), Platinum interior fittings, heated seats, heated front screen, cruise control, reversing sensors, battery conditioner, powerfold mirrors, integrated GSM telephone, colour Sat NAV with traffic messaging channel, Tracker, upgrade alarm system, tyre pressure monitoring, smokerís pack, personalised sill plaques, fire extinguisher, premium Aston Martin audio system.




Receive the news by e-mail, SUBSCRIBE to our free weekly newsletter here.



HOME PAGE
Click the logo for our home page


E-mail Next Car Pty Ltd

Next Car Pty Ltd   (ABN 47106248033)
Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.