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Aston Martin Vantage Coupe engines, drive and performance

2005 - 2018 (change model)
Performance rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 11 May 2023

This is what the Vantage is all about. The 4.3-litre V8 doesn’t provide as much low down shove as you might expect, but thrives on having the throttle pressed all the way down. Once the reverse-swing rev needle climbs past 4000rpm the power really starts to pour out through the rear wheels and the driver is pressed back in the seat. Plunge the throttle down from standstill and 60mph is reached in just 4.9 seconds.

The six-speed gearbox requires deliberate, precise changes and makes the most of the free-revving V8’s power. The performance package is completed with powerful brakes which provide lots of stopping power and are backed up with several electronic systems to ensure the car stops quickly and safely as possible.

The short wheelbase, stiff chassis and the fact the engine is mounted behind the front axle combine to produce an agile car which reacts quickly and precisely to steering wheel movements. The whole body structure is light thanks to a composite structure of aluminium, steel and magnesium, and stiff thanks to major bracing both in the engine bay and behind the seats.

For the enthusiast driver it provides lots of feedback of how well the car is gripping and what the road surface is like, for others just an amazing sensation of how quickly the Aston can corner. One minor criticism is the steering – while well weighted, it doesn’t provide the levels of feedback that the chassis does.