New Aston Martin Vantage S

  • New Vantage is lighter and faster
  • Big thrills, big tax bills
  • Sport button adds a touch of theatre

Aston Martin has launched a lighter, faster, more refined V8 Vantage.

The British firm has unveiled the new V8 Vantage S - with more power, a new gearbox and looks borrowed from its bigger V12 brother.

The V8 Vantage's 4.7-litre engine produces 430bhp in the S, while an all-new seven-speed gearbox claims to shave 20% from the time it takes to swap cogs.

Emissions are 299g/km CO2, meaning it isn't going to be cheap to tax, but it's doubtful many Aston buyers will be too bothered about that. For those who are, it'll cost you £950 in the first year and £435 each year thereafter.

There's a ‘sport' button on the S too, which sharpens up the gear changes and throttle response. It also opens up valves in the exhaust for a louder and sportier exhaust note.

Other additions to the Vantage S include hill-start assist and hydraulic braking assist, which aims to help the driver under emergency braking.

Exterior tweaks come in the form of V12 Vantage-aping bodykit, with carbon fibre all over and rather large 19" alloy wheels. Aston has shaved a total of 30kg from the weight of the standard Vantage.

Both coupe and convertible versions of the Vantage S will be available, with prices starting at £102,500.