Upon Aston Martin’s acquisition by the Ford Motor Company, the British luxury brand aimed to cater to a wider range of clientele with a series of models that demonstrated the brand was ready for the new millennium. No longer would it rely solely on existing tooling, styling, or chassis engineering from Jaguar – Aston Martin would develop its own engines and design language that would make their brand identity strong once again, capped off by the establishment of a new production facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The release of the DB9 and DB9 Volante proved to be successful, and competitive against grand tourers from the Italians and Germans, but Aston Martin wanted to aim for the segment below GT cars – two-door sports cars, where models such as the Porsche 911 long-reined supreme among enthusiasts and the worldwide market. That is where the next addition to their Gaydon-era lineup came in – the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. A car in today’s market, offers  a lot of great value for money for the modern enthusiast, or aspiring James Bond.

 

With a design based on the AMV8 Vantage concept car shown in 2003 at the North American International Auto Show, the production model was fully introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005 – released for the 2006 model year. The striking exterior of a Vantage has aged rather well to this day – even for a car that is more than 10 years old, it still looks modern on the outside, and is guaranteed to draw appreciators out on the road as it did when it first released.

The interior was also a great case for Aston Martin aiming to establish its brand identity across all aspects of its vehicles.

With plenty of leather-appointed surfaces in various color options, the contemporary design language continued in various parts of the cabin – including aluminium-finished trim pieces, a crystal keyfob (referred to as an ‘Emotional Control Unit’) that would be inserted in the center dashboard to start the engine, an instrument cluster with dials that resembled an expensive Swiss watch with the words ‘Power, Beauty, Soul’ displaying upon startup, and as a reminder of the attention to detail each car received, side door plaques proudly boasting the car was ‘Handbuilt in England’.

Engineering-wise, all V8 Vantage came equipped with a 4.3L naturally-aspirated V8 engine, with a bigger 4.7L V8 engine added for models after 2008. While some of its base structure shared with Jaguar’s AJ-V8 engine architecture, the Aston’s V8 engine stood out by featuring race-style dry-sump lubrication, allowing it to be mounted low in the chassis as a ‘front-engined midship for better weight distribution. Power was sent to the rear wheels, through either a 6-speed manual or automated manual ‘SportShift’ transmission.

Similar to rivals like the 911, multiple variants of the V8 Vantage were released throughout its production run – with reportedly around 28 variants made. These included lightweight, stripped-out, race-ready models like the Vantage N24, models sharing the same V12 engines as its DB9/DBS siblings (the V12 Vantage), and coachbuilt design experiments, such as the V12 Zagato.

Many are eager to point out how much value for money V8 Vantage, in Coupe or Convertible form offers in today’s market of enthusiast models. Not just limited to Aston Martin Owners Clubs and circles, but famous car personalities, journalists who raved about the car at its launch, and more. From YouTubers Doug Demuro (who famously owned his Vantage under an unlimited bumper-to-bumper warranty) and Tavarish (who bought the same Aston from Doug after he sold it, before buying it back yet again in 2023), to Jeremy Clarkson of BBC Top Gear fame, declaring the car in 2005 as the show’s ‘Best Sounding Car of the Year’ and The Coolest Car of the Year’. 

For a price that can’t be unmatched or beat among today’s cars, you can enjoy one of the best-sounding V8 soundtracks to come out of England, whilst living out your fantasies as a M15 operative with each drive.

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