The dynamic brief for the new Vantage was simple. Make it as exciting and engaging as possible without compromising its everyday usability or making it too challenging for drivers of all abilities. The key to achieving this objective was complete integration of the powertrain, transmission, suspension and steering systems, which work in harmony to offer three distinct dynamic modes – Sport, Sport Plus and Track.
As the name of these modes suggests, the Vantage is never less than a sports car. Consequently, while ride comfort and pliancy remains an important quality, the Vantage is not attempting to deliver GT levels of suppleness. Precision, consistency and intuitive responses are constants, but as the driver works their way through Sport Plus and Track modes they will feel the whole car become increasingly responsive to their inputs. The throttle will feel sharper, the up and downshifts punchier and the steering more incisive and the suspension firmer.
The suspension uses a forged double wishbone design at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. Adaptive damping features as standard, with sensors on the car detecting the prevailing driving conditions, as well as the demands the driver is making of the car. A solidly-mounted rear subframe provides the most precise and consistent location for the rear suspension, which means the car responds with greater immediacy and gives a more detailed feeling of connection for the driver.
A crucial addition to the new Vantage is Dynamic Torque Vectoring and – for the first time on an Aston Martin – an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff). This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car’s behaviour, and can react accordingly to direct the engine’s power to the relevant wheel. Unlike a conventional LSD, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds. DTV significantly improves the car’s cornering capabilities and makes low to medium speed cornering far more satisfying.
At higher speeds the Electronic Differential’s speed and sensitivity of response enables the system to take very fine control of the car’s dynamic behaviour. Also, because the E-Diff is free from the fixed parameters and behaviour of a mechanical LSD it creates an inherent feeling of agility when making direction changes, but feels much more composed both in terms of its straight-line stability and once settled into a cornering. Working together the E-Diff and DTV systems increase cornering performance and provide the driver with increased levels of confidence, allowing them to explore and enjoy the car’s capabilities to the full, while not sacrificing low speed usability. Performance between the corners is equally scintillating, with a maximum speed of 195mph and the ability to hit 62mph from rest in just 3.7 seconds.
The braking system features ventilated two-piece 400mm cast-iron discs at the front, with ventilated 360mm discs at the rear, gripped by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers. The master cylinder and booster have been updated to ensure the Vantage feels and responds as a true sports car, creating a more responsive, confidence inspiring drive.
The wheels are 20” as standard with a choice of 2 wheel styles: 20” cast wheel designed to amplify the cars athletic stance and a 20” forged machined lightweight wheel designed to
enhance the dynamic experience and reduce mass. The tyres are Pirelli P Zero (255/40 at the front, 295 35 at the rear) which have been specifically tuned to suit the driving dynamics of Vantage in wet and dry conditions.
Chief of Vehicle Attribute Engineering, Matt Becker said: “With Vantage we’ve really ramped-up the feeling of agility, response and excitement. Key to this is the new Electronic Differential, which works with Dynamic Torque Vectoring and the car’s Dynamic Stability Control to make the car feel more responsive in slow and medium corners, but more stable in high-speed turns. We’ve put a huge amount of effort into the calibration of these electronic systems so the car feels natural and connected. It’s incredibly quick across the ground, but the speed doesn’t come at the expense of feel and enjoyment. It’s a proper driver’s car.”