It’s seldom that I get back-to-back drives in sister cars, and something special when the cars are from Aston Martin.
Ferrari has motor racing history, Lamborghini excels at the wow factor, Porsche is all let’s-get-down-to-business.
But Aston Martin, like no other marque, excels at glamour, something there is too little of left in the world.
Viana Mehl-Laituri and Matt from Aston Martin in Irvine, CA. let me spend some time in these two very different cars and both of these new Astons are absolutely wonderful.
The smallest and lightest car they build, the Vantage S is considered the “starter” car from Aston.
Now pumping out 10HP more in S trim, and mated with a very fast, very fun 6-speed, the Vantage S seems like a whole new car.
The good bits:
- Gorgeous exterior
- Interior- sporting but elegant, you know you’re in an Aston Martin, even in this “jun
- Great 6-Speed
- 0-60 around 4 flat
- Handling just gets better and better
- Sports exhaust opens up around 3000 RPM, it should open up at idle as the sound is just that good!
- Optional 1000 watt Bang & Olufsen stereo so you can play “Skyfall” from the movie until your ears fall off.
- A car that makes you feel much richer than you are.
- Price: about $120K delivered—and that’s a steal!
Competition: Porsche 911 SC
There is a reason the Aston Martin Vanquish is nearly 3 times as much money as the Vantage, and 50% more cylinders is just for starters.
The car is beautiful, much better looking than the old DBS, and though it’s billed as a sports car, this is a car for those who want to toss in a bunch of luggage, grab the wife, and spend a week on the road, wrapped up in a luxurious interior, arriving at each destination just as fresh as when you left. Let the fools of the world book an airline ticket!
Matt, my shotgun for the Vanquish test drive, showed me the little stuff like how to match the now fully integrated navigation/info display color with the interior color.
I could have spent the day running my hands over the details, from the Alcantara header, richly-patterned seats, leather-tipped paddle shifters, beautiful dashboard, and on and on…
Matt also showed me the big, important stuff, like how the S button connects to the nitrous and nice doggy shows teeth, compliant ride turns stiff, and it’s time to get serious.
Bought as a treat to one’s self, usually by a self-made, very successful, 45 year old male (Aston knows their demographics), one of 3 or 4 cars in his stable, often competing with a 2nd home, a piece of art, or an expensive watch.
The good bits:
- “Sports” button, that turns fast into furious
- V-12 sound
- Strikingly handsome exterior you could live in
- Price: a bit shy of $300K but you can bespoke this thing to your personal taste
This car still needs a duel clutch transmission now in place of what it has but I’m told that is in the works.
Competition: Bentley GTC Speed, Ferrari F12