The latest Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a sports car with a compact design. The name "Vantage" has traditionally been used by the company to describe their high end sports cars, and the V8 Vantage was the named used for their supercars during the 1970s and 1980s. In sharp constrast, the latest Aston Martin V8 Vantage model is one of the less powerful cars currently produced by the company. It is much more affordable than other models, and is designed to compete with the Porsche 911.
The 1977 model of the V8 Vantage was the introduction of the Aston Martin supercar. It could reach a top speed of 170 miles per hour, and it used the same engine as the Lagonda. Despite this, the 1977 V8 Vantage was renown for having powerful camshafts and a much larger carburetor than the Lagonda models. Though it was a big car, it only housed two seats. One of the features which separated the 1977 V8 Vantage model from others cars in the V8 line was the hood which was closed off with a bulge. The other V8 models had an open scoop design.
Slight changes where made in the series III V8 Vantage models which were produced between 1986 and 1989. Sixteen inch wheels were added, and the US models were much less powerful than their British counterparts. A convertible version of this model called the Vantage Volante was also introduced around this time. The Vantage begin to become very popular as it was featured in many James Bond films. The 1987 James Bond movie called The Living Daylights showcases the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and this helped the vehicle get some exposure in foreign markets.
The latest V8 Vantage was showcased at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It is powered by a V8 engine which is 4.3 L, and has 32 valves. It can produce about 380 hp and the engine uses a dry-sump system which is new to Aston Martin vehicles. The engine is built by hand in a factory in Germany, and uses a design which is based on the Jaguar V8 engine. The latest V8 Vantage is capable in going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 5 seconds. It is able to compete against the Aston Martin DB9 primarily because of its light weight.
While it lacks the power of other Aston Martin models, the latest V8 Vantage is much less costly, starting at only 79 to 104,000 euros. The company intends on building at least 4000 models each year.