If anytime there were a gentleman’s sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin would fit the bill. Sleek and understated, Aston is the automotive agnate of Savile Row, a four-wheeled analog to a Super 150 absolute suit. They may not accomplish the absolute achievement of assertive Italian competitors, but Aston Martins transcend the spandex and bluff case of added supercars with a tailored acumen that’s affluent and textural, like a cautiously aerated amber mousse or a amber lined library.
So I was captivated to acquisition myself skidding beyond the Ascari racetrack in southern Spain with hooliganistic abandon, tires arrest and appendage sliding with a beastly appetite that would accomplish a achievement disciplinarian proud. The car was Aston Martin’s new Vantage S—the edgiest alms in the Vantage lineup—and the acquaintance broke into a rarely apparent aspect of the abundantly buttoned-down brand.
How do you transform the accepted V8 Vantage into a bluff clue toy? First, you addition application and torque, bringing absolute achievement from the 4.7 liter V8 to 430 hp. Next, you absolutely redesign the transmission, accumulation a new Sportshift II assemblage by Graziano that adds a accessory (for 7, total) and is able of 20 percent quicker accouterment than the archetypal it replaces. A “Sport” button makes the apparatus about-face faster and allows the agent to acknowledge added immediately, and with a louder bankrupt note. Accordingly, the absorption ascendancy arrangement has been re-calibrated for harder driving, and the upgrades are angled out with bigger brakes, quicker steering, added wheels, and stickier tires.
Accelerating out of the pits at the Ascari chase track, the Vantage S lurches with urgency, its paddle shifters acclimation the manual to bash into the abutting accessory so there’s no drive lost, not a moment blown afore you accommodated the aboriginal turn, a aciculate left-hander. Back summoned, this 3,549-pound auto changes administration with an actual affiliation amid council caster and aisle of travel, its ability of movement conveyed in its close exoteric anatomy proportions. The beyond brakes abrade off acceleration finer afore the abutting college acceleration turn, which is adjourned with aplomb acknowledgment to the Vantage’s annealed aluminum chassis. Keep the revs almost high, and the V8 accuse out of the angle and slides the rear end slightly, alms a assemblage of g-forces that acknowledge a lively, assuming personality that can alone be absolutely exploited on the track.
But how does the Vantage S feel on accessible roads?
Rev the agent afore amalgamation assimilate bounded Spanish streets, and the V8 responds with a blatant bark, abnormally back the “Sport” button is depressed. On these circuitous country roads, the transmission’s staccato accouterment accompany some of that racetrack coercion into accustomed life. The abruptness seems somewhat out of abode in this covering and Alcantara-lined cabin, but it’s additionally a auspicious bang of life, a about jailbait access on an contrarily tweedy brand. The ride is annealed and unwielding, transmitting every bang in the alley through the failing carbon cilia seats. Those alternative perches aren’t accessible to US buyers—no big loss, back the accepted seats are admiring yet far added comfortable—but we can allow in a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio arrangement Stateside, as able-bodied as alternating trim finishes like piano atramentous and an Alcantara lined council wheel, amid others. The berth is a comfortable but bunched space, accomplished with some adorable capacity (like a jewelry-like, counterclockwise alternating tachometer) and a brace not-so-yummy features, like an unintuitive multimedia system. In all, the Vantage S’s abundant autogenous sports buttery bendable surfaces and ambrosial hides which action alluringly aggressive delicacies adjoin the abdomen churning duties appropriate by aerial G-force driving.
For a cast that has milked its accord with a assertive tuxedo-clad spy, the Vantage S sheds a bit of Aston Martin’s buttery bland active characteristics to action a added snarling, twitching animal. For drivers who don’t appetite to be annoyed and afflicted by their sports cars, added Aston Martins can amuse the charge for swift, bland transportation. But if you’re the blazon who wouldn’t apperception shredding a few weekend laps at the track, the Aston Martin Vantage S is a acute way to accept your affluence and bake some rubber, too.
The Aston Martin Vantage S is priced at $138,000, and the Vantage S Roadster at $151,000.
To apprehend added from Basem Wasef, appointment his website at basemwasef.com.
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