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Looking the Part

<< Back to Robb Report, Robb Report April 2015

The Aston Martin Vantage GT has the appearance of a winner.

There is a motorsports adage that says the best way to make a small fortune in racing is to begin with a large one. Such cynicism predates the Aston Martin Vantage GT, a new version of the V8 Vantage that has a starting price of just under $100,000. The car can be taken to the track, but just by channeling the marque’s racing heritage, it will indulge a driver’s checkered-flag fantasies.

Available as a coupe or a roadster, the Vantage GT uses the same lightweight aluminum chassis as Aston Martin’s GT4 Challenge racecar. It is powered by the company’s 4.7-liter V-8 engine, which produces 430 hp and 361 ft lbs of torque and propels the Vantage GT from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is 190 mph. The car comes with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional automated manual with paddle shifters.

Aston Martin offers the Vantage GT in five liveries, including color schemes that reference the marque’s notable sports cars of the recent and more distant past. The Alloro Green exterior with yellow trim echoes that of the CC100 Speedster, the V-12–powered concept car that Aston Martin introduced in 2013 to celebrate its 100th anniversary; the company built only two examples. The Speedster’s green is based on the color of the DBR1 racecar that Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori drove to victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. Another color scheme, Mariana Blue with red accents (including what Aston Martin refers to as “lipstick” around the grille), recalls UWL 333, the DB2/4 that the British gentleman racer Bobby Parke piloted to five victories in 1955. The Skyfall Silver color option is a nod to James Bond’s DB5 of the mid-1960s, though it includes white accents to give the car a more contemporary look. 

The Vantage GT is equipped with forged alloy or gray graphite wheels, which are wrapped in high-performance Bridgestone Potenza tires. The car’s big, powerful brakes include calipers painted in a choice of five colors, including yellow and red.

The driver-centric cockpit encourages you to channel your inner Shelby. The sport seats are wrapped in sumptuous leather and Alcantara with contrast stitching, and they cradle every body curve. 

The Vantage GT costs about $20,000 less than the standard V8 Vantage coupe, but with the price difference comes a trade-off: The new car is not ideal for daily commuting or long road trips. It is, however, well suited to driving on Sundays, carving canyon roads, and passing hypermilers on two-lane highways. With its sport-tuned suspension, the Vantage GT stays firmly planted over every pit and pebble. After you take it for a whirl around the block, driving another sports car can feel like piloting a sofa. And then there is the growl of the engine: It is the perfect sound for a car that appears poised for podium finishes.  

Aston Martin, astonmartin.com

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