Aston Martin V12

Vantage stays

sublime

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, front, action
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, front
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, rear
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, side
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, cockpit
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, bonnet vents
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, trim
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, interior
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Coupe, badge

LIFE is beginning to look a lot more rosy for UK supercar maker Aston Martin.

After years of struggling to make ends meet with the Warwickshire-based company reported record profits last year with new car sales up by around two per cent to 3,687 units.

The upward trend is continuing all helped by the launch earlier this year of the new DB11 5.2-litre twin turbo sports car.

Other models in the updated Aston range are also seeing sales increase, including the long-standing Vantage which in V12 guise is the fastest road-going car currently in the Aston Martin stable.

As such 0 to 62mph takes a mere 3.9 seconds and should the driver wish it has a top speed of 205mph - clearly to be experienced only on the most suitable of race tracks.

In supercar terms it may seem odd that a model like the Vantage has been around for years but it still commands buyer appeal and despite its basic asking price of £138,000 it remains a key model in the company's set-up.

The current Vantage replaced the old model back in 2013 and now it has been given more power - the 6.0-litre V12 engine now sends out a powerful 565bhp - meaning that it provides more than a meaningful punch in terms of performance.

Along with the expected added on high technology features such as new adaptive damping and stronger carbon brakes, the key to its driver appeal has to be the new seven-speed automated manual transaxle gearbox, called Sportshift 111.

This piece of high quality technology really makes the V12 Vanquish such a great car to drive, and so easy too, with quick and effortless up and down gear changes.

This car has no roll cage but plenty of on-board, high tech features like stability control and the like which help the driver keep it safely on the Tarmac.

The Vantage still stands up well against some newer supercar makes and the driver has a choice of three driving modes - normal, sport and track.

For the more enthusiastic driver, sport mode is exceptionally good while for lesser mortals (and those worried about points on their licence) the Vantage gives an equally satisfying road-going performance in normal mode.

From the outside the car looks fresh in terms of styling and design and really hasn't aged at all, still looking quite muscular, particularly at the front where there are now four carbon fibre bonnet vents to let all that rather hot air emerging from the engine bay.

Sit inside and then the level of the game has been upped to match rivals and the Vantage is a true supercar in every aspect.

There's loads of Alcantra leather on the steering wheel and sport seat coverings and the dashboard contains the now obligatory infotainment system - drivers can now have up to 1,000 Watts blasting out from the Bang & Olufsen sound module - but everything about the interior oozes of quality at its best,

Both the coupe and roadster versions of the Vantage have a comprehensive list of standard features that include six airbags, stability control and carbon ceramic brakes plus a host of extras to personalise their own car.

Naturally, it remains a two-seater car and there is a boot with 239 litres of luggage space which is about par for the course.

Out driving, whether in a sporty or sedate manner, the V12 Vantage is a nicely balanced car but with exceptionally fast cornering ability, fantastic road grip and strong brakes to cope with all that power.

Aston claims an official fuel return of 19.2mpg with emissions of 343g/km and in everyday use that's not far off the mark.

In truth the Vantage may have been around a long time but the constant updating inside and underneath has paid dividends. It's easy to see why it still appeals to so many sports car driving enthusiast.

Yes, it's expensive but then you do get an awful of motor car for the money and at £138,000 many buyers will regard it as a bargain in the supercar league.

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