liter DOHC V8
lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
hp @ 7000 rpm
hp per liter
(from Aston Martin
Press Release) Aston Martin unveiled the production
version of its eagerly awaited V8 Vantage at the 2005 Geneva
International Motor Show on Tuesday 1st March.
First shown as a concept car at the 2003 North American
International Auto Show in Detroit, the V8 Vantage immediately
caused a worldwide sensation as it allows Aston Martin to enter a
new sector of the premium sports car market with a genuine
alternative to other cars that are currently on offer.
Deliveries of the V8 Vantage to customers in the UK and Europe will
begin in late summer and in North America and the rest of the world
by the end of the year.
It will be built at Aston Martin’s Headquarters at Gaydon,
Warwickshire, UK, and completes the current Aston Martin line-up.
This now comprises the flagship Vanquish S, the elegant DB9 and the
agile V8 Vantage.
“The V8 Vantage is a significant car for us,“ explained Dr Ulrich
Bez, CEO of Aston Martin. “It is now the third model in our range
and is the culmination of the first phase of reinvigorating the
Aston Martin brand around the world that began in the year 2000.
“The V8 Vantage is a true Aston Martin, built with the same high
integrity and passion as all of our cars. This is the more
affordable Aston Martin and its design and agility should help to
widen our appeal and attract younger customers to our marque.”
“The real difference is that the V8 Vantage takes us into a new
sector of the market where we have not been previously represented.
The V8 Vantage has all of the hand-built bespoke attributes for
which Aston Martin is renowned.”
Styling & Design
The exterior of the V8
Vantage is beautiful and perfectly proportioned from every angle
with a low purposeful stance. Each carefully detailed feature
provides graphic evidence of the painstaking craftsmanship and
quality, which is synonymous with the Aston Martin marque.
The long bonnet and two-seater cabin creates an instantly
recognisable stance, while minimal front and rear overhangs,
combined with a wide track, appear to push the rear wheels out and
enhance the extremities of the bodywork. At the rear a hatchback
offers practicality not normally found in sports cars of this type.
“The V8 Vantage features many of the design cues that have become
basic DNA for all Aston Martin models and are leading edge in car
design,” added Dr Bez.
“It was important to ensure that the design was pure, clean and
innovative, while at the same time you should be able to cover the
front nose badge and instantly recognise the V8 Vantage as an Aston
Offered with an imaginative combination of different leathers,
contemporary fabrics and aluminium, V8 Vantage customers will have
an extensive choice of standard body and trim colours from which to
“From the outset, the look, feel and functionality of the interior
was a key priority”, said Aston Martin’s Interior Design Manager
Sarah Maynard. “We wanted to ensure the V8 Vantage reflected the new
direction that the company is now taking.”
The V8 Vantage is a two-seater, with the rear environment offering a
large luggage shelf area accessed by a tailgate.
Inside, Aston Martin’s craftsmanship is matched to striking 21st
century style. The dials are made from aluminium, and together with
the switchgear have a very distinct design and unique Aston Martin
look and feel.
“We wanted to continue to evolve the interior design we started with
the DB9,” added Sarah Maynard. “The V8 Vantage has all of those
attributes and like the DB9 everything you touch and see within the
cabin area is special to Aston Martin. The ambience of the cabin is
extremely important and we needed to ensure we continued to maintain
the high standards we have already set.”
Chassis, Engine and Performance
The V8 Vantage has
endured the most extensive test and development programme in the
Company’s 91 year history during which 78 Prototypes were vigorously
tested more than 1½ million miles. In Dubai over 12,000 miles of
testing was carried out where ambient temperatures regularly hit
48ºc and the bodywork of the cars reached 87ºc.
High speed testing was conducted at the Nardo test track in Italy
and extensive testing was carried out at Nurburgring’s Nordschleife
in Germany, and cold weather testing in temperatures as low as -30ºc
was undertaken in Sweden.
The V8 Vantage is the second model to use Aston Martin’s unique VH
(Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Constructed from lightweight
aluminium extrusions, precision castings and pressings, the
underframe is bonded with aerospace adhesives and mechanically fixed
with self-piercing rivets.
Certain complex parts of the frame are precision die cast in
aluminium; the door inner panels are cast magnesium and the
windscreen surround is a one piece aluminium casting.
The frame is bonded with cold-cure adhesive which has exceptional
damping properties that help soak up the vibrations which may
otherwise appear if the structure was welded.
The unique architecture provides an excellent backbone, while the
use of sophisticated materials such as lightweight alloys, magnesium
and advanced composites for the body further contributes to the
car’s low weight and class-leading rigidity.
The V8 Vantage uses a combination of aluminium, steel and advanced
composite exterior panels. Composites are used for panels with a
high degree of complexity and a deeper shape, such as the front
wings, which incorporate the distinctive side strakes.
Aston Martin’s engineers have worked with Ford Research and
Nottingham University to develop RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding)
composite panels, using unique processes and materials, resulting in
composite panels and extremely high surface finish. The process
ensures that the optimum amount of reinforcement material is used in
each area of the panel to ensure optimum strength and weight.
Steel pressings are used for the body side panels to achieve the
sheer depth of the design. This delivers the required style without
resorting to using several panels in the rear three-quarter area,
resulting in a remarkably clean and uncluttered appearance.
The V8 Vantage is very much a pure sports car, so from the outset,
the priority of Aston Martin’s engineers was to focus on a
lightweight, compact size, agility and power. At just 4.38 metres
long it is compact and very nimble and is the smallest model in the
Aston Martin range.
The all new 380 bhp engine is a 4.3 litre, low emissions all
aluminium alloy V8, unique to Aston Martin. This new V8 uses the
latest technology to deliver outstanding performance in all
The layout of the powertrain adopts a transaxle configuration,
whereby the front mid-mounted engine is connected to the
transmission - at the rear of the car - via a cast aluminium torque
tube and carbon fibre prop-shaft. This configuration provides the
car with a 49:51 weight distribution, giving outstanding handling
characteristics and excellent all round capabilities.
Aston Martin has adopted a dry-sump lubrication system for the V8
Vantage. Often used in racing cars, this system allows the engine to
sit very low in the body, lowering the centre of gravity which in
turn helps to improve handling and the overall balance and stability
of the car. The system also helps to improve engine durability by
maintaining lubrication under conditions of extreme cornering and
“This is precisely the set-up you want in a sports car,” explained
Jeremy Main, Product Development Director of Aston Martin. “It helps
maximise all of the aspects that you need to create an outstanding
The advanced quad-cam 32-valve engine is individually hand assembled
by skilled Aston Martin technicians at the company’s new engine
production facility in Cologne, Germany, where every Aston Martin
engine, including the V12 for Vanquish S and DB9, is built.
“The V8 engine is unique to Aston Martin,“ said Jeremy Main. “We
share expertise within the PAG organisation but this design is
totally new and not a shared engine. Every significant part of it is
unique from the specification of the cylinder block to the cylinder
heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, inlet and
exhaust manifolds, lubrication system and engine management.”
The bore and stroke dimensions are optimised to provide an excellent
balance between outright power and torque, while a resonance
induction system improves tractability and performance.
The inlet camshaft timing is variable resulting in improved low-end
throttle response, mid-range torque and seamless power delivery.
Maximum power is 380bhp @ 7000rpm and maximum torque 302lb ft @
The V8 Vantage will be initially offered with a 6-speed manual
transmission and other alternatives will be announced at a later
date. A great deal of time and effort has been spent ensuring that
the new transmission has a smooth and fast shift action to ensure
its ultra close ratios can be used to maximum effect.
"It is one of the best manual gear changes in the world," added
Jeremy Main. "Driving enjoyment is a very important quality of the
V8 Vantage and part of this is a superb gear change action."