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Auto review: The 2025 Aston Martin Vantage is the perfect driving accomplice

Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Aston Martin makes sumptuous sports cars that shake and stir the soul, lighting a driving passion that makes you feel as if your name should be Max, Lewis, Fernando or Lance. And let’s face it, there’s never been an ugly Aston Martin. Yet it’s been through bankruptcy seven times in its 111-year history — and survived. Of course, being automotive haute couture of the first order, Aston Martins are too attractive for the British automaker to die.

Exhibit A: the Aston Martin Vantage, a front-engine, rear-drive petrol-fed sports car that gets an extensive freshening for 2025. And while it may not look dramatically different, appearances can be deceiving. It’s 1.1-inches wider, with larger windows and side mirrors. There are matrix LED headlights, and a larger, taller grille to improve cooling the reworked 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine.

“It was scheduled in as an update to the existing vehicle, but actually, we went way beyond from a technological perspective,” said Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin. “So, this was more about platform-based advances.”

That would include the Vantage’s powerplant, which now pumps out 656 horsepower, 153 more than before. That’s enough muscle to run 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 202 mph. Engineers accomplished this by heavily reworking the Mercedes-AMG V-8, modifying its cam profile, improving its compression ratios, installing larger turbos, and increasing its breathing. It has the fierce flow of power you’d expect, but offers up a different persona than its German roots might suggest. There’s a veneer of civility that makes its fierceness entrancing, thanks to Aston’s extensive revisions.

It’s married to a ZF 8-speed gearbox and an all-new suspension featuring Bilstein adaptive dampers, an electronic rear differential and Aston-Martin-specific 21-inch Michelin Pilot S 5 tires. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional, saving nearly 60 pounds in unsprung mass.

Boasting a 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution and additional underbody stiffening to improve torsional rigidity, its performance is instantly enthralling. You’ll swear that its transmission is telepathic, as the gearbox is always in the appropriate gear, shifting when you would. If you’re a control freak, you’ll be thrilled ny the Vantage’s steering wheel paddle shifters, which actuate with razor-sharp accuracy,

 

This mobile missile performs with an amazing level of precision, captivating speed enthusiasts with its thrilling blend of precise handling and raw speed. Even at low speeds, it effortlessly and controllably accelerates, slides and rotates. You don't need to turn the wheel too much, as the steering is precise and swift. Furthermore, the car constantly communicates what’s going on through the wheel, seats and structure, while the carbon ceramic brakes bring things to a stop quicker than you can say, “was I speeding, officer?”

And it’s all capped by entrancing exhaust snarl. But this is a Vantage, an Aston Martin high-performance staple since 1950.

There are more revisions inside, due to the new electrical architecture being rolled throughout the Aston Martin lineup. It’s done in support of the new infotainment system, designed inhouse to replace the antiquated Mercedes-Benz unit. It’s far more intuitive and modern, and controlled through a 10.25-inch touchscreen. A 390-watt, 11-speaker audio system is standard, but opt for the impressive 15-speaker, double amplified, 1,170-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system. Its sound is impeccable should you ever tire of the Vantage’s internal combustion soundtrack. But how could you?

And driving this rapid transit morsel with gusto is easy for one simple reason. Designers have not insisted that all controls be banished to the touchscreen. They believe, and rightly so, that certain controls are better as physical buttons while driving at speed. Once you’re familiar with the center console, finding the control you want is simple.

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