2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S Review

Feb 14th

The S trailing the name of this Vantage stands for “sport”—hardly astonishing news—but the differences between sport and standard (one simply cannot employ so mundane a descriptor as “base” in connection with an Aston Martin) are a bit elusive. S means a little more motor, a little more brake, a little more rubber, a little less weight, some small trim distinctions, and, of course, a little more money.

Tweaking the Recipe

The engine is Aston’s familiar 4.7-liter aluminum V-8, with improved intake airflow, new mufflers, and new programming that keeps the exhaust system’s bypass valves open longer. The net is 430 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque, gains of 10 ponies and 15 lb-ft. Although it’s a small gain in output, the S’s new transmission (more on that in a moment) should help it whittle the Vantage’s 0-to-60-mph time down from the 4.3 of the last example we tested to about four flat. Beyond that, the menacing V-8 sounds that emerge when the bypass valves open up and the engine soars toward redline are almost worth the price premium on their own, with or without the extra thrust.

Engine output flows through a new single-clutch seven-speed Graziano automated manual to a limited-slip rear differential; the carbon fiber driveshaft spins in an aluminum torque tube. From there, power is applied to the pavement via a set of fat (285/35) Bridgestone Potenzas on 19-inch cast aluminum wheels. (The front tires measure 245/40-19.) Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by TONY SWAN

This review is about tweaking the recipe.

This post topic: Aston Martin, Aston Martin V12 Vantage

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