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Aston Martin Unofficial Site » Cars » V8 Vantage » Dynamics
The V8 Vantage has a powerful 4.3 litre 283 kW (380 bhp) engine, unique to Aston Martin. This is an engine designed and built by Aston Martin for Aston Martin. Developed for flexibility as well as outright performance, the front mid-mounted V8 also delivers an outstanding aural experience, as one would expect of an Aston Martin with a potential maximum speed of 280 km/h (175 mph).
Extraordinary engine power is not the only reason for the superb performance of the V8 Vantage. Just as important is its lightweight, all-alloy structure, which offers class-leading strength and rigidity. The front mid-engined layout â€“ the dry sump lubrication system allows the engine to sit low â€“ and rear-mid transmission help provide optimum front to rear weight distribution as well as a low centre of gravity. The result is exceptional agility and inspired balance and handling.
Powerful, Musical V8 Engine
The V8 Vantage is a very fast sports car. With 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0 seconds and a potential maximum speed of 280 km/h (175 mph) its performance figures are as heady as you would expect of an Aston Martin.
Although there are many reasons for this excellent performance â€“ light weight and efficient aerodynamics among them â€“ the key is the engine, the heart of any great sports car. This new V8 has been specifically designed and developed for the V8 Vantage. Hand-assembled at Aston Martin's new, purpose-built engine facility in Cologne, Germany, it is a light, compact, all-alloy unit â€“ high-performance, yet responsive even at the lower end of the rev range. Its maximum torque is an impressive 410 Nm (302 lb ft) @ 5000 rpm, 75 per cent of which is delivered at just 1500 rpm â€“ barely more than idle â€“ making the V8 Vantage extremely tractable and great fun to drive. Push harder, and the V8 engine revs freely, delivering refined, exhilarating pace.
The advanced body structure of the V8 Vantage is the key to its superb handling and responsiveness. The unique-to-Aston Martin all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) 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 immense strength and rigidity of this structure has a number of benefits: it provides a stable platform from which the suspension can control the car, gives the driver enhanced control and feel, effectively increases the strength and safety of the passenger cell and improves build quality. For rivals who use conventional materials, boosting strength means adding weight, which dulls both performance and agility. Aston Martin's no-compromise approach ensures the driver gets not only a safer, sounder car, but improved performance and sharper responses, too.
The light, strong body structure of the V8 Vantage is perfectly matched to the specially designed fully independent double wishbone suspension, resulting in outstanding handling and excellent ride quality. Fundamental to its handling capabilities is the fact that the V8 Vantage is naturally well balanced. And because it does not have to compensate for an excess of weight over either the front or the rear of the car, the suspension is uncompromised â€“ tuned for optimal handling and control.
The suspension wishbones are aluminium, as are the dampers to save even more weight. The steering rack is solidly mounted forward of the front wheels â€“ common on racing cars but rarely seen on road cars â€“ for better control, and to provide the driver with greater feedback and response.
If a car is to have natural agility it must also have a low polar moment of inertia and excellent weight distribution. In order to achieve this, the V8 Vantage is designed to concentrate as much weight as possible within the wheelbase, with minimal front and rear overhangs. The engine is positioned ahead of the cabin but well behind the front axle line, making the V8 Vantage a front mid-engined car. Dry sump lubrication, normally a motorsport application, enables the engine to sit lower in the car, which further improves handling by lowering the centre of gravity. Dry sump lubrication also allows for greater cornering speeds, as there is minimal danger of g-forces denying oil supply to the engine.
Improving weight distribution still further, the transmission is mid-rear mounted â€“ forward of the rear 'axle' line â€“ and connected to the engine by a rigid, cast aluminium torque tube, which houses the immensely strong and light carbon-fibre propeller shaft. A fast-shifting, six-speed manual gearbox is standard, its ratios perfectly matched to the performance of the V8 engine.
Dynamically, the V8 Vantage has enviable credentials: a high-performance, advanced, lightweight V8 engine, one of the most lightweight, rigid body structures available, fully independent double wishbone suspension and optimum weight distribution. Put them together and it's little wonder that the result is a supremely agile and entertaining sports car.
On-road communication and feel are essential to a sports car, for any elasticity between the driver and the contact point of the tyre diminishes the driving experience. The driver needs to know exactly how the car is behaving. That's why the body structure of the V8 Vantage is so rigid: it ensures maximum communication between road and hand, between tyre and torso. The car's behaviour is relayed faithfully and accurately, ensuring an undiluted driving experience, yet it remains tractable and easy to drive â€“ fast or slow.
The flexibility of the engine and the easy-to-use controls make everyday town or city driving simple and uncomplicated. Electronic safety controls provide further reassurance. Braking power is awesome, with massive disc brakes â€“ 355 mm diameter at the front, 330 mm at the rear â€“ that are both ventilated and grooved. For the V8 Vantage, grooving is a better solution than conventional cross-drilling of the discs, as they work more effectively with the brake pads and do not fill with brake pad dust. Dynamic Stability Control, ABS, Traction Control and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution also feature as standard for added peace of mind. There's a choice of two alloy wheel styles â€“ 18 inch or 19 inch in diameter â€“ fitted with specially tuned high-performance tyres.
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