Photography and video by ©2016 Toni Avery
Whether it’s the perpetual cool factor that comes with being James Bond or those curvaceous bodies that envelope its powerful heart, we’ve come to understand that the namesake that is Aston Martin represents beauty, power and status for those lucky enough to own one.
This Vantage GT is equipped with a 4.7 L V8 engine producing 430 HP and 361 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transaxle.
This is said to be one of the last iterations of the Vantage model for another several years as well as the last to be powered by an Aston Martin engine and a naturally aspirated one at that (the next generation will be powered by a Mercedes-Benz AMG twin-turbo V8 engine).
Having driven a 2007 V8 Vantage with a 4.3 L engine (an enlarged Jaguar 4.2), this Vantage is by far superior. Not only does the larger displacement engine allow for more power, but it also substantially livens up the car. This Vantage, while not a lightweight (weighing in around 3,600) feels all-around lighter than the 2007 I drove, even though it’s not. And boy, does this Aston loves to rev all the way up to its RPM redline. I’ve driven a lot of super quick turbocharged cars that receive all their power low down in the range, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as winding the car all the way up to its rev limits. Let’s not forget the sound. The 2007 Vantage had its exhaust flap deactivated so it was eternally loud, but this Vantage GT sounds just as good without needing to deactivate the flap. I especially love just how pissed off it sounds when you push in that crystal key and all eight cylinders come screaming to life.
The hydraulic steering is heavier than most other cars I have tested with electric steering, but the benefit here is that you feel everything and nothing is muffled. It’s an incredibly connected feeling when turning the GT through a high-speed turn or even just around town. The sport-tuned suspension allows for just enough road feel without feeling beat up and is incredibly planted when cornering. The manual trans is far more refined than the ’07 with a smoother feeling linkage and a more rewarding overall experience.
One of the biggest differences I noticed was just how much lighter the pedals felt than the 2007 Vantage. The clutch was uncomfortably heavy in the older Vantage but in this car the pedals offer just the right amount of weight when depressed or traveling out. The brakes also perform miles better than the ’07 with aggressive stopping power for maximum braking effect. While they aren’t the best I’ve used, they are good.
Road and interior cabin noise is minimal even when cruising at highway speeds. While the interior is stunning to look at, I wouldn’t want to be a passenger in this car. The best place to be is behind the leather wrapped steering wheel.
The exterior of this Vantage GT features a Carbon Fibre Splitter and Diffuser (optional), Yellow Brake Calipers (optional), Black Vaned Front Grille (optional), GT Graphics Package (optional), Carbon Fibre Mirror Caps (optional), Carbon Side Strakes (optional), five Spoke Gloss Black DT Wheels (optional) with the car finished in Alloro Green.
The Vantage is an older body style but is still one of the prettiest in the AM lineup. With its curved rear and low front it looks as though it’s about to pounce. The GT Graphics Package and standard accent color add a real racing inspired look. I’d usually say a car this pretty doesn’t need all the colors and graphics, but it really does offer a complete racing look.
The wheels are a nice contrast to the bright accent paint colors and the unique finish on the exhaust tips adds an aggressive edge to the rear of the car. Caron Fibre accents bring the racing theme full circle and offer another texture to the exterior.
Inside the Vantage GT is an all black space featuring leather and Alcantara seats and contrasting yellow stitching, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Audio system (optional), Heated Front Seats (optional), Memory Seats (optional), Piano Black Interior Trim Pack (optional), and the Technology Pack (optional).
The ’07 Vantage really lacked in a few key areas on the interior. It featured nice materials and textures but the comfort of the seats and the infotainment functions were lackluster. The Vantage GT on the other hand fixes all that and more. The seat comfort is where it should be for a car of its price point and they overall look even better. While it may be all black, the contrasting yellow stitching breaks up what could be a boring space.
The center stack is taken straight from a Vanquish and brings a higher end feel to the interior. It seems as though AM has even continued its wing theme through the shape of the center stack functions.
Infotainment is night-and-day better. It actually works and makes sense while using. It’s actually intuitive! You even get a neat instant power and torque meter that you can monitor while driving. The small digital display in the gauge cluster also offers more functions such as tire pressure monitoring. The Bang & Olufsen sound system, while beyond pricey for my taste, offers crisp, clear and recording studio like sound. It’s certainly a must for any music lover. And finally, there actually is a decent amount of trunk space for a weekend trip for two or a longer trip for one.
Sure, there are quicker, faster and more powerful cars out there for the price point, but they don’t offer what this last generation Vantage GT does. An enthusiast focused car without a numb electronic steering unit, a transaxle that you control not one of those paddle types, or an engine that is power enhanced by a turbo or supercharger. No, this Aston Martin Vantage GT has none of that and makes no apologies. It’s a true drivers car that demonstrates the finest in engineering from an automaker that is known for just that.
2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT:
Base Price: $103,300
Alarm Upgrade Volumetric & Tilt Sens, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Audio,
Carbon Fibre Splitter & Diffuser, Brake Calipers – Yellow,
Black Vaned Front Grille, Heated Front Seats, GT Graphics Pack,
Piano Black Interior Trim Pack, Memory Seats, Carbon Fibre Door Mirror Caps,
Carbon Side Strakes, Technology Pack, Fascia Trim – Full Length Piano Black,
5 spoke Gloss Black DT Wheels
Price with Options: $137,235
Gas Guzzler Tax: $1,700
Destination Charge: $2,825
Total Price: $141,760
Fuel Economy: 13 City, 19 Highway, 15 Combined
GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT an overall rating of (out of 5 total):