There’s currently one key ingredient missing from the current Aston Martin line-up, and we’re sure you’ve already guessed that to be the Vantage. Not the older model, though, but an entirely new car not structurally related to the 2005 version. And here it is, in near-finished form and due to be revealed by the end of 2017.
Speaking of its structure, the car uses a new aluminium architecture derived from the longer DB11. The march of technological progress means a higher mastery of materials, resulting in a car that will be lighter while being more structurally rigid - always a useful attribute for a car that’s positioned as a tauter, sportier alternative to the larger Aston grand tourers.
Despite near-identical underpinnings, though, the all-new Vantage’s look will only draw a limited amount of inspiration from the DB11 but far more from the DB10, the car that was specifically built to feature as James Bond’s MI6 company car in Spectre. From the stance and profile of this camouflaged prototype, the resemblance is already uncanny.
Like all new-generation Aston Martins, this Vantage will not be naturally aspirated, instead housing the same Mercedes-AMG dry-sump M178 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that was most recently shoved into the lower-tier DB11, completing the first phase of the technical partnership inked in late 2013 with Daimler AG.
In the new Vantage, the engine operates with identical mechanical components but is governed by Aston Martin’s own engine management software. If it’s unchanged from the V8 DB11’s, we’re looking at 380kW and 675Nm, or roughly the same power as the older V12-powered DBS. Given all this grunt, even the base model will be far quicker than the previous generation. It’s expected to slash the 0-100km/h sprint time down to just 4.0 seconds, while top speed is believed to be in excess of 305km/h.
Like the outgoing model, Aston Martin is expected to cater for the high end with version of the Vantage that uses the 5.2-litre V12 introduced in last year’s DB11, producing 447kW and 700Nm. But while that motor will likely be mated to either a manual transmission or a ZF 8-speed automatic, the new (V8) Vantage could carry over the 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch used in the AMG GT.