By Gary Gastelu
Aston Martin has a new car for would-be James Bonds on budgets.
The 2019 Vantage V8 is the first all-new Vantage since 2005, the entry-level model racking up over 21,500 sales over the years to become the brand’s all-time best seller.
That’s thanks to its relatively low for an exotic car price that now starts at $149,995.
For that, you get the latest take on Aston Martin’s signature sleek, sinuous muscular styling, inspired by the DB10 that was specially-designed for for 007 to drive in the film ‘Spectre.’
Here it features a dramatic splitter and mesh sieve of a grill jutting from its shark nose, and a large diffuser under the the rear bumper that all give it a very motorsports look.
Performance to match is delivered by a Mercedes-AMG-engineered 503 hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 under the Vantage’s power dome hood that’s virtually the same one in Aston Martin’s $198,995 DB11.
It sends power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission (sorry, no manual transmission is available…yet) and electronic torque-vectoring limited slip differential capable of 100 percent lockup.
Aston Martin says the zero to 60 mph sprint takes 3.6 seconds on the way to a 195 mph top speed.
The two-seat cabin has a storage deck behind the seats, and a sculpted, leather-wrapped dashboard in front of them that steps away from Aston Martin’s recent single panel ‘waterfall’ center console design.
It’s topped by an 8-inch infotainment system display controlled by a knob on the transmission tunnel that will be familiar to anyone who’s driven a Mercedes-Benz lately, because it’s also supplied by the German automaker.
There are a lot of buttons and knobs, but don’t go looking for any to engage autonomous driving (or an ejector seat) as the only driver aid is a blind spot monitoring system, which is always helpful in a swoopy coupe.
Even higher performance models and a convertible version are sure to follow, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as this Vantage doesn’t even hit showrooms until next spring.
Photos: Drew Gibson