On the floor the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version would possibly seem like little greater than an excessive and costly new model of a automobile we already know and principally love, with improved efficiency, steering and dealing with, and tweaks to the inside that make it really feel extra particular than earlier than. However in actuality it’s a signal of issues to return underneath the brand new regime at Aston Martin, and it’s a great signal. In locations, a terrific signal, in truth. We will’t wait to see what’s subsequent.
Simply over a 12 months in the past some seismic adjustments happened at Aston Martin. It re-entered Formulation One as a producer in its personal proper, having not been within the sport since 1960, and it appointed a brand new boss, Tobias Moers, who had beforehand been in cost at Mercedes-AMG.
So it made sense to launch a brand new model of an current street automobile to have fun these two vital occasions, and the £142,000 Vantage F1 Edition is it.
Fairly some automobile it’s, too, and never merely as a result of it’s one of many new tempo automobiles at grands prix. Together with a brand new vary of paints, the Vantage F1 has been modified to make it sharper, faster and extra targeted than the V8 Vantage on which it’s based mostly.
Automotive group exams
The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and eight-speed ZF auto gearbox have been tweaked digitally to offer the F1 but extra intent. Energy rises from 503bhp to 528bhp, though torque stays the identical at 685Nm.
Because of this, the 0-62mph time drops to three.6 seconds, whereas the highest velocity climbs to 195mph, or 190mph should you go for the Roadster, and it accelerates with all the menace and V8 theatre the Vantage all the time has. The engine was by no means a difficulty.
The larger adjustments have taken place inside the suspension and, as you possibly can clearly see, the aerodynamics. Due to an enormous new rear wing and rear diffuser, and an almost-as-dramatic new entrance splitter, downforce has been elevated by a formidable 200kg, say Aston’s engineers.
On the identical time the dampers have been upgraded to enhance physique management in any respect speeds, however particularly at excessive velocities, and the entire rear finish is stiffer (however not essentially much less comfy, in accordance with Aston), because of a beefier new anti-roll bar.
At every nook sits a large new 21-inch wheel with a Pirelli P-Zero tyre wrapped round its rim, and our take a look at automobile additionally had an elective carbon-ceramic disc at every nook, though the usual brakes are comprised of metal and iron.
Inside, the F1 feels just like, however subtly completely different from, the common Vantage, with suede adorning most of the surfaces, and a pair of chunky sports activities seats that make it really feel much more targeted from behind the wheel, even when the devices and eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system are unchanged.
On the transfer, the F1 additionally feels just like the common Vantage in its primary dynamics, however simply higher in every thing it does. What it categorically doesn’t really feel like is a thinly disguised street racer. The way in which it rides alone is much too good for it to be accused of that.
Because it seems, although, the F1 drives and behaves very very like a mannequin in its personal proper. It’s an excessive iteration of the Vantage visually, sure, however one which’s truly superb certainly to drive when you persuade your self to look past that vast new rear wing.
As such, it supplies a powerful perception as to what we are able to anticipate from all Aston Martins sooner or later, you’d hope. Particularly, a extra cohesive really feel to the steering, throttle, brakes, chassis and suspension, plus – and that is an important component of all – a notably higher-quality really feel to the belongings you take without any consideration once they work completely, however which irritate deeply once they don’t.
You get the delicate however distinct impression that extra effort and time have been put into such issues within the F1. Because of this, it feels extra strong and easily higher put collectively than any earlier Vantage we’ve pushed.
It additionally goes spherical corners relatively properly and has extra grip on street and monitor, whereas the stiffer rear has additionally had a constructive knock-on impact to its steering, which is now pretty.
As marketed, vertical management can also be manner higher than earlier than, but on the identical time the automobile has extra traction and, if something, rides with extra precision on the street with the dampers of their softer settings.
All in all, and regardless of its whopping £142,000 price ticket, the Vantage F1 is a superb automobile from the brand new regime. As an indication of issues to return, it’s very promising certainly.
|Mannequin:||Aaton Martin Vantage F1 Version|
|Engine:||4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automated, rear-wheel drive|