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Auto Show:  2012 Geneva Auto Show

2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage: Geneva Auto Show


author photo by Nick Palermo March 2012

Upgrades for 2012 inspired by the Vantage S

Bigger brakes, wider tires and revised steering

New front bumper with splitter and intakes, prominent sills and rear diffuser

Optional 7-speed Sportshift II transmission


At the Geneva Auto Show, Aston Martin's entry-level Vantage V8 may take second stage to the new flagship V12 Zagato, but that doesn't mean it offers nothing new. The most accessible sports car from the venerable British automaker brings improvements from the Vantage S for 2012. These include freshened styling, chassis upgrades and an available seven-speed automatic.

More aggressive styling is courtesy of both the Vantage S and the limited-edition N400. A new front bumper incorporates a splitter and larger air intakes for engine and brake cooling. Prominent sills and rear diffuser emphasize the Vantage V8's sporting character.

That capability for high performance is bolstered by a host of mechanical upgrades also taken from the Vantage S. Aston fitted a new, quicker-ratio steering column for increased control and wider tires for better grip. Brakes are also upgraded, with new rotors and six-piston calipers up front. And to prove that the 2012 Vantage is not just sportier but easier to drive to, the brake system now includes hill hold for manual transmission models.

While a six-speed manual remains the standard gearbox, a new 7-speed automatic is now optional. With one more speed than its predecessor, the Sportshift II delivers quicker shifts between closer ratios than the Sportshift six-speed.

Power still comes from a 420-horsepower 4.7-liter engine, while the Vantage S remains mostly unchanged for 2012, with 430 horsepower and standard Sportshift II transmission. The 2012 Vantage V8 is priced at about $135,000. For about $24,000 more the S provides sport exhaust, carbon fiber aero components, hand-stitched leather and standard navigation and Bluetooth.

The Vantage V12 and new V12 Zagato are at the top of the Aston's Vantage sports car lineup, but this improved V8 is no slouch. Plus, even the bottom rung on Aston Martin's ladder is high enough that few sports cars can reach it.

What it means to you: Aston's most affordable car, the Vantage V8, gets refreshed styling and performance upgrades from the sportier Vantage S.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage: Geneva Auto Show - Autotrader