After being completely redesigned for 2006, Aston Martin's Vantage continues into 2009 with few changes. The Vantage's V8 engine has grown to 4.8L and now generates 420 hp. Aston Martin has tinkered with the Sportshift transmission, and now it's more responsive and features smoother shifts. The center control console has been redesigned and the car adopted a version of big brother DBS' electronic key system.
The two-seat 2009 Vantage is more of a pure sports car than the larger, heavier 2+2 models from Aston Martin, and the Vantage ranks as the most affordable vehicle in the British automaker's exclusive model line. It's a direct competitor to the Porsche 911, and possibly the Jaguar XKR and the Audi R8.
Power on the 2009 Aston Martin Vantage is provided by a 420-horsepower, 4.8L V8 with dry-sump lubrication--for more consistent oil distribution in high-performance track driving--and variable inlet cam timing. With the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the Vantage can race to 60 miles per hour in a very respectable 4.7 seconds, reaching a top speed of 180 mph
There's also an optional SportShift transmission, which brings magnesium paddle shifters alongside the steering wheel to command quick upshifts or downshifts. It has a "creep" feature that allows the vehicle to behave like a conventional automatic when you lift off the brake pedal unlike several competing systems. The transmission has been improved a bit for 2009, and now features Comfort and Sport shift modes.
Handling is an especially strong suit for the Vantage. The gearbox is rear-mounted for a more even weight distribution, the engine's dry-sump configuration allows it to be mounted low, and the wishbone suspension helps manage the power and weight well on tight, curvy roads. The two-seat Vantage is somewhat heavy for a small sports car yet quite light for a V8 tourer. Thanks to the extensive use of aluminum components, it weighs less than 3,600 pounds.
The interior is laid out with tight, cockpit-like accommodations for two yet has materials and conveniences as commonly offered in luxury cars. The Vantage is available in a wide range of trims, including mahogany, bamboo, walnut, and Piano Black finishings. Platinum silver fittings are also available.
Side air bags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes are also standard. Key options include xenon headlamps, Bluetooth, parking sensors, alarm system upgrade, 700-watt audio system with surround sound and heated seats.
Taut handling; image and exclusivity.
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