The 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage doesn't have enough ratings to earn a valid Total Car Score.
Fictional spy James Bond is a proponent of the Aston Martin Vantage, but real-world consumers aren't able to purchase theirs with spike-producing tires, missiles and lasers. Nevertheless, the British automaker offers four eight-cylinder variants, all noted for their bonded aluminum chassis, beautiful styling, impeccable craftsmanship, accurate handling and capable powerplants.
On the flip side are the traditional, and frustrating, British ergonomics, which seem to put everything in the wrong place. The confusing navigation system is an embarrassment in such an expensive vehicle, and the Vantage's fuel economy is nothing to brag about.
First introduced six years ago, the Vantage lineup has been upgraded for 2012. The many enhancements include a new seven-speed Sportshift II automatic gearbox, suspension tuning, a revised steering ratio and a slight bump in power.
The 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a two-passenger two-door coupe or convertible offered in several trim levels: V8 Vantage Coupe, V8 Vantage S Coupe, V8 Vantage Roadster and V8 Vantage S Roadster.
Under the aluminum hood of the V8 Vantage is a naturally-aspirated 4.7-liter V8 rated at 420 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque -- enough power to propel the Vantage from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. The premium V8 Vantage S features the same engine, but it has been tuned to deliver 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. The standard V8 may be equipped with a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed single-clutch automatic transmission, but the Vantage S is only fitted with the faster-shifting automatic gearbox. All models are rear-wheel drive.
All V8 Vantage models are well appointed. Roadster (convertible) models feature a power-operated folding soft top with a heated glass window, while the coupes have a fixed aluminum panel overhead (no moonroof). Passengers enjoy premium full-grain leather upholstery and an extensive complement of power accessories. A 160-watt audio system, with iPod connectivity, is standard. The V8 Vantage S models are tuned for sportier performance with upgraded suspension, larger brakes and the aforementioned engine enhancements.
The options list for all V8 Vantage models is extensive. It includes a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen audio package, carbon-fiber aerodynamic package, sport suspension, lightweight seats, satellite radio, even an umbrella in the boot. Plus, customers are always offered dealer accessories and other bespoke cosmetic alterations from the factory.
The EPA rates the fuel economy of the 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage with the six-speed manual at 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 15 combined, while the more powerful Aston Martin V8 Vantage S earns 14/21/16.
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