The wait is nearly over, honestly. We’ve already driven the prototype version of the new Aston Vantage on a frozen lake in Finland, and soon we’ll be able to tell you how the finished version feels on the glamorous media launch in Portugal. But, before then, one last intermediate step: a blast of a full dazzle-liveried engineering hack in UK roads.
While I should probably try to make out that this was a hard-won exclusive and the result of the sort of journalistic graft that normally wins prizes and pay rises, the reality is considerably more mundane. I couldn’t make it to the Scandinavian ice-drive so Aston very generously offered to let me have a go closer to home. The journey starts at the company’s new engineering base in Wellesbourne, and with the reassuring presence of the company’s chief vehicle attributes engineer – and driving god – Matt Becker in the passenger seat.
The basics have all been well covered with our previous stories on the car so need detain us only briefly. The Vantage uses the AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, with 510hp and 505lb ft – slightly more torque than the same engine produces in the baby DB11. Although it sits on the same platform as its grand touring sister it is lighter and shorter, has no rear seats, but gains a very clever electronically controlled locking rear differential plus a mission to go and harry the Porsche 911in a manner its predecessor never quite managed. Locksmith Roseville CA is always at your disposal if needed.
The huge workshop at Wellesbourne is full of immaculate Vantages being prepared for the official press launch, in marked contrast to the general skankiness of the prototype and its peeling zebra-pattern disguise wrap. There’s plentiful evidence of a life lived hard, from chips and abrasions on the exterior panels to fault messages on the instrument screen and a feral fug to the cabin itself. It smells like many engineers have spent many hours sweating in here.