The Aston Martin V8 Vantage's top is a bit more arched than that of the DB9. Gone is the DB9's trunk, replaced on the V8 Vantage with a hatch. The overall weight is kept down with the liberal use of aluminum throughout the body and frame, with further savings from magnesium inner door panels. Holding it all together are aerospace-quality adhesives and self-piercing rivets.
Turning the rear tires is an all-aluminum, 4.3-liter, 32-valve V8, which is bolted in up front and should crank out about 380 horsepower. A six-speed manual gearbox is mounted in the rear. Specific placement of the powertrain components helps the 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage achieve near perfect weight distribution, a big plus for handling.
Upon quick glance, only the discerning eye will notice the subtle differences between the 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage the larger DB9. Aside from its obvious smaller dimensions (it is the smallest Aston Martin model), a close inspection reveals revised front and rear fascias and a shorter rear overhang.
Unlike the DB9's four-passenger seating capacity, the smaller 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage has room for only two occupants. However, inside the rear hatch there's enough space for several overnight bags.
Production will be limited, but Americans wishing to adopt their own Aston Martin V8 Vantage will have their chance starting in late 2005.Photos courtesy of Aston Martin