Aston Martin and the Vantage is the least expensive way to do it. Offered as a coupe or convertible, performance from the V8 Vantage’s engine is nothing short of brutish, at 420 or 430 hp; six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic transmissions are offered.
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The dawn of the Aston Martin DB11, coming later this summer, has overshadowed this new V8 a bit. That’s a shame because the Vantage GTS is the most aggressively playful thing I’ve driven all year.
It has the same 430-horsepower mid-mounted engine set on a six-speed rear-wheel drive. It’ll take you to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. That’s not the fastest sprint time ever, but this is a clear case of qualitative excellence vs. on-paper specs. (The 361 pound-feet of torque does help.) Top speed is 190mph.
It’s also welcome to note that the Vantage is just over 172 inches long, a full 10 inches shorter than, say, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and five inches shorter than even a base Porsche 911. You feel the difference: The Vantage gathers itself closer and tighter than they do, and its steering radius puts all others to shame.