Image credits: © Aston Martin.

2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The design brief for the V8 Vantage dictated a style that could not be anything else but Aston Martin. Elegant, yet with a controlled aggression. Perfectly proportioned, with a low purposeful stance. Modern, yet incorporating classic Aston Martin design cues. Like all Aston Martin sports cars, it is simple, understated and beautiful. And like all Aston Martin sports cars, its beauty is more than skin deep.

Outside, the V8 Vantage displays beautiful sports car lines, while maintaining a unique identity. Inside, its traditional craftsmanship is matched to striking 21st century style. Hand-trimmed in the finest quality materials, the cabin is that of an authentic sports car. Driver and passenger sit low, close to the car's centre of gravity, where they can feel the car reacting to the input of the driver – it's a special sensation, usually only experienced in racing cars. The connection between car and driver is very direct. Very sporting. Instantaneous.

The long, low bonnet line and two-seater cabin of the V8 Vantage offer an attractive balance between beauty and pure aggression. The car sits low and close to the road, while the front and rear overhangs have been purposely minimised.

Essentially it's a sports car with a simple goal – to provide maximum exhilaration – yet it is also one of the world's most beautiful cars. The side profile is an elegant, simple sweep, creating a curved line rather like a bow under tension, while the rear haunches are wide and muscular, like those of a powerful animal. It is a pure, elegant design – but, above all, instantly recognisable as an Aston Martin.

The design team's brief was to give the V8 Vantage the look of a well-toned athlete wearing a skin-tight suit. With its taut, almost stretched surfaces, the car achieves perfectly that muscular, close-cut look.

The V8 Vantage is very much a pure sports car, so the Aston Martin engineers' priority from the outset was to focus on light weight, compact size, agility and power. At just 4.38 metres (172.5 in) long, not only is it the smallest model in the Aston Martin range and one of the leanest cars in its class, but it is light, too, and very nimble. Hand-finished body panels provide delectable shapes and perfect fit, while an all-alloy underbody structure – derived from aerospace technology – incorporates bonded aluminium extrusions and castings for superb rigidity and minimal weight. The bonnet and roof are also constructed from lightweight alloy, while the front wings, tailgate and sills are produced from advanced composites

The large single-piece body sides are hand-finished steel pressings, and include the entire rear three-quarter area – or haunches – of the car. A single pressing means the side and rear three-quarter style is especially clean, with the minimum of unsightly shut lines.

The V8 Vantage could not be anything else but an Aston Martin. It is a modern shape that bears a direct lineage to some of the great Aston Martin models of the past, such as the Aston Martin DB2 – praised at the time as 'one of the most beautiful cars in the world' by Motor Magazine in April 1950 – and its successors, the DB2/4 and DB4. They were not just handsome, but very fast sports cars that were also immensely practical and could be used every day. Just like the V8 Vantage.

Beauty From Within
Like all Aston Martins, the V8 Vantage is hand-assembled and hand-finished. Hand-craftsmanship not only improves quality, but can also improve styling. Aston Martin's designers enjoy fewer constraints than those faced in mass production, giving them the freedom to produce the perfect form.

Hand-assembly also avoids unsightly solutions to the inflexibility of mass production. For instance, the bonnet of the V8 Vantage has shut lines that travel all the way to the front of the car, without the need for a separate nose cone, so providing a cleaner, crisper design. Furthermore, the V8 Vantage uses metal mesh grilles and trims instead of the typical plastic alternatives. Integrity is a cornerstone at Aston Martin and we believe that everything has to be right.

Soul Mate
From the moment you first sit in the V8 Vantage, you connect with it. It's a bond created partly by the natural agility of the car, but also by the embrace of the authentic sports car cabin. Hand-trimmed in the finest quality materials, it is simple, logical and beautifully designed; everything you and your passenger touch is unique to Aston Martin.

The instrument pack is beautifully crafted from aluminium and has a three-dimensional profile for easy reading. To create a clear, simple design, most of the warning lights are hidden behind the aluminium faces, becoming visible only when illuminated. The central message displays, meanwhile, are organic electroluminescent (OEL) – a process pioneered by Aston Martin – making them easier to read than conventional LCDs.

A synthesis of high technology and hand-crafted elegance, the interior features an optional pop-up satellite navigation screen, class-leading audio system and even a glass starter button.

The V8 Vantage is a pure two-seater, a car dedicated to providing the most exhilarating driving experience possible, but that doesn't mean it is not practical. As well as a generous rear shelf, ideal for soft bags and holdalls, there's another, surprisingly large, luggage area, easily accessed via a one-piece lightweight composite tailgate. It's the only sports car of its type today to feature a 'hatchback' – a design first used by Aston Martin on the DB2/4 of the early 1950s.

Source - Aston Martin

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