The new Aston Martin Vantage. It has been a long time since the Vantage was originally introduced. Aston Martin aimed to capture the Porsche 911 market with the Vantage. I assume that they thought making a car louder would convince Porsche 911 owners to buy an Aston Martin. However, things did not go as planned, and Vantage never managed to capture the Porsche 911 market as they wanted to. On the other hand, the Vantage was a smaller scale version of the DB9. Furthermore, the Ford divorce put financial pressure on Aston Martin, and the Vantage couldn’t keep up with the Porsche 911.
A few days ago, Aston Martin revealed the second-generation Vantage. This time, it does not have a significant design resemblance to the other Aston Martins. It actually looks like a Tesla from the front. Despite this resemblance, the new Vantage shares the same engine as the Mercedes AMG GT. In case you wonder how could this happen, the Mercedes-AMG is helping Aston Martin! This is probably because soon Daimler AG will buy Aston Martin and it will become part of the Daimler group, and use all the Mercedes-Benz engines and telematic systems. They will be great for Aston Martin, because the Aston Martin’s technology is stuck in early 2000s!
The new Vantage did not change this tradition. It does not offer any significant or ground-breaking driving assistance systems. Yes, it is a light car, and the drive train is designed by ex-Lotus engineers. It still offers a manual gearbox. However, the era of making a loud engine has passed.
Unfortunately, Aston Martin can’t sustain their business with the “We are luxury and we ignore technology” approach. The new generation will not buy their cars. People look for driving assistance systems, pre-crash systems that can sense a crash before it happens, semi-autonomous driving. I have told this to people in the automotive industry and they always ignore it.
Vantage is not that bad. It offers 100% locking rear-differential and torque vectoring via braking (a similar technology is used in Fords). The weight balance is perfect at 50:50. The rear positioned ZF eight speed automatic makes for the perfect weight balance. The Mercedes-AMG source engine offers great performance in terms of fuel economy. However, I couldn’t see any driving assistance system information in the press release. Actually, Aston Martin said that the Vantage is iPod compatible. iPod is technically out of production now, only iPod Touch is available!
Yes, the Vantage looks totally different from the outside to the inside. The interior does not share the clean minimalist design of the other Aston Martins, and is designed more aggressively. The exterior design is a reflection of the Vantage, and does not look like the other Aston Martins.
Aston Martin is experiencing the confirmation-bias issues faced by all the other luxury brands. They still wish to resist the changing world, and assume that people are happy with this. However, the world is changing very rapidly. Tesla just announced an electric powered coupe that can accelerate to 100 km/h in 1.9-sec! And one that costs a fraction of a Bugatti. We use smartphone more than anything else. We live in smart buildings and the luxury car world is trying to send emails using typewriters!
I really want to see a Mercedes-Benz S-Coupe-based Aston Martin.
Photo Credit // Aston Martin