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                                                                         2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
            
                          IMAGE  CREDITS -Aston Martin

                                               

ASTON MARTIN LAUNCHES THE V8 VANTAGE

The Third Model from Aston Martin

Geneva - Aston Martin unveiled the production version of its eagerly awaited V8 Vantage at the 2005 Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday 1 st March.
   

First shown as a concept car at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the V8 Vantage immediately caused a worldwide sensation as it allows Aston Martin to enter a new sector of the premium sports car market with a genuine alternative to other cars that are currently on offer.               

                                           Specifications
      Engine                                      4.3 liter DOHC V8
      HP    380 HP@ 7000 rpm
      Displacement     262.4 CI / 4300 CC
      Torque    302 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
      Weight lb (kg)    3461 (1570)
      Acceleration 0-62  mph        5 sec.
      Top speed    175 mph
      Driveline    Rear Wheel Drive
      Price (approx)     

       "The V8 Vantage is a significant car for us," explained Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin. "It is now the third model in our range and is the culmination of the first phase of reinvigorating the Aston Martin brand around the world that began in the year 2000.

"The V8 Vantage is a true Aston Martin, built with the same high integrity and passion as all of our cars. This is the more affordable Aston Martin and its design and agility should help to widen our appeal and attract younger customers to our marque."

Styling & Design

The exterior of the V8 Vantage is beautiful and perfectly proportioned from every angle with a low purposeful stance. Each carefully detailed feature provides graphic evidence of the painstaking craftsmanship and quality, which is synonymous with the Aston Martin marque.

The long bonnet and two-seater cabin creates an instantly recognizable stance, while minimal front and rear overhangs, combined with a wide track, appear to push the rear wheels out and enhance the extremities of the bodywork. At the rear a hatchback offers practicality not normally found in sports cars of this type.

"The V8 Vantage features many of the design cues that have become basic DNA for all Aston Martin models and are leading edge in car design," added Dr Bez.

Chassis, Engine and Performance

        The V8 Vantage has endured the most extensive test and development programme in the Company's 91 year history during which 78 Prototypes were vigorously tested more than 1 million miles. In Dubai over 12,000 miles of testing was carried out where ambient temperatures regularly hit 48c and the bodywork of the cars reached 87c.

High speed testing was conducted at the Nardo test track in Italy and extensive testing was carried out at Nurburgring's Nordschleife in Germany, and cold weather testing in temperatures as low as -30c was undertaken in Sweden.

The V8 Vantage is the second model to use Aston Martin's unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Constructed from lightweight aluminum extrusions, precision castings and pressings, the under frame is bonded with aerospace adhesives and mechanically fixed with self-piercing rivets.

Certain complex parts of the frame are precision die cast in aluminum; the door inner panels are cast magnesium and the windscreen surround is a one piece aluminum casting.

The frame is bonded with cold-cure adhesive which has exceptional damping properties that help soak up the vibrations which may otherwise appear if the structure was welded.

"This is precisely the set-up you want in a sports car," explained Jeremy Main, Product Development Director of Aston Martin. "It helps maximize all of the aspects that you need to create an outstanding sports car."

The advanced quad-cam 32-valve engine is individually hand assembled by skilled Aston Martin technicians at the company's new engine production facility in Cologne, Germany, where every Aston Martin engine, including the V12 for Vanquish S and DB9, is built.

"The V8 engine is unique to Aston Martin," said Jeremy Main. "We share expertise within the PAG organization but this design is totally new and not a shared engine. Every significant part of it is unique from the specification of the cylinder block to the cylinder heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, inlet and exhaust manifolds, lubrication system and engine management."

The bore and stroke dimensions are optimized to provide an excellent balance between outright power and torque, while a resonance induction system improves tractability and performance.

The inlet camshaft timing is variable resulting in improved low-end throttle response, mid-range torque and seamless power delivery. Maximum power is 380bhp @ 7000rpm and maximum torque 302lb ft @ 5000rpm.

The V8 Vantage will be initially offered with a 6-speed manual transmission and other alternatives will be announced at a later date. A great deal of time and effort has been spent ensuring that the new transmission has a smooth and fast shift action to ensure its ultra close ratios can be used to maximum effect.

"It is one of the best manual gear changes in the world," added Jeremy Main. "Driving enjoyment is a very important quality of the V8 Vantage and part of this is a superb gear change action."