All through its 108-year historical past, Aston Martin has produced among the best-looking automobiles ever to hit the highway. From the now-iconic DB5 pushed by James Bond to the concept-car styling of the One-77, the British carmaker has one of many strongest biggest hits lists in the complete trade.
Regardless of their jaw-dropping appears to be like, I don’t suppose I’ve ever been blown away by how an Aston drives. Nonetheless, the tester I’ve been driving this week is about to alter that thought, highlighting the model’s shiny future. The mannequin in query is the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version, and it’s really spectacular.
A Extra Aggressive Aston Martin
Proper off the bat, you’ll discover that the Vantage F1 Version’s design isn’t as historically “lovely” as a few of its siblings. That’s as a result of the F1 Version trades among the Vantage’s delicate design components for a extra imposing aesthetic. Take the redesigned entrance bumper, for instance. As a substitute of a glossy grille, we get an enormous mouth that seemingly spans the width of the automobile. Regardless of its “take a look at me” perspective, Aston’s designers have managed to make this placing factor really feel cohesive with the remainder of the automobile’s design.
Within the rear, it’s the same story. That’s since you now get a wing alongside the already aggressive rear diffuser. Couple these enhancements with the brand new entrance splitter, and also you get greater than 440-lb of downforce. Because of this, the visible enhancements are each for kind and performance. The cherry on prime is a set of 21-inch wheels on all 4 corners with matte black spokes and silver faces. It’s clear that the Vantage F1 Version is probably the most track-focused model of the Vantage, and that’s all earlier than you even get shifting.
A Mercedes-AMG Coronary heart Tuned For Drivers
Carry the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version’s hood, and also you’ll discover a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 creating 528 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque. The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version’s engine supplies sufficient energy to rocket the F1 Version and its 3461-lb curb weight to 60 mph in simply 3.5 seconds. The entire Vantage F1 Version’s horsepower and torque go to the rear wheels completely by way of an eight-speed automated transmission. Other than housing considered one of my favourite engines at the moment on sale, the F1 Version makes a implausible sound, befitting of its aggressive aesthetic.
Earlier than we dive into the driving expertise, it’s price noting one of many principal the reason why this Vantage F1 Version is a departure from the usual Vantage. In 2020, the previous CEO of Mercedes-AMG, Tobias Moers, turned the brand new CEO of Aston Martin. For context, Moers gave us among the greatest AMG automobiles of the final 20 years, such because the CLK 63 Black Sequence, SLS AMG, G 63 6X6, and the GT. The GT is important because it shares the same method to the present Vantage, together with the identical powertrain.
Nonetheless, it appears most of Moers’ work went into tuning the Vantage’s chassis and suspension. After a fast set of corners within the canyons, it turned clear that the F1 Version is each extra enjoyable and responsive than any Aston I had pushed beforehand. Moreover, the F1 Version feels considerably extra planted and fewer tail-happy than the usual Vantage. This not solely permits your confidence within the automobile to develop however permits you to carry higher velocity.
The added capabilities come because of that extensively revised suspension. For instance, the F1 Version options stiffer springs within the rear, upgraded bushings, and revised dampeners on all 4 corners. It even has moreover dampening for the transaxle transmission. The aim is to attenuate further motion to stabilize the automobile.
The automated transmission turns into a little bit of a non-issue when you rise up to hurry. Whereas a dual-clutch would’ve made the driving expertise even sharper, the automated does an ideal job beneath load. Whereas I’ve all the time recognized the Vantage had a implausible engine beneath its hood, it now has the dealing with traits to match.
Regardless of its upgraded suspension and track-ready enhancements, the Vantage F1 Version stays completely comfy on the highway. Whereas its trip isn’t Rolls-Royce clean, it additionally isn’t bouncy and compromised as loads of immediately’s track-day specials. I used to be testing an SUV alongside this Aston on the identical week, and I’d argue that the low-slung supercar was probably the most comfy of the 2.
A Colourful Effectively-Constructed Inside
Historically, after we’re speaking about hand-built automobiles, it’s not unusual to search out a few imperfections all through a automobile’s inside; it comes with the territory. Nonetheless, the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version’s inside I examined gave the impression to be an exception to this rule. From the stitching to the contrasting suede and leather-based supplies, the F1 Version’s inside felt notably nicely constructed. Even at velocity, I wasn’t disturbed by any bizarre rattles or creaks. Moreover, the leather-based and suede supplies’ bodily high quality felt glorious, befitting of a automobile costing $177,000 as examined.
My solely gripes with the F1 Version’s inside are shared with the usual Vantage, and that’s the dashboard format. Whereas the supplies are glorious, the inside provides a sea of buttons laid out intently collectively, making them exhausting to function whereas on the transfer. The true shocker for me was the shortage of accessible Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. Whereas the native infotainment system is okay, the shortage of smartphone integration was a bummer.
Small gripes apart, the Vantage F1 Version’s column-mounted shifters have been a pleasure to make use of, particularly across the canyon roads surrounding Los Angeles. Even the marginally squared-off wheel and digital instrument cluster work nicely collectively, offering you simply the correct quantity of knowledge with a big tach within the heart.
Is the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version price $177,000?
To say that I used to be impressed by the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version could be an understatement. Other than the superb driving dynamics at velocity, the on-road consolation and value made me wish to bounce into this automobile repeatedly and drive. Greater than something, I’m wanting ahead to Aston Martin’s new course. As famous earlier, the British carmaker has acquired tons of funding in the previous few years, together with some vital workers adjustments. If this newest Vantage is something to go by, there’s a lot to look ahead to with this model. So, sure, the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Version value is price it.