The Aston Martin Vantage Shows How Hard It Is to Make a Good Fast Car

Illustration for article titled The Aston Martin Vantage Shows How Hard It Is to Make a Good Fast Car
Screenshot: The Smoking Tire

There are a glut of well-rounded, ultra-fast cars on the market today, from the Porsche 911 GTS to, uh, all of the other Porsche 911s. Well, what I mean to say is that it’s easy to forget that it’s hard to get a fast car to have good performance and be nice to live with at the same time. At least it is, apparently, until you drive a new Aston Martin Vantage.


That’s the review from Matt Farah, who has lived with a modern Aston Martin for a number of years, a manual Bush-era Vanquish. He came away from spending some time with the new Vantage impressed with how good its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from AMG is, making this a genuinely quick car. Aston claims it’ll do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, which is supercar speed of not that long ago.

But Farah points out that the ride is stiff in normal mode, and gets virtually unusable in its even stiffer sport and track modes.

And fast as the car is on the open road, it’s jerky around town. The ZF eight-speed has a lot of built-in creep, Farah points out, so much so that you have to get on the brakes to slow it down. But the brakes are super grabby and the throttle is sharp. At low speed Farah struggles to drive the car smoothly.

On top of all of that, the test car Farah got is sort of oddly assembled. He couldn’t figure out why it would beep at him periodically, the parking sensors would freak out six feet from any other object, and the panel gaps all over the body made Teslas look tight. A phone fit in the space between the hood and the fender.

Illustration for article titled The Aston Martin Vantage Shows How Hard It Is to Make a Good Fast Car

The new Vantage has already made the rounds with the press once, and no review I got through called the car out for these problems. But those were also British reviewers, and this is a British car company that has just gone public. Not that anyone’s biased or anything.

Personally, I adore this car (as I did the last V8 Vantage). I don’t mind something having some quirks. Let my small-volume British sports car beep at me. It will remind me I’m not driving something ordinary.


But it does go to show that it’s easy to take a world of AMG GTs and Porsche Caymans for granted. Making a fast car comfortable at low speed is a challenge. It wasn’t all that long ago that it’d be wild to expect both high performance and everyday usability from the same machine.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.



Is it just me or does the proportions of that thing look wayyyy off? It looks like half the car is missing and all you’re stuck with is the front seating area.