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2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Preview: 2012 Geneva Motor Show

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Aston Martin’s entry-level V8 Vantage and its Roadster sibling have been updated for the latest model year, bringing with them fresh new styling, more power, and a host of additional features. The new cars will debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show where they will star alongside another new entry for 2012, the stunning V12 Zagato, which assumes the flagship role when it enters production later this year.

The latest updates to the base V8 Vantage are the most comprehensive since 2008. The car’s powertrain still consists of a 4.7-liter V-8 but peak output has been lifted to 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. You’ll be quick to note that those numbers are lifted from last year’s Vantage S.

Further enhancements center on the V8 Vantage’s chassis, which also gets a few items from the Vantage S. Quicker steering, bigger brakes and wider tires have all been fitted to further enhance the V8 Vantage’s dynamics. A new steering column installation, re-valved power-steering pump and a quicker ratio of 15:1 compared to 17:1 on the previous model ensure the new V8 Vantage steers with better precision, handles with more agility and provides more feedback.

Stopping power and pedal feel have been significantly increased thanks to new 380 mm two-piece ventilated cast-iron front discs and six piston callipers. This new braking system also includes Hill Start Assist (HSA). The V8 Vantage also comes with tires that are 10 mm wider than the outgoing model.

The standard six-speed manual transmission remains, but the optional six-speed Sportshift automated manual transmission has now been replaced with a seven-speed Sportshift II. With an additional gear, closer ratios, lower final drive and a quicker, refined shift quality, this new gearbox--designed and manufactured specifically for Aston Martin--provides faster and more precise shifts and optimizes acceleration.

Visually setting apart the new model includes revised bumpers featuring an aerodynamic splitter and integrated diffuser. The latest Vantage S also gets a few subtle updates, with new carbon fiber detailing setting it apart from the standard pack. The Vantage S also gets a unique exhaust system and more luxury in the cabin.

Production of the V12 Vantage continues unchanged, which means it still comes packing a 6.0-liter V-12 engine producing 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in just 4.2 seconds and reaching a top speed of 190 mph. Note, this particular model will serve as the basis of Aston Martin’s next GT4 race car (previously it was the V8 Vantage) and testing on the cars is currently underway.

The revised V8 Vantage together with the rest of the range will be available to order following their debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, press days for which commence on March 6. You can follow our ongoing coverage of the event via our dedicated show page.

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