Last post on Nov 08, 2012 at 6:44 PM
You are in the Aston Martin
What is this discussion about?
Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Porsche 911, Maserati GranSport
#4 of 124 cars
Oct 07, 2005 (2:57 pm)
It will likely take away sales from the 911.
I'm glad that Aston Martin won't sell out and make an SUV or a sedan.
check these three great articles about Aston Martin and Henrik Fisker. Fikser was Aston Martin's director of design from 2001 until December of last year. He styled the BMW Z8 while at BMW.
Inside Aston Martin part one
Inside Aston Martin part two
Inside Aston Martin part three
Aston Martin only has one robot at the factory which fits the body to the frame again using adhesives.
Aston Martin will avoid distracting gadgets per autoweek.com 7-21-2004.
Dr. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin's CEO (since July 2000), used to work for Porsche. Ulrich Bez directed the design, development and introduction of the classic 993.
check the link for an interview with him
Dr. Ulrich Bez
Aston Martin announced in December 2003 that they would be returning to sports car racing and created a new division within Aston Martin known as Aston Martin Racing.
Aston Martin Racing
Aston Martin got a new factory in 2003.
#5 of 124 Re: The new Aston V8 Vantage. [andys120]
Oct 07, 2005 (11:14 pm)
I have seen the recent press arond the Vantage. It is a good looking machine. I am taking delivery of a 997 Carrera 4 in November . . . which is a pretty good chunk of change in and of itself (and more than I ever reasonably thought I'd spend on a car at this point in my life). One thing that makes me very comfortable about buying a 911, despite the annoyance of their dealers (about on par with BMW in my view--and severely deficient to Lexus dealers), is that the car is widely known/distributed/etc. If I have a problem, I know that there will be parts, knowledgable service people, etc. I am beginning to understand why some people shell out the $$ they do for turbos, GT2/3s etc. rather than F430s, Gallardos, Vantages, etc. . . . when you actually get closer to writing the check, you want to be sure that the Company has the wherewithal to stand behind the product.
Just my $0.02. If I weren't as relatively parsimonious as I am--and didn't want to take the social and door-ding risk of driving a spectacle (which is another HUGE downside to AM, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.--though some people would argue that the 911's ubiquity is a downside in-and-of itself), I would definitely be tempted. But, bottom-line, until it has more of a track record, it feels too niche for me.
#6 of 124 Re: Here's some skinny on the performance etc.. [andys120]
Oct 08, 2005 (7:30 am)
I was unable to open your link or find an Autoweek road test of the Vantage. I would like to learn more, before forming a final opinion.
That said, I do not think the Vantage is as directly competitive with the 911 as a true sports car, as it might be with the 645i, SL500/SL55 and certain other GT cars that push luxury over sport in both their design and marketing. It's a heavy car - 3,461 lbs - which is 150 lbs heavier than my 911 S Cab, 300 lbs heavier than the 911 S Coupe and 400 lbs heavier than the base 911 Coupe. It's cd of 0.34 isn't very good by sedan standards, let alone compared to the 0.28 for the 911.
I don't think the question of whether or not 390 horsepower is enough for a $100k+ car is the right one. The question is one of performance. With a manufacturers estimate of 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 175, the Vantage appears to be right in line with the $65k Cayman, and discernibly below the 911S. Porsche figures for the 911 S are very conservative compared to what it has been independently tested at, so perhaps the Vantage will fare better. But more important to me than the 911S's 3.9-4.2 second 0-60 ability is the crisp steering and nimble handling. I may be wrong, but I suspect the heavy Vantage, with more of an emphasis on comfort, will be well below the 911/Caymen in the handling department.
Finally, on the looks front, I am not a big fan of the BMW Z8, which the Vantage designer refers to as one of his favorite designs. The Vantage certainly looks better than the Z8, but if I were going exotic, I'd have to say that it's no Ferrari. Purely subjective opinion.
All that said, the Vantage appears to be an interesting alternative, that I suspect will do well. But I think it will capture more market share from potential buyers of SL's or 6-series that view it as a sports car by comparison, than 911 buyers like me that view it as a semi-GT car by comparison. And then again, I may be wrong.
P.S. I happened to own a 1970 E-Type 4.2 4-speed for a glorious 5 months in 1979. bought it from a friend for a whopping $5,000, who then turned around and bought it back from me for $5,000 after I determined I needed relaible transportation to take back to college. Your question "is Ford going to succeed in the US with this car?" sends a few chills through me. I know Jaguar fell out of grace with sports car enthusiasts before Ford took over. But look at them now. Big powerful engines mated to sloppy slushbox transmissions and slightly better than Crown Victoria suspensions. Anyone that can appreciate the E-type must refrain from vomiting. I sure as heck hope the independence of AM in making decisions can be maintained. I would be concerned that, however subtle, Ford might "guide" AM to what it thinks the typical American consumer wants. I may be an atypical driving enthusaist, but as far as what I want, Ford doesn't have a bloody clue.
#7 of 124 Re: Here's some skinny on the performance etc.. [habitat1]
Oct 08, 2005 (8:17 am)
Well, I think perhaps too much has been made of the Vantage vs. 911 thing. They are as you say different kinds of cars and I too think it's a bit heavy for a sports car but, if the literature is to be believed it's the kind of sports car that can be very involving to drive and that to me is the mark of a true sports car.
You say it's no Ferrari in the styling department but as a lifelong tifoso I lament the loss of the voluptuous fluidity that characterized the great Ferraris of the past. They're going for a very techno look now ceding the beauty crown to Aston IMO.
As for Ford and Jaguar you say:
But look at them now. Big powerful engines mated to sloppy slushbox transmissions and slightly better than Crown Victoria suspensions.
That ship sailed long before Ford, about the time the E-Type 4.2 was replaced by the V12 but I agree there's a danger that Ford will be tempted to pitch A-M to the lowest common denominator but for now let us rejoice that they've produced a wonderful new sports car/GT (take your pick).
Xkss, thanks for the links, all good stuff.
#8 of 124 Re: Here's some skinny on the performance etc.. [habitat1]
Oct 08, 2005 (1:55 pm)
I know Jaguar fell out of grace with sports car enthusiasts before Ford took over. But look at them now. Big powerful engines mated to sloppy slushbox transmissions and slightly better than Crown Victoria suspensions. Anyone that can appreciate the E-type must refrain from vomiting. I sure as heck hope the independence of AM in making decisions can be maintained. I would be concerned that, however subtle, Ford might "guide" AM to what it thinks the typical American consumer wants. I may be an atypical driving enthusaist, but as far as what I want, Ford doesn't have a bloody clue.
Umm..The new Jaguar XJ has an aluminum chassis and a 6 speed ZF automatic transmission.
"In development testing on the Nürburgring's Nordschleife, Mike Cross, Jaguar's Chief Engineer of vehicle dynamics, has already turned laps with the naturally aspirated car within four seconds of the eight-minute, 36-second lap times posted by the supercharged XKR, which makes nearly 100 hp more."
As those links pointed out, Aston Martin knows where they are going and Ulrich Bez knows customers don't want a Aston Martin suv or a sedan like what Porsche is doing and will do within a few years. Aston Martin has returned to racing this year and with victories at Silverstone (FIA GT Championship) and at the 12 Hours of Sebring (against two factory Corvette C6-Rs and several other GT1 cars).
Also, the new V8 Vantage is indeed more of a competitor to the 911 than an two-ton SL or 6 series.
#9 of 124 Re: Here's some skinny on the performance etc.. [xkss]
Oct 13, 2005 (6:39 am)
"As those links pointed out, Aston Martin knows where they are going and Ulrich Bez knows customers don't want a Aston Martin suv or a sedan like what Porsche is doing and will do within a few years."
"Also, the new V8 Vantage is indeed more of a competitor to the 911 than an two-ton SL or 6 series."
I think you and AM might be forgetting that both the Vanquish and DB9 are (more than) two-ton cars now. Aston Martin can try calling these GT behemouths "sports cars" in all of their marketing literature all day long. The reality is that they are no different in positioning than the 6-series or SL. (I don't even want to give Jaguar credit for building anything today that could be remotely mistaken for a sports car).
Whether a car company like AM that has been 100% focused upon the GT market can dial up their engineering gears to produce a real sports car to compete with the 911, is to be determined. But the Vantage is still a heavy car, with performance that, it now appears, is below the level of the Cayman. That may be fine for the majority of affluent buyers of GT cars that want a sportier image. Probably not for those of us that want the driving feel of a real sports car.
I know from your previous posts that you are a long time antagonist of Porsche, which is your perogative. I have nothing against AM, in spite of my fears of Ford, GM, Daimler Chrysler and the UAW. I'm willing to evaluate the 3,500 lb Vantage on it's own merits. But that won't be based upon their corporate PR claims, it will be after I'm called to test drive a 6-speed model for myself. Unfortunately, I am told, fewer than 10-20% are expected to be fitted with a manual and I may have to wait a few months. Not a good start for a "sports car".
#10 of 124 V8 Vantage
Oct 16, 2005 (4:02 pm)
The new V8 Vantage is only available with a manual transmission right now.
#11 of 124 Moot points
Oct 17, 2005 (7:49 am)
The V8 vantage will not be available until next spring. The dealer I would buy from has 10+ names on the list for an expected allocation of 6-7 cars. I've been invited to see the promotional car currently touring the country, which will be at their dealership Thursday night. Unfortunately, I have an out of town conflict.
Also, FWIW, the sales manager does not think the Vantage will be cross shopped with the 911 as much as other sport "GT's" such as the SL55, M6, etc. The average age on his list is "mid to late 50's". He indicated most currently own Mercedes, BMW's, Jaguars and Bentleys. He thinks the biggest market will actually come from prospective purchasers of Vanquishes and DB9's that decide to downsize into something more sporty. But, in his words, most of the buyers on his list are not "pure sports car" shoppers to begin with and are looking for a "heavy dose of luxury, style and exclusivity" to go along with "highly adequate, but not harsh or neck snapping" performance. Many on the list also have a particular affinity for British cars. Mind you, this is only one dealer, but I found his comments and observations interesting.
#12 of 124 Re: Moot points [habitat1]
Oct 25, 2005 (12:01 am)
I think at some level all these cars compete with one another when a rich person goes looking for new wheels. Those comments were interesting indeed, including one aspect I never really thought about - " Many on the list also have a particular affinity for British cars". Never thought about that. Just like there are folks who like Japanese or German or American or Italian, there is a British enthusiast also. You gotta have some money for have an affinity for British because just like Italian cars there really aren't any cheap ones sold here. Well I guess the Jag X and S-Types are cheap compared to Astons/Bentleys/Rollers, but they haven't exactly been the object of much desire.
I can see why someone would have a thing for British cars, they are in most case very curious items and usually pretty good looking or in the case of the DB9 - gorgeous!
Oct 25, 2005 (1:00 am)
Well, last week I did get to see the "touring" Vantage in person at Rahal Motors outside of Pittsburgh. Strictly look and touch, but no test drives.
Conclusion: Porsche would have had some very serious competition, were they still producing the 928 S4 or variant. Other than the fact that the Vantage is strictly a two seater, that is the Porsche it would have competed against very effectively. The Jaguar XKR should be worried. The Mercedes SL as well, although the fact that its a convertible will limit direct competition.
In discussing the car over wine and cheese with several other attendees, the above assessment as to who will likely be buying the car appears to be right on. Two couples I spoke with are considering getting the Vantage in lieu of a Vanquish, now that they are empty nesters. But I could tell that neither of them would be comfortable in a more serious sports car like the 911. Neither of the wives could (or would ever) drive sticks and even the husbands were asking when an automatic would be available.
Whether or not the Vantage can compete with the 911 or Ferrari 360 in performance appears to be moot. It doesn't look to me like it will be being bought as a serious sports car, but rather as a sexy luxury sport tourer. And on that front, it is likely to be a winner.