Vantage goes hardcore with S 25 | 01 | 2011

    ASTON MARTIN has launched a new race-inspired, road-going version of its small GT; the V8 Vantage S. Inspired by the GT4 racer car, is designed to slot between the regular V8 Vantage and the range-topping V12 Vantage model. And whisper it; it'll set you back £102,500 for the coupĂ© and £110,700 for the roadster.

    Not only does the S gets a retuned version of the V8’s 4.7-litre powerplant — now producing 430bhp, up 10bhp, and 361lb/ft, an increase of 15lb/ft — but it also gets Aston’s new seven-speed Sportshift II transmission.

    Aston claims the shifts of the new unit — co-developed by Graziano and Magneti Marelli in Italy — are 20% faster than those of the original Speedshift. And just for good measure, the S also features a Sport button, which further quickens the shifts and offers more aggressive throttle response and a louder exhaust note.

    There's a whole host of other technical tweaks and improvements, but we'll spare you the anorak-induced details. The Vantage S though also gets a number of external modifications, including a larger air intake, new 19in alloy wheels, redesigned side sills, an extended rear spoiler and a lower front bumper with a carbonfibre finish, and . Lightweight forged items will be offered as an option.

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    Jim McGill

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