recently did an internet search for used Ferraris, and discovered that
you'd be hard pressed to find a 5-year-old car with over 50 thousand
miles. It seems that most Ferrari owners tend to baby their cars,
admire them lovingly from afar, and keep them parked in the garage for
that special summer day when the stars and moon align for a gentle
drive in the country.
I suspect the Vantage V8 I drove will never
see snow or even much rain. Which is probably a good thing because I
believe this car would handle like a goat on ice given even the
slightest bit of snow between it at the massive 275/35 high performance (don't even think about ice or snow) rear tires.
that's OK, but being that this car belongs in the prestigious Bond
family, I would be remiss if I didn't take a hard look beyond the sexy
skin-tight suit and massive well-endowed rear wheels.
with the navigation system, radio, and switch gear. The Vantage V8 may
be born a Bond car, but it's lineage is most closely related to Mr.
The navigation system and radio are the same ones you'll find in your daily V70 XC driver.
is not a bad thing, especially if you like your Volvo, but somehow it
leaves you wanting for components that are just a little different, if
not a lot richer.
What does leave me completely perplexed is the
inability to change radio stations with the top down and the sun out. I
know that it rains a fair bit in Britain, but some Aston engineer must
have tested the car with the top down on a sunny day.
Nigel," he may have said to the Vantage product manager riding next to
him at the time. "I can't see a bloody thing in the radio display when
the sun is out."
I suspect at that very moment the clouds and
rain must have returned. "Never mind," Nigel added taking a long puff
from his pipe. "It must have just been my imagination," he said as he
successfully switched the channel to BBC world news.
I also quickly forgot about changing the radio station as I was too enamored by the deep baritone crescendo of the V8.
you please step on it," the cyclist yelled at me as I was passing him
cruising up Flagstaff Road just West of Boulder on a beautiful warm
I did, and he gave me a huge thumbs up
as I nearly laughed out loud from the sheer thrill, sound, and furry of
the Vantage at full gallop.
From the bottom to the top of
Flagstaff Road is only about 4 miles, but there is no better test of a
car's true road worthiness than the steep curves and switchback. Going
up the car must steer with the utmost precision to avoid plowing into
the on coming lanes. Going down the breaks must be able to stop the car
in an instant and not hesitate of fade to keep car and driver from
plunging over the edge of the mountain.
Vantage took Flagstaff Road in casual stride. Parked on the side of the
road, getting a few last photos, and watching the waves of heat shimmer
from the car's hood vents, it seemed to say to me in a very distinct
British accent, "Right, now that we've dispensed with that bit of fun
let us find a proper and challenging road before the midday martini."
right take a picture of your car—you @#%$@," is what the guys in the
black Subaru actually said to me as they passed me going up Flagstaff
I slowly turned around, smiled, and in my best
James Bond (or is it Clint Eastwood as I had just seen Gran Torino?)
imitation I reached into my pocket, pulled out my pretended Walther
PPK, pointed it at the Subaru as it sped away, and pulled the trigger.
because I'm brave or stupid, but because I knew that with 420
horsepower, massive brakes, and truly race ready handling I could
easily outrun the Subaru if it came to it.
But instead the black
Subaru disappeared around a curve and I cruised back down the mountain,
top down, sunglasses on, with the James Bond theme happily playing in
Yes, James Bond Jr. would certainly approve.
* You'll find Part 1 of this Vantage V8 road review HERE.
2009 Aston Martin Vantage V8
Price as Tested: $148,855
Engine, Transmission: 4.7 liter V-8 6-sp paddle-shifting automatic
PocketDyno Test Data
Quarter Mile: 11.98 second at 134.10 mph
0-60 mph: 4.01
0-100 mph: 7.84
Max Acceleration: 0.78 g's
EPA Fuel Economy Estimates
City: 14 mpg
Highway: 19 mpg
Combined: 14 mpg
As tested: 10.8 mpg