The Aston Martin V8 Vantage may well be the most desirable machine you can spend your hard-earned money on. Sure, you can find cars that are faster and more expensive, but none of them are the sex on wheels that the 8-cylinder Aston is. Did we just say that there are cars that perform better? Yep. But Prodrive, who knows a thing or two about making fast Aston Martins, has come to the table with a range of performance upgrades that can be added to the "baby" Aston.
The company's new performance pack jacks power up from 380 horses to 425, and torque has been raised by 25 lb-ft to 325. This shaves .3 seconds of the car's 0-60 sprint (now 4.7 sec). Top speed is now 182 mph, but honestly, the Aston is probably as fun to drive at 18 miles per hour, since it's easier to observe the wagging tongues around you that way. Prodrive's upgraded exhaust incorporates an exhaust valve override that lets the driver choose 3 different exhaust modes: Quiet (valve is always closed), Auto (valve functions normally), and Sport (valve is always open).
They didn't stop with the engine and exhaust, either. Follow the jump for the rest of the details, as well as another photo and the official press release.
Power and speed are worthless if you can't properly control the car, and Prodrive's new driver-adjustable suspension for the Vantage helps in that regard. A switch in the cabin now allows drivers to choose between normal and sport suspension settings. The subtle yet effective aero kit reduces lift by 45%, and consists only of a carbon fiber lip and trunk spoilers. The stellar new wheels are based on the design used for the rollers on the DBR9 racing car.
Prodrive will officially premiere the suite of upgrades next week at the Essen Motor Show, where the freshly modded Vantage will surely make people stop and stare.
Click images to enlarge
V8 Vantage gets a performance advantage
Prodrive has launched a range of parts for the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, which improves the car's performance and enhances its driving dynamics. The range includes: a performance pack for the engine; new driver-adjustable suspension; unique forged wheels; and a discreet aero package.
Prodrive has tuned the 4.3 litre V8 engine to raise peak power from 283 kW
(380 bhp) to 317 kW (425 bhp), as well as increasing peak torque from 410 Nm (302 lbft) to 440 Nm (325 lbft). This reduces the car's 0-100 km/h time from 5.0 secs to 4.7 secs (est) and increases the top speed by 13 km/h to 293 km/h (est). A new throttle map, combined with the increase in torque, also make the engine more responsive throughout the rev range.
Prodrive has worked with suspension specialists, Bilstein and Eibach, to develop new driver-adjustable suspension. A switch in the cockpit allows the driver to choose between normal and sports mode. The normal mode has been designed to enhance the V8 Vantage's existing ride and handling characteristics, while the firmer sports mode delivers an even more focussed driving experience on the road or for track use.
The engine performance pack has a modified exhaust system with a low back pressure sports catalyst and a driver-controlled switch to manually override the V8 Vantage's exhaust valve. This gives the option of a quiet mode, where the valve is permanently closed; auto, where the valve operates as it does on the standard car; and sport mode, where the valve is permanently open (where conditions allow).
The V8 Vantage's aerodynamics have been analysed in the windtunnel to develop an aero package to reduce high speed lift. The result is discreet Prodrive designed and manufactured carbon composite front lip and trunk spoilers, which are in keeping with the Vantage's classic styling. Together, these reduce lift by 45 per cent, improving both high speed stability and grip.
Prodrive runs the Aston Martin Racing team in partnership with Aston Martin. It has used its experience of designing and developing DB9 and V8 Vantage-based race and rally cars to help create this range of performance enhancements for the road car. It has also carried through the unique design of the wheels used on the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 racing car to special 14 spoke 19" forged wheels made by Prodrive Japan for the V8 Vantage. These come complete with Pirelli P-Zero tyres, which have been selected to match the new suspension and optimise the ride and handling.
"The V8 Vantage is already one of the world's best sports cars," said Roland Cherry, Prodrive performance products director. "Our aim was to develop a range of parts which enhanced the car's performance but, most importantly, did not compromise the inherent Aston Martin driving characteristics or styling. I think we have achieved this with a range of parts owners can specify as a package or individually."
The range of parts and prices will be available from early 2007.
Suspension partner, Eibach, has an Aston Martin V8 Vantage with the full range of parts fitted on display on its stand at the Essen Motor Show.