Only one thing is going through my mind as I blast down the Autobahn at 170 miles per hour: If someone were to give me $100,000 today, I'd go buy a new Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT tomorrow. I know there are a dozen other choices out there – cars that are more powerful, quicker around a road circuit and much less expensive, but you can keep your Corvette, your 911, your F-Type, your GT-R and your top-spec pony cars. My money would go towards this entry-level Brit with the metallic green paint and bright-yellow race-inspired accents. Aston Martin has always crafted alluring – and expensive – automobiles. Yet this is the first time one of its offerings has come close to making sense to both the enthusiast's heart and to his or her accountant. It may sound absurd, but considering the GT's engineering, design, pedigree and hand-crafted execution, its $99,900 sticker price (plus $2,825 destination) makes it an absolute bargain. To experience the new V8 Vantage GT, a model sold as the N430 in other markets, the British automaker invited me to attend this year's grueling Nürburgring 24-hour race. Before I watched its race-prepared siblings lap the famed circuit for a full day (all four Vantage models that entered finished), I was handed the keys to my very own example – in Alloro green exterior paint with yellow club sport graphics – configured with a welcomed six-speed manual gearbox. Vantage is the smallest, lightest and most agile of the Aston Martin lineup, and it's been around for a good while already. As you'll likely recall, the Vantage is the smallest, lightest and most agile of the Aston Martin lineup, and it's been around for a good while already. First launched at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show, today the model is offered in Coupe and Roadster bodystyles with the buyer's choice of either a V8 or V12 powerplant. The coupe, like all of the automaker's production models, rides on its modular VH platform, a lightweight bonded aluminum and magnesium monocoque structure fitted with aluminum body panels for Vantage duty. Aston Martin is proud of its aerospace-like chassis, and it's historically been eager to promote its ability to offer its affluent clientele customized vehicles, with personalized upholsteries, colors and options – think of it like ordering a custom-tailored suit. But that exclusivity has previously come at a considerable price, starting at $121,225 (including destination) for its least-expensive V8 Vantage. But the new V8 Vantage GT breaks from this tradition, as it is pre-configured with an enthusiast-oriented set of options and only sold in a handful of colors, thus allowing Aston Martin to trim manufacturing time and thus lowering its retail price. While the automaker will offer both Coupe and Roadster models in V8 GT trim (priced from $102,725 to $122,525, including destination), any deviation from the pre-packaged program puts the customer in a standard V8 Vantage, which means the higher pricing applies. The engine fires to life with a roar that …
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|MPG||13 City / 19 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||420 @ 7000 rpm|
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