The second product off the company's new aluminum VH (Vertical Horizontal) platform, the V8 Vantage brings Aston ownership to a whole new range of people, if hardly to the masses. Expected to cost around $110,000 when it goes on sale later this year, the Vantage is powered by a 380-hp, 4.3-liter V-8 engine derived from the now ubiquitous Jaguar powerplant. The engine uses a dry-sump oil system to lower the center of gravity and makes a robust 303 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. Aston claims 0-to-60-mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph. For now, there's a six-speed manual transmission, but Aston boss Ulrich Bez says that a paddleshift sequential manual is in the works, "but not in the next twelve months." The car has all around control arm suspension, giant ventilated disc brakes with four-piston monoblock calipers, and standard eighteen-inch wheels and tires, with optional nineteens. We knew on the evidence of the previous concept car that the Vantage would look gorgeous, but the interior is also a treat, with aluminum accents, hand-stitched leather, and optional wood trim in walnut, mahogany, bamboo, and piano black. A pure two seater, it has a hatchback to access the luggage compartment, just like the DB2/4 from the 1950s. The Vantage will propel Aston production to around 5000 cars a year, which is more than Ferrari builds at the moment. Bez says that a roadster will boost production further in late 2006.