Aston Martin Updates V8 and V12 Vantage for 2012; V8 Starts at $118,370

Aston Martin's V8 Vantage has a lot of work to do to stay competitive with the Porsche 911, especially when it’s stacked against the new 991-generation Carrera. It's a good thing, then, that Aston Martin has tweaked and tuned the 2012 V8 Vantage in hopes of making it better to drive. The engine remains the same: it's a 4.7-liter V-8 that makes 420 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. It can be mated to the same basic six-speed manual transmission, too, but buyers who opt for a clutchless setup will gain a new transmission. Codenamed Sportshift II, the second-generation paddle-shifted automated manual gearbox has seven gears, closer ratios, and promises better shift action and refinement. After quickening the transmission, Aston says it focused on the steering and brakes. The steering rack is quicker, and the car stops courtesy of 380-millimeter vented cast iron discs with six-piston calipers. The tires are also 10mm wider than before. It also features a number of exterior styling tweaks, including a new front splitter and air intake and a new rear diffuser. If the base Vantage's revisions are insufficient for your tastes, we'd suggest looking at the 2012 Vantage S. The S model continues for 2012, and features a retuned engine making 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, a standard Sportshift II automated manual gearbox, and a throatier sports exhaust system. For the truly lead-footed, Aston will also continue to make the insane V12 Vantage. The car is unchanged for 2012, which means it is still powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 engine making 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This being an Aston Martin that isn't called Cygnet, the new car isn't going to be cheap. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe will start at $118,370, the Roadster will start at $132,870, and the Vantage S will start at $137,670, including destination and gas guzzler tax. Pricing on the V12 Vantage was not announced, but last year's model started at $181,345, and we can’t imagine the price of admission has grown any more affordable. Source: Aston Martin

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