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The Aston Martin Vantage: History, Buying Tips, Photos, and More

All things Aston Martin Vantage on Automobile.

Aaron GoldWriterManufacturerPhotographer

Aston Martin Vantage Essential History

Aston Martin first used the Vantage name on high-performance versions of the DB2, DB4, DB5 and DB6, and it wasn't until 1972 that the Vantage became a stand-alone model, essentially a mildly-restyled version of the 1967 DBS. The DBS was launched with six-cylinder power and added a V-8 in 1969; the '72 restyle saw the car split into two models, the six-cylinder Vantage and the eight-cylinder V8. The Vantage was not a success: Over a two-year run, Aston sold only 70 Vantages, versus 288 V8s in 1972 alone. Aston dropped the six-cylinder car after a two-year production run.

The name reappeared in 1977 on the V8 Vantage, a significant upgrade of the V8 that was billed as Britain's first true supercar. Its 5.3-liter V-8 produced 390 hp, and its top speed of 170 mph made it the fastest production car in the world. Styling was similar to the standard V8, with aerodynamic upgrades to help speed it along. A convertible called the Vantage Volante was added to the lineup in 1986, and the V8 Vantage remained in production until 1989.

From 1993 to 2000 the Vantage label was used on a high-performance variant of the Virage, and from 1999 to 2003 it denoted the first V12-powered version of the DB7.

In the early 2000s, Aston Martin decided to develop a smaller two-seat car to compete with the Porsche 911. Original plans called for the car to have a mid-mounted engine, but this idea was scrapped in order to keep costs down and enable the sharing of components with Aston's parent company, Ford. Aston developed a new coupe on a platform called VH (for vertical/horizontal), and the smallest and sportiest variant became the next stand-alone Vantage.

The Vantage made its debut at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show with a 380-hp, 4.3-liter V-8 that gave it a top speed of 175 mph. We loved it, calling it "a tool for talented drivers" and "a new fixed star in sports car heaven." Aston added a roadster for 2007, enlarged the engine to 4.7 liters in 2009, and added a 510-hp V-12-powered version for the 2010 model year. Aston Martin continued to develop the car and introduce new editions as well as dedicated racing versions. Production of the V8 Vantage ended in 2017 while the V12 Vantage lasted until 2018.

Aston Martin introduced a new Vantage in 2018. Sharing its architecture with the DB11, the new Vantage featured a Mercedes-based 503 hp twin-turbo V-8 with a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission. The open-top Vantage Roadster is scheduled to begin production in 2021, as is the manual-transmission Vantage (a follow-on to the limited-run stick-shift Vantage AMR).

Aston Martin Vantage Highlights

When applied as a suffix, Vantage usually denotes the high-performance variant of a given Aston Martin model, but the 1972 Vantage was Aston Martin's entry-level car. Though the latest iterations had focused on raw performance, they tended to be smaller and less expensive than Aston's other GTs, effectively making them Aston's entry-level models as well—provided you don't count the Cygnet.

The 1977-89 V8 Vantage's engine could not meet US emissions standards, so Aston Martin built a North American version with the Vantage chassis and aerodynamic upgrades but less-powerful engines from other models. Many (if not most) had automatic transmissions. These cars are often referred to as "cosmetic" Vantages, and some have since been modified to full European spec.

In 2008, Aston Martin delivered its 10,000th Vantage, making it only the second Aston model to reach five-figure production, the first being the DB9.

Aston Martin Vantage Buying Tips

With only 70 or so cars built, the early-production (1972-73) Vantage is a rare find, though it still commands lower prices than other classic Astons. Given its inferior performance compared to the V8, one could argue that there's little reason to seek one out.

For buyers looking to buy a used first Aston Martin, the 2005-2018 Vantage is a great choice. They are plentiful and affordable, at least by Aston Martin standards, and big fun to drive. However, they do tend to be stiffer, louder, and more intense than larger contemporary Astons like the DBS and Vanquish.

No matter how good the deal on the car, Aston Martins are expensive to maintain and fix when they break—and being British cars, they probably will break. Your budget should include a generous allowance for maintenance and repair. For the cost of a new-ish Porsche 911, you can have a Vantage and a decent-sized repair fund—and the satisfaction of owning a bonafide sports car that makes the 911 seem as common as a Toyota Corolla.

Aston Martin Vantage Articles on Automobile

New two-seat version coming in 2021.

Aston Martin keeps the stick-shift hope alive.

Our first go in the first new Vantage with a manual transmission.

Aston goes for a younger and more aggressive crowd.

It's a work of Anglo-German sorcery.

And you thought the regular Vantage was quick?

Will they or won't they? Only Andy Palmer knows for sure.

Grittier but still joyous.

High-end Vantages on the Nürburgring Grand Prix track.

So-long to the seven-speed, for now

Discounted Aston brings lots of smiles.

If you can drive a Smart car, you can drive this.

Automobile staffers share their thoughts on the twelve-cylinder Vantage.

The Vantage gets the power it deserves.

A new type of Aston takes on Porsche—rather successfully

Aston Martin Vantage Recent Auctions

Recent auctions from Bring A Trailer:

ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE Quick Facts

  • First year of production: 1972
  • Last year of production: Ongoing
  • 1977 V8 Vantage was the fastest production car in the world

ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE FAQ

How much is the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage?

The 2019 Aston Martin Vantage was priced at $149,995 plus options.

How much is an Aston Martin V12 Vantage?

The last V12 Vantage we tested, a 2016 V12 Vantage S, listed for $184,995 plus options.

Is the Aston-Martin Vantage a four-seater?

No, the Aston Martin Vantage only has two seats.

How fast is the Aston-Martin Vantage?

The 2019 Vantage has a top speed of 195 mph.

Do Aston Martins hold their value?

Newer Aston Martin models tend to lose value rather rapidly, and a used Vantage from the late 2000s or early 2010s is actually a very good deal. Because of their rarity, older Aston Martin models can be quite valuable.