The Aston Martin Vantage is difficult to call a real success. We see the car slowly passing by on the website and it is difficult to find out why it does not want to run smoothly. Perhaps the lack of a real identity of its own, or that the driving characteristics are no longer really Aston Martin now that Mercedes-AMG is at the helm. Recently, Aston Martin gave their youngest member some extra spice and a new addition, and so the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition was born. Does this car bring the Aston Martin Vantage back into our hearts?
The F1 Edition was of course made in honor of the safety car in Formula 1 and it always looks great in the green color. Our copy is decorated in matt black with carbon details and a large spoiler and inside we find an Alcantara interior to take place. The Aston Martin Vantage is already not a loser with 510 hp and no less than 685 Newtonmeter from the now well-known four-liter V8 from Mercedes-AMG, but the F1 Edition got a little extra. 25 hp to be exact, with which the whole now has 535 hp. Much less than the Mercedes-AMG GT R, which got 585 hp.
On top of a power increase, you can find ten percent stiffer rear springs and a whopping twenty percent firmer compression rates for the damper at the front. Quite a big adjustment and you can feel it. Steering is more direct, your input comes through better and the whole feels sportier than before. The large V8 in the front and the ditto thick sound that comes from the four exhausts gives the car a muscle-car-like vibe that may not quite match the sporty character that the car wants to radiate.
Aston Martin aimed for a fifteen-second faster lap time at the Nürburgring and says it has succeeded, with a total time of around 7 minutes 30. That's horribly fast, but not as fast as its sporty counterparts from the Porsche stable. and AMG. That's a shame, because Aston Martin now feels more like a model that can no longer stand on its own two feet and would definitely earn more.
From the outside it is unmistakably an Aston Martin, but inside you can see the influence of Mercedes-AMG through and through. The infotainment system is from Mercedes and already quite dated, the buttons are in some cases also borrowed from the German stable and thus the Vantage loses originality in the segment. For this money, and we're talking about 2.5 tons of euros, you want something that is unmistakably Aston Martin.
Anyway, back to driving. On an autumn day we went on a journey of discovery through the Eifel. We started the day cold and frozen and literally drove into the fall colors. On the winding and often bad roads in the Eifel, the chassis was firm, but certainly not uncomfortable. On short bumps he sometimes loses track, but not disturbing and it certainly contributes to the sporty feeling. The great thing about the Vantage F1 Edition is that the harder you give it the spurs, the better it listens to you.
The steering behavior becomes more precise, the butt can be placed better and at high speed he is never restless. This is indeed considerably further developed compared to the normal Vantage and you notice the difference. This isn't necessarily an everyday car anymore, like the normal Vantage can do. The F1 Edition is focused, focused and actually quite sturdy for a daily ride. It makes it a car that takes you into its idiosyncrasies, but also positively surprises you with how sharp everything feels. Meanwhile you are on the road in a beautiful car that really only has fans. No one hates Aston Martin and rightly so. The car embraces you, has a sporty look and makes you happy when you walk towards it. It makes you want to drive, and that's perhaps the most important thing about a car like this.
Which brings us to the goal of the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition. Is it a real alternative to the Mercedes-AMG GT R or the Porsche 911 GT3? Not really, they are just too good for that. Is it a sporty car for the inveterate Aston Martin enthusiast? Absolutely, but you have to be able to embrace the Mercedes elements without being bothered by it. Fortunately, Aston Martin still exists at the bottom of the line, and we can be glad Mercedes-AMG that they still make such cars possible. In this black jacket you still feel a bit like James Bond and that is perhaps what matters most at the bottom of the line. Emotion, and the Aston Martin has that in abundance.