Wild new performance car confirmed

Just as the biggest dinosaurs roamed the earth right up until a meteorite silenced them, the last V8s on sale promise to be some of the most explosive.

There’s little doubt the world of motoring is tuning electric, with many countries banning the sale of combustion-powered vehicles at various points in the future.

Until then, the last petrol-powered supercars promise to be quite special.

Aston Martin has unveiled an updated version of its entry-level model, the Vantage coupe.

It now has 489kW and 800Nm.

Those are staggering figures for an entry-level two-seater, numbers likely to annoy people who paid big dollars for big-power Aston Martin models relatively recently.

This is a car pitched as an alternative to models such as the Porsche 911 that have just 283kW and 450Nm in entry-level Carrera trim.

Acceleration is brisk if not ridiculous, as two-wheel-drive traction limits its 0-100km/h dash to a relatively unremarkable 3.5 seconds.

A top speed of 325km/h is a better indication of performance that can be unleashed if you keep the throttle pinned through all eight gears.

Aston Martin worked its magic on an AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to find an extra 85kW and 115Nm for the new model, which benefits from significant changes inside and out.

Aston says the car benefits from lessons learned on track, both in Formula 1 and the world of GT racing where the Vantage has won many races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Aston Martin box Lawrence Stroll unveiled the new Vantage alongside the latest F1 and endurance racing machines, demonstrating “our ambition to be a leading force in F1 and create the world’s finest and most thrilling sports cars”.

“Today’s celebration of high-performance also highlights the burgeoning relationship between our road and race programs, with Aston Martin Lagonda now benefiting from the exceptional pool of engineering talent, experience and knowledge forged in Formula 1 and harvested through Aston Martin Performance Technologies,” he said.

“Over recent years we have already seen the sport of Formula 1 have a transformative impact on our brand, attracting new customers to Aston Martin and driving reappraisal of our products. Boosted by a highly competitive F1 team, the synergy with high-performance motorsport technologies is something we can maximise even further through our next generation of sportscars and endurance motorsport strategy.”

Fresh front-end styling brings bigger headlights and a larger grille opening to help cool that monster donk.

The rear looks relatively unchanged – save for four huge exhaust pipes – but the best tweaks are in the cabin.

A cleaner layout and modern infotainment system promise to right the wrongs of previous models, making the Vantage much easier to live with.

Which is a good thing, as folks lucky enough to get hold of one might be tempted to hang onto it until the next extinction event.

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