* Prices may differ from that shown
Okay, first things first. Yes, this most certainly is an 'exclusive' Aston Martin, but prices for a decent 55 plate V8 Vantage have now fallen under £40,000, with roadster prices not far behind. The V8 Vantage is starting to look like an extremely tempting proposition....
Let's start with the looks, as, to be honest, they're the heart of any Aston's appeal. The vantage looks slightly more childlike when compared to the serious-faced DB9 and DBS, but even so this is a stunning car. Easily one of the most beautiful cars on the road today.
Coupled with the looks, you'll be glad to hear, is an absolutely awesome soundtrack. This lazy big-block American V8, but with a European twist. The 4.3l V8 found in earlier V8 Vantages and the new 4.7l V8 both sound fantastic. This car probably has my favourite engine sound, and just flooring the thing, roof down, on a beautiful day with miles of open road ahead of you is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done - the roar of the V8 sends shivers up your back.
The 4.3l V8 in the V8 that I'm driving right now develops 380 hp, and can power this car to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Lots of reviewers complain that the V8 Vantage is too slow, but, unless the rest of your garage consists of cars several times the Aston's value, this wont feel slow at all. Under acceleration, teh car surges forward in a meaty, Aston sort of way. I found the wheel and clutch relatively heavy, but an Aston should be like that. The car handles well, and I loved teh way the Aston's tail hangs out at roundabouts.
The cabin is a beautiful place to be, and appears to be very well made. It's dominated by leather and suede, and is just generally a very beautiful place.
This car, then, is something of a recession bargain. £40 odd k for a beautiful, modern, powerful Aston Martin. What is there to lose?