If there’s one area of the car market that electric cars haven’t yet been able to conquer, it’s the supercar market. Diehard supercar fans live for that shudder of pleasure they get when they press the “engine start” button, that roaring of the engine when it’s pumped up to 6,000rpm-plus, and that distinctive smell of petrol and exhaust fumes beloved by all supercar enthusiasts.
And one stunning new supercar – the new Vantage from British carmaker Aston Martin – has just arrived in Hong Kong, bearing a price tag of HK$2.48 million.
Compared to other new mid-sized supercars in the under-4-litre engine category, the Vantage – equipped with a twin-turbo V8 engine from Mercedes delivering 510hp and a top speed of 314km/h (195mph) – may not be quite fast enough to impress some of the critics. The McLaren 720S delivers 720hp and a top speed of 341km/h, and the Ferrari 488 GTB offers 670hp and has a 330km/h top speed.
But the price differences between the Vantage, the McLaren and the Ferrari help explain these differences in power levels.
So what about two of the rivals of the Vantage that are available at a similar price?
First is the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. Powered by a rear-mounted 3-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder boxer engine, the car outputs 457hp and is capable of a top speed of 312km/h – fairly close to that of the Vantage. Indeed, we would expect to see lower fuel consumption from the Porsche due to the 1-litre difference in engine size, as well as sexier control due to the rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive.
Next is the Mercedes-AMG GT R. Mercedes supplies Aston Martin with the engine for the Vantage. The technical partnership between the English and German car manufacturers has been in place for a while: the Aston Martin DB11 uses the same power plant as that in the Mercedes AMG C63 S. While we cannot be sure that the Vantage and the Mercedes AMG GT R both have the exact same engines, the settings for both cars must be different if they do. The Mercedes-AMG GT R’s handcrafted AMG 4l V8 biturbo with dry-sump lubrication engine is able to generate a 585hp, a 75hp difference in power.
The new edition of the Vantage, compared to the DB11 and the previous Vantage, seems – with its sportier and sharper lines – is designed to appeal to younger customers. In contrast to the iconic body shape and build of the Porsche, the new Vantage is innovative and stylish. The Mercedes AMG GT R, meanwhile, is “sophisticated” – but it’s certainly not eye candy, as far as we’re concerned.
Aston Martin has grand ambitions. In addition to its DB11 and the new Vantage, the supercarmaker also plans to launch another five new stand-alone models by 2021 according to Top Gear: the new Vanquish, the DBX, a new “mid-engined supercar”, the Lagonda 1 and Lagonda 2.
Engine: 4l V8 Twin-Turbo
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Suspension: double wishbones (front); multi-link (rear)
Horsepower: [email protected]
0-60mph (0-96.5km/h): 3.5 seconds
Maximum speed: 195mph
Dry weight: 1,530kg