Aston Martin Gave the New Vantage a Huge Gaping Grille to Improve Handling

With no chrome or polished metal in the grille, the Aston carries less weight on its front axle.

Dean Smith

The traditional Aston Martin grille shape dates back to 1948, where it first appeared on the 2-Litre Sports model. Every Aston since has sported a version of this grille design. But on the new Vantage, it looks quite different—a huge, gaping grille opening with no bars or slats, like the track-special Vulcan. The dramatic new look is not just a styling exercise—it's for weight savings.

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, Aston Martin chief designer Marek Reichmann explained that ditching traditional grille slats reduces weight in a crucial area of the car, shifting the weight balance more toward the center of the car and aiding in handling.

"Why put 15 or 20 kilograms [33 to 44 lbs] of weight on the nose of a car, in the worst possible spot?" Reichmann asked The Drive.

Aston Martin wants to position the new Vantage as a sports car through-and-through, more so than its predecessor. To do so, it focused on handling, chasing a 50-50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Achieving that perfect balance requires a lot of work, like positioning the engine as far behind the front axle as possible, and using a rear-mounted transaxle. And yes, getting rid of the grille slats.

Aston also wanted the Vantage to look like more of a departure from previous designs as well as the new DB11, to reflect its sports car ambitions. "This is not a DB11," Reichmann told The Drive. "This is our sports car. It’s a hunter, the predator in our pack that’s going to chase down and pass a 911."

The new Vantage definitely makes a bold statement in its looks, but the functional benefits of that new grille sound great too.


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