Last month we saw a test mule for the next-generation Aston Martin V8 Vantage that looked a lot like a shortened DB11. The production car won't look like that. As these spy photos show, it's going to look a lot like the Aston Martin DB10 made for the James Bond film Spectre.
We've seen Vantage prototypes testing at the Nürburgring and elsewhere since last year, but these shots provide us our best look at this upcoming model. Even though this car is wrapped up in camouflage, we can see that it wears similar proportions to the last Vantage.
There are some elements of DB11 too, but not so many that you'd mistake the two. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has between the company's models going forward, so this upcoming Vantage won't likely just be a "baby" DB11.
The new V8 Vantage is expected to be powered a Mercedes-AMG-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8—virtually the same engine used in the AMG GT S. Aston just unveiled a DB11 with this engine, where it produces 503 hp and 513 lb-ft of torque.
That engine will either be available with an automatic transmission—likely the ZF eight-speed used in the DB11—or as promised by Palmer, some sort of manual transmission. This V8 Vantage prototype has stickers with the logo of Italian gearbox maker Oerlikon Graziano, which previously built a single-clutch automated manual for Aston Martin. This is also the same company that supplies McLaren's dual-clutch gearbox.
We think that Graziano might be supplying a manual for the Vantage, since Palmer told us last year that no Aston Martin besides the Valkyrie will use a single- or dual-clutch gearbox. For last year's excellent V12 Vantage S, Aston Martin modified Graziano's single-clutch transmission to be a proper, seven-speed dogleg manual. Perhaps the new Vantage will get that gearbox as an option.
You've probably also noticed the giant Pirelli stickers too, so it's safe to assume the Vantage will get tires supplied by the Italian company.
It's tough to tell from these pictures, but it appears that the Vantage won't get the DB11's Aeroblade technology. This system channels air through an intake in the C-Pillar and out a small opening on the back of the car, simulating a downforce-generating spoiler. Instead, the Vantage looks like it's getting a larger spoiler on the rear decklid.
It appears to be covered in tape, but it does look like the Vantage will have Aston's so-called "curlicues" on the front-wheel arches, which reduce pressure. We can't tell for certain, but it also looks like the Vantage is ditching its hatchback in favor of a traditional trunk.
Andy Palmer has said the new V8 Vantage will debut this year, so we won't have to wait long to see what Aston has done with it. Based on what we can see here, and by how much we like the DB11, we're very optimistic the new Vantage will live up to the old one's legacy.