We all have grew up watching or reading Bond movies. I have more or less seen or read most of the Bond movies. I will admit it. It was never for the stealth of the spy but for the sheer pleasure that one gets in watching Bond girls. Ursula Andress in Dr No and Halle Berry in Die Another Day are some of the Bond babes that would remain forever etched in my mind. Other than the Bond babes, the other thing that remains constant is the cars. Man, he had some really drool worthy cars and most of them Astons. At that time, I used to think that an Aston would really be a lust worthy car. I never imagined that they make sports cars also. Agreed, the movies mostly depict sports cars but then they rarely show the high speeds at which these cars are driven. India is very lucky that we can now buy any Aston Martin legally. It was only on April 17th 2011 that Aston has come to India and their most awaited car would be the sports one, the Aston Martin Vantage.
Well, while the Aston Martin Vantage in India wouldn’t be fitted with submerging capacity, rocket launchers, ejecting seats or anti missile properties, it would come in its own gorgeous form. This car is said to be as stunning as all those aforementioned beauties which 007 has left dead or heartbroken in his secret missions. Over the decades, Aston Martin has always associated itself with strong visual points for its car design. It is available in both the coupe and roadster forms. Indian markets would get both the coupe and roadster as also the choice of both the V8 and V12 engine. Yes, there is no V6 speak in the Aston Martin range and it is all about V8 and V12. We are talking about British engineering here. While they say, Aston Martin cars are more about beauty, passion and soul, the functionality form isn’t lost somewhere deep in the woods. The wheelbase of 2600 mm as also the platform is shared by the other cars in its lineup. The 255/35 ZR19 – 295/30 ZR19 tyre section itself feels a strong Lamborghini rival. Speaking of Lamborghini, that is the only name that comes to mind when we speak of sports cars. Not to forget the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. But as they say, exclusivity is the key word when it comes to spending habits of millionaires or multi millionaires. Coming back to the form of the car, it has got LED head lamps with the usual HID lights. The grille resembles that of a car form while the air dam resembles that of any Jaguar cars. Well, the similarity is there because both are British after all.
The outside rear view mirrors could have been integrated with the indicators to give it a classy look however that has been avoided here. The rear in the meanwhile makes do with wraparound tail lamps and individual reflectors on the bumper. The bumper also houses twin tail pipes at the two different ends. One novel feature, is the position of the door handles inside the body of this car. The company eventually achieved what it wanted to and that is narrate the passionate story about the Aston Martin automobiles in a package.
The interiors are no less interesting. Standard parking sensors, screen reversing camera at the rear, 12 CD changer with 18 speakers, automatic climate control, head lamps with washers and high quality leather seats with memory adjustments. High quality materials and especially handmade ones make this an exclusive cabin. However in my personal opinion, it would be very much similar to Bentley Mulssane one that I got to check out at the Surat Auto Show. The array of buttons on the central stack however do take some getting used to and the instrument binnacle however seems very ordinary. The steering wheel is a 3 spoke unit which has the music and Bluetooth controls however those who have been fed on a steady diet of German cars would definitely find the placement of the audio control buttons, a bit difficult. There are paddle shifts on offer as well. For the roadster, the soft top roof opens and closes in the standard 19 seconds time frame. The best part is that it doesn’t take too much of the boot space. But boot space is puny at 143 liters.
We have seen in pictures how the Aston Martin cars respond to Bond’s inputs however what may seem too easy on movies is often the work of many automated things. Some for example, the counter steering or other tricks which Bond is usually shown as trying in his movies is very difficult to perform in real world situations. However all sports cars generally have this tendency to handle beautifully. That’s why they are called as sports cars. However its ride height would have many fretting and fuming in India. But then those buying these cars would have already thought of the different routes where they can actually get to drive this beauty. Ride quality would also be in the league of sports cars.
The Aston Martin Vantage in India would come in both the engine configurations. One V8 and the other V12. The latter engine would be offered in the coupe form and the 6 liter 48 valves V12 engine would produce power of 510 Bhp @ 6500 rpm while the maximum torque generated is 570 Nm @ 5750 rpm. It will be mated with a 6 or 7 speed automatic. While the transmission is said to be butter smooth, the paddle shifts are a killjoy feature according to some reports. The V8 engine in the roadster would be a 4735 cc one with 36 valves and producing 420 Bhp of power and 470 Nm of torque. It will either come with a 6 speed manual (eeks) or the 6 speed auto from the V12. It is said that both the engines are an enthusiasts delight with their ready turn of performance and aural delight. Each and every Aston Martin is tuned differently for giving an aural blast each and every time the owner floors the throttle. The kerb weight of 1750 kgs, estimated, for the roadster is a bit on the porkier side but then its performance is not blunted by this. Though I don’t have the official 0-100 kmph times, expect the V8 engine to cross the 0-100 kmph run in only 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 279 kmph. The V12 would improve on the times by 0.1 seconds and increase the top speed to 300 plus.
All the necessary safety gadgets would be present in this car, though, I am very doubtful about the reliability of British cars. Early on, due to their non reliability factor, many customers used to shy away from British cars and opt for German or Japanese cars. But then with times, British engineering has developed and now their cars can be called as a bit reliable than the earlier times. Fuel efficiency of the V8 engined car is said to be around 5.6 kmpl overall whereas the V12 engined one would return close to 4.8 kmpl. Would that matter to some one who is paying about Rs 1.28 crores for the V8 car and Rs 1.94 crores for the V12 car? It wouldn’t. But the best part is that, would there be a Bond movie to be setup in India, the next time, Bond wouldn’t have to be driven around in an auto rickshaw. Instead he can take any of the Aston Martin’s current range of cars and shake as also stir them.