I was already wondering what Aston Martin would bring to the upcoming Geneva Motorshow. Again the Vanquish Volante, V12 Vantage S and Rapide S?
Nope, they came up with a cunning plan: they created 3 special editions, one of the V8 Vantage and two of the DB9. This is the special Vantage: the V8 Vantage N430.
Looks great, right? But, how “special” is it really?
Technical specifications of the N430
According to the press release, the N430 is a regular V8 Vantage (so not a Vantage S), with the power increased from 426 PS to 436 PS (like the V8 Vantage S). The increased oomph brings its’ 0-60 time to 4.6 seconds (yes, like the V8 Vantage S).
Other than that, the press release mentions 10-spoke forged alloy wheels and carbon fibre and Kevlar® seats, together resulting in a 20kg weight savings. But these 10-spoke alloys were already an option on the Vantage and the seats looks suspiciously like the regular carbon fibre racing seats, already available as an option for years.
So technically speaking, isn’t this just a V8 Vantage S with the right options?
Oh no wait, there’s this:
The compact proportions and inherent balance of the Vantage design are supported by a carefully calibrated sports suspension tune and quick-ratio steering rack that rewards the true enthusiast driver on road, and on track.
Mmm, isn’t that roughly the same they said about the V8 Vantage SP10 edition? A car which I have always suspected it was just a Vantage S with a fixed spec.
Why can’t they just tell us exactly what changed?
What exactly is the difference between this N430 and the V8 Vantage S?
I must admit, the car looks pretty cool. But, there’s nothing one couldn’t specify on a regular V8 Vantage (or S) already. Here’s what’s new:
- Graphite painted forged alloy wheels : same wheels, different paint.
- Black front grille : already available as an option.
- Black side window surrounds : already introduced an as option on the V12 Vantage S. Good to see it comes to the V8 too.
- Black textured tailpipe finishers : the Zircotec finish probably, already available on the V12 Roadster and V12 S.
- Clear rear lamps with black surrounds : already available (standard even) on the V12 Roadster and V12 S.
So nothing new here, just a combination of options already available on the Vantage.
This is where the real changes are, including some interesting new stuff I’d love to see available as after-market options. Next to the N430 logo in some places, we find:
- Black magnesium paddle-shifts: very nice!
- contemporary driver instrument panel: that is a nice change! (see picture below).
- black anodised rotaries (the round knobs on the center console): that is very cool, would love that in my cars.
- leather steering wheel with contrasting on-centre stitch feature: very racy, want!
- seat and door inserts in technical Plissè Alcantara : mmm, not a fan of that.
- unique seat trim patterns : same here, don’t think that looks better that the regular trim.
- carbon fibre gearshift surround : been there, done that 🙂
So, how special is the N430?
IMO, it isn’t that special. It’s just a V8 Vantage S with a nicely combined exterior package and some cool new interior options. Nothing wrong with that, but it is a bit sneaky to announce the N430 as a special edition of the regular V8 Vantage, bringing upgraded power.
(Looking back at the previous two Vantage “N” models, the N400 and the N420, only the N400 really brought something special, that is: more power. The N400 increased the power of the V8 Vantage 4.3 from 380bhp to 400bhp, which made it the most powerful Vantage available at the time.)
On top of that, I am disappointed to see that some of the exterior features that made the V12 Roadster and V12 S special (black window surrounds, black rear lamp surrounds, black tailpipes) are already finding their way to the V8 models. How long will it take until the V12 S front grille becomes available on all Vantage models?
Oh well… here’s a nice N430 video (cool voice-over!) and more pictures: