Some estimate by the time the car was first shown, some dealers had as much as a three year waiting list for the Vantage such has been the interest. Series production of the Vantage began in the Autumn of 2005 at a rate of approaching 3000 annually on a second assembly line within the Gaydon factory, with approximately 70% going outside of the UK. Deliveries of the V8 Vantage to customers in the UK and Europe began in October 2005 with customers in North America and the rest of the world started waiting until early 2006.
The V8 Vantage was the second Aston Martin production car based on the VH architecture as already seen on the DB9, but it is the first to use a new 4.3 litre quad cam 32 valve dry sumped V8 engine. Power was quoted at 380bhp @ 7000rpm and torque of 302 lb/ft @ 5000rpm. This would allow the 1570kg machine a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 and 0-100 mph in 10.7 with the standard 6 speed Graziano manual gearbox. The engine was unique to Aston Martin but used a Jaguar sourced block with unique internal dimensions. It was handbuilt alongside the V12 at the Aston Martin Engine Plant in Cologne, Germany.
The Vantage was strictly a 2 seater but does have a decent boot and plenty of space behind the seats.
The show car was finished in a non standard colour called Cool Yellow which I have never actually seen on a production car. You will no doubt notice that the colour appears differently in each picture. Indeed, when seen in the flesh, the colour did appear to change between a lemon yellow and full on custard. I can only put this down to the fact that the paint was pearlescent and not solid as it appears. The car was for many years ‘on display’ floating above the moat around the Gaydon production facility. It was removed in early 2016 and replaced by a AM310 Vanquish.
In early 2006, the first noticeable changes were made to the Vantage. Known as the 2006.5MY, these cars can be identified by a white LED instrument display replacing the previous yellow. The photos below show a Morning Frost 2006.5MY V8 Vantage at the 2006 Geneva Salon. A little later, 2007MY cars received redesigned seats with additional width.
At the 2006 Paris Salon, AM announced the option of a two pedal paddle shift gearbox option developed by Prodrive and known as ‘Sportshift’, made available in the second quarter of 2007, AM were so confident of this option that they claimed that gear changes can occur in just 0.2 seconds.
Midway through 2008, the 4.3 litre car was replaced with an improved 2009MY version a revised and more powerful 4.7 litre V8 engine