V8 Vantage (Oscar India)
V8 Vantage (Oscar India)

V8 Vantage (Oscar India)

(1978 - 1986)

(formally known as Series 2), (V540 OI, V580 and V580 BBS) 

When, in October 1978, the standard V8 received updates to become what is known as the 'Oscar India' specification, the Vantage received much the same treatment. The rear spoiler became much neater and fully integral, and a smoother and closed bonnet bulge became standard across the range. Indeed the only external differences between the standard model was the large front air dam, blanked off grille and badges.

V8 Vantage (Oscar India)

Mechanically the ‘Oscar India’ V8 Vantage (V540 OI) remained the same as the earlier series 1 (V540) cars although the interior was more luxurious with leather replacing the vinyl on the dash. Wood veneers for the dash and door capping, standard on the V8 saloon, became an option on the Vantage although it was thought at the time that the shiny surface would distract the serious driver. Forty four examples of the V540 OI cars were built between October 1978 and March 1980.

When Motor Magazine tested the V8 Vantage (a V580 model) an incredible 0 to 60mph time of 5.2 seconds was recorded, slightly faster than the same magazine achieved for the original cars.

Further revisions were made to the V8 Vantage in 1980 although these were purely mechanical and the from the exterior, the car remained unchanged. The V580 cars, as they are known at the factory, were the result of a process of standardising engine parts across the AM V8 range. Changes mainly to the head and valves plus a standard piston for all models resulted in a quieter and smoother engine with both better economy and improved mid-range torque.

From 1983, the 7 inch wide GKN wheels on the Vantage were replaced by the 8 inch cross spoke BBS. These were needed to carry the massively wide 275 section Pirelli P7 tyres and the V580BBS cars are easily identified by wider wheel arches, increasing the overall width from 183 cm to 189 cm.

In the gallery below are examples of the 94 V580BBS cars, although these cars have the Ronal cross spoked more usually associated with the later examples of the Vantage (V580X). How can we tell they are pre X-pack 2 cars? The indicator repeater is on the front of the wing, just behind the headlight; in most cases, the X-pack cars have a square repeater behind the front wheel.

The V8 Vantage pages have been written with the kind assistance of Kean Rogers of the Kangaroo Stable. For more detained information, please visit www.v8vantage.com

  • Body/Coachwork:
    • 2 door 2+2 coupe
    • Steel platform chassis with handcrafted aluminium alloy body panels
    • Dual 7” quartz-halogen headlamps with additional Cibie 7” driving lights in blanked off grille.
    • Mesh grille in hot climates Front airdam and integral ‘tea-tray’ rear spoiler
  • Interior:
    • Full Connolly leather interior including leather dash, top-roll and headlining
    • Coolair air-conditioning system
    • Bucket seats with tilting squabs to allow access to the rear seats
    • Burr Walnut facia and cappings optional
  • Engine:
    • Front mounted all-alloy 90° V8, 5,340 cc, two-valves-per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank.
    • Engine number prefix V540/, suffix /V, later V580/, suffix /V
    • Bore 100 mm. Stroke 85 mm. Compression ratio 9.25 : 1 (V540) later 9.3 : 1 (V580)
    • Four Weber 48 IDF 3/150 downdraught carburettors.
    • Fuel supplied by SU AUF 412 electric pump.
    • Maximum power: not quoted at the time but now believed to be 375 bhp @ 5,800rpm
    • Maximum torque: not quoted at the time but now believed to be 380 lb.ft @ 4,000 rpm
    • Air Injection System: AC Delco air pump
    • Ignition System: Lucas ‘OPUS’ Mk 2 electronic. 12 volt coil and engine driven Lucas 35D8 distributor.
    • Lucas 35 DM8 CE (Constant Energy) system from 1982
  • Transmission:
    • Manual: 5 speed ZF. Hydraulically operated 10½” Borg and Beck single dry-plate diaphragm clutch. No official automatic option
    • Final drive: Salisbury hypoid bevel with Powr-Lok limited slip differential. Final drive ratio: 3.54 : 1
  • Steering:
    • Power assisted Adwest rack and pinion 2.9 turns lock to lock. Turning circle 11.58 metres
  • Wheels and tyres:
    • Bolt-on, 5 stud GKN Kent 15 x 7 ” light alloy wheels (to 1983)
    • Bolt-on, 5 stud,15 x 8J BBS Mahle cast aluminimum alloy wheels (from 1983)
    • Pirelli CN12 255/60 VR15 (to late 1978)
    • Pirelli P7 255/60 VR15 (from late 1978)
    • Pirelli P7 275/55 VR15 (from 1981)
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent. Unequal transverse wishbones, coil springs and co-axial uprated telescopic Koni shock absorbers with an anti-roll bar
    • Rear: De Dion axle tube located by parallel trailing links and a Watts linkage. Coil springs and double-acting uprated Koni telescopic dampers
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Ventilated steel discs, 267 mm (10.51″) diameter
    • Rear: Ventilated steel discs, 264 mm (10.39″) diameter mounted inboard Tandem master cylinders and dual vacuum servo assistance
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 4,667 mm, 4,700 mm when overriders fitted
    • Width: 1,829 mm, from 1983 with BBS wheels, 1,892 mm
    • Height: 1,327 mm
    • Kerb Weight: 1,727 kg, later quoted as 1,818 kg
    • Wheelbase: 2,610 mm
    • Front track: 1,499 mm, 1,520 mm with GKN wheels and 275/55 tyres, 1,554 mm with BBS wheels
    • Rear track: 1,520 mm, 1,539 mm with GKN wheels and 275/55 tyres, 1,586 mm with BBS wheels
    • Fuel tank capacity: 113.6 litres, later stated as 104.6 litres
  • Performance:
    • Acceleration: 0-60 mph 5.2 seconds, (Motor Magazine, April 1981)
    • Maximum speed: 168 mph, (Motor Magazine, April 1981)
  • Price at launch:
    • October 1978: £25,998
    • April 1979: £29,000
    • November 1979: £32,500
    • April 1980: £37,000
    • March 1981: £40,000
    • February 1982: £42,500
    • February 1983: £45,000
    • April 1984: £50,000
    • June 1985: £57,000
    • January 1986: £59,500