V8 Vantage ‘X-pack’
V8 Vantage ‘X-pack’

V8 Vantage ‘X-pack’

(1986 - 1989) Formally known by the AMOC as Series 3. Also known as V580X

Once the limited edition V8 Vantage Zagato was firmly in production, attention turned back to the regular V8 Vantage saloon. The X-pack was the final ultimate version of the V8 Vantage saloon, the flagship performance model of the range since the model was introduced in 1977.    

V8 Vantage ‘X-pack’

In January 1986, the AM V8, Volante and Lagonda received the Weber electronic fuel injection system to replace the carburettors in an effort to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.   Yet the Vantage continued to be fitted with the four twin-choke, down draught Weber carburettors. The fuel injection technology of the time could not have provided sufficient power expected of the highest performance car of the range. First produced in early 1986, the final series of the V8 Vantage were fitted with the same 580X engine as previewed in the V8 Vantage Zagato and the X-pack was born.

First view of the X-pack was in the autumn of 1986 at the Birmingham Motor Show. This particularly early example of the X-pack in Chichester Blue still has the front indicator repeaters in mounted in front of the wheels, later cars had these repositioned behind. The wheels, now 16 inch in diameter were of a spilt rim design were made by Compomotive were fitted with 255/50 Goodyear Eagle tyres.

After problems with the original Compomotive wheels, splitting when hitting kerbs, AML initially switched to similar styles by manufacturers OZ Ceres or MSW (see left). Soon after, they then switched to the exceptionally beautiful Ronal with it’s concealed wheel nuts (right). Unfortunately the Ronal wheel is now long out of production and consequently they are of considerable value. A ‘look-a-like’ Ronal is now available from AM Heritage Dealers and is seen on many other AM V8’s as well as Vantages.

This very smart Vantage Series 3 was photographed at the AMOC Autumn Concours at Donnington Park, 1998. Both of the polished stainless exhausts are clearly visible. This particular car has an automatic gearbox – the series 3 was the first Vantage where the auto box was officially available.

The heart of the series 3 V8 Vantage – the V580X (sometimes called X-pack) specification engine. Changes to the previous version include four 48mm Weber carburettors, Cosworth pistons, larger inlet ports and higher lift camshafts. With the air pumps needed to meet EEC emission regulations, peak power is in the range of 410 to 420 bhp. With an optional conversion from Works Service, which included big bore airbox and manifolds, straight through pipes at the back and the carbs meticulously opened upto 50mm, power was increased to 432bhp.

Here is a particularly unusual and probably unique V8 Vantage. This example was built not only without blanking plate over the grille but also lacking the huge front air dam. It could almost be referred to as ‘‘Prince of wales’ specification.

An example of a series 3 V8 Vantage together with a V8 Vantage Volante POW, photographed during early Spring 2001 at Nicholas Mee’s London showroom.

Between March 1977 and December 1989, the V8 Vantage was the only British member of the Supercar club. It may have weighed as much as a house (about 1800 kg actually) but could see off the skimpy Ferrari 512BB and Testarossa plus the Lamborghini Countach with aplomb and carry an extra two passengers.

Photo 12-01-2015 19 13 05

The V8 Vantage pages have been written with the kind assistance of Kean Rogers of the Kangaroo Stable. For more detained information, please visit 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 optional or standard in hot climates
    • Front airdam and integral ‘tea-tray’ rear spoiler
  • Interior:
    • Full leather Connolly interior
    • Air-conditioning system Adjustable seats with tilting squabs to allow access to the rear seats
    • Walnut facia and cappings
    • Wilton wool pile carpets
    • Blaupunkt Toronto SQR46 or 48 stereo radio cassette, 4 speakers and electric arieal
  • Engine:
    • Front mounted all-alloy 90° V8, 5,340 cc, two-valves-per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank.
    • Engine number prefix V580/, suffix /X or /XA (automatic)
    • Bore 100 mm. Stroke 85 mm. Compression ratio 10.2 : 1
    • Four Weber 48 IDF3/150 downdraught carburettors.
    • Fuel supplied by electric twin SU single unit
    • Maximum power: 410 bhp @ 6,000 rpm, (432 bhp @ 6,250 rpm with 50mm chokes, big bore airbox and exhausts)
    • Maximum torque: 395 lb.ft @ 5,100 rpm
    • Ignition System: Lucas 35 DLM8 electronic
    • Air Injection System: Twin AC Delco air pumps
    • Cosmetic Vantage built with Emision Control V585/LFM spec engines
  • Transmission:
    • 5 speed ZF manual gearbox.
    • Hydraulically operated 10½” Borg and Beck single dry-plate diaphragm clutch
    • Chrysler Torqueflite 3 speed automatic optional
    • Final drive: Salisbury hypoid bevel with Powr-Lok limited slip differential. Final drive ratio: 3.54 : 1 (manual and North America), 3.058 : 1 (automatic)
  • 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, 16 x 8J light alloy wheels. Initially Compomotive, MSW, OZ Ceres and lastly Ronal
    • Goodyear Eagle 255/50VR 16
    • Space saver spare wheel T115/85R18 with some later cars
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent, featuring unequal transverse wishbones, coil springs and co-axial telescopic shock absorbers with an anti-roll bar
    • Rear: De-Dion tube, Watts linkage and trailing links incorporating uprated Koni co-axial spring shock absorber units
  • 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: 4,670 mm (4,780 mm with 5 mph impact bumpers)
    • Width: 1,892 mm
    • Height: 1,370 mm
    • Wheelbase: 2,610 mm
    • Front track: 1,554 mm
    • Rear track: 1,586 mm
    • Fuel tank capacity: 104.6 litres
    • Kerb Weight: 1,818 kg (1,860 kg Cosmetic with 5 mph impact bumpers)
    • Cd: 0.36
  • Performance:
    • Acceleration: 0-60 mph 5.2 seconds
    • Maximum speed: 168 mph
  • Price at launch:
    • October 1986: £63,500. ($125,000 USA)
    • March 1987: £70,000
    • October 1987: £75,000. ($143,000 USA)
    • March 1988: £79,500. ($158,000 USA)
    • September 1988: £87,000. ($158,000 USA)
    • February 1989: £100,000
    • August 1989: £110,000