We took a drive in a 2008 Aston Martin V8 Vantage recently with the correct manual transmission. If you want the full spiel, take a look at the full Clutch Kick review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSWxQ8TuL4o
But in the words of Doug Demuro, "Here's why the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is considered the most analog modern sports car."
The V8 Vantage is very old school. It was offered for most of its life with a manual transmission and always had hydraulic steering. The V8 Vantage is a classic example of how there's more to cars than straight numbers. The early V8 Vantages like this one only had 380hp and 302 lb-ft of torque so right off the bat, we're not winning too many drag races. Back when the V8 Vantage was launched and tested on Top Gear in 2007, it lapped the Isle of Man TT course in the same time as the BMW M6 at the time. A car that had over 120 more horsepower than the Aston. That may seem impressive until you look at the 997-gen Porsche 911 Carrera S that they timed during that test as well. The 911 did the exact same lap 6 seconds faster than the M6 and V8 Vantage despite being 30hp down from the Aston.
So the V8 Vantage was not as fast as the less powerful Porsche and was more expensive. But we tested a 997-gen 911 recently (film and written review soon) and I'm here to report the V8 Vantage is better. It's so much more exciting to drive. It wakes up something inside of you that gets your heart racing, even if you're driving the slower vehicle. It has to do with the exhaust, the beauty of the car, the feel of that steering. The steering is fabulous in a Vantage. It has such heft and precision, all in one. It makes you feel so special when you're driving the vehicle.
And you can experience it too, because this specific V8 Vantage is available on Turo: https://turo.com/rentals/cars/wa/seattle/aston-martin-v8-vantage/569502
Engine: 4.3L DOHC 32-Valve V8
Power: 380 @ 7,300 rpm
Torque: 302 lb-ft @ 5,000rpm
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy (City/Highway): 13/20 MPG
Wheelbase: 102.4 in
Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
Base Price: $111,300 (in 2008)
Price as Tested: N/A
Photography: Sophanna Tav @sopanda.t