If you have a pretty standard model of car and want to make it a bit special, it’s a rather easy job. Give it a premium moniker with a bit more about it and hey presto. However, when it comes to the top of tree in terms of performance, what do you do when you have already eeked out every possible bit of goodness whilst creating a potential motoring icon in the process? We put the all new N430 of Aston Martin and their Vantage through its paces to find out.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 N430

Since 2006, the Vantage has by far been Aston’s most popular car, not only desirable and sophisticated, with the help of great product placement (Bond and THAT Ice scene), it has also become an aspiration for a much younger and more on trend audience. Selling thousands is testament to the fact, but as the Vantage is fast heading towards the grand old age of 10 years, not a lot has really changed. Then again, not a lot has really needed to.

Available in both Coupe and Roadster, the Vantage is still one of the most beautiful cars on the road. The N430 (standing for Nurbergring 430BHP) comes in just five colours with a secondary accent colour. Combinations are:

  • Green with yellow detailing
  • Black with grey detailing
  • Navy with red detailing
  • Grey with white detailing
  • White with red detailing

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The first colour representing the base, and the second the styling details, such as; front grille surround, wing mirrors, roof arches, and the rear diffuser. Whilst we are still not convinced about that ‘front lipstick’, colour choices will of course be very important and very much an individual choice. And though we can understand Aston Martin wanting to keep things simple, and keep in tone with a race heritage, it does mean that with pre-selected colours, your pride and joy will never be truly unique from the outside, though you can choose not to take the second colour option if you wish.

Whilst these changes in visuals may not suit everyone’s tastes, thankfully there is a little more substance to the N430 than just the aesthetics. Improved air and fuel flow create a modest extra 10 BHP from the meaty V8, but suspension has been upgraded to give more track like performance and we have to say it works a treat.

On the road, this car is Aston Martin at its very best, and the N430 lives up to its ‘race to road’ tagline. The suspension is tight without being uncomfortable and the extra power from that V8 coupled with a 20KG weight saving pass on impressive statistics of 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and is more than willing to push on to 190 mph.

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Many people will choose the 7 speed sport shift ‘auto’, but it is great to see a 6 speed manual as an option, and for most it may well be the best choice. The sport shift is just an auto version of the manual box, and to be honest, if you don’t want to use the paddles, it creates quite a clunky and unstructured ride. I am sure it would improve as you get more of a feel for when the car wants to change gear, but for us, you have to be using the paddles with the sport shift box to give you true enjoyment, and the most fulfilment on your drive.

Though we are sure many may doubt the race to road claim, Aston Martin and their superb race support team fully backed up their marketers by running two N430’s at the 2014 Nurbergring 24 hour race. Both finishing the whole event, and in a respectable 2nd and 3rd in class, you can be assured the Aston Martin Vantage V8 N430 has been pushed to the very limit.

This added technology and fine tuning race pedigree, actually makes the N430 quite easy to drive. You need to push hard to find the limit, and once there, you have a choice to let off, go over, or keep it right there at your fingertips. That is how precise this car is on the road, the feedback is instant and crisp, which allows you to have huge amounts of fun whilst still being in complete control.

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Not only is the N430 a joy to drive, you are fully aware that it looks amazing to every onlooker. It’s an added beauty to driving an Aston Martin, a strange instant respect from anyone who lays eyes on it. You can sense heads turn and eyes following you as you make your way through any environment, it may sound strange, but once you have felt it, you will never want to give it up.

The current Vantage may well be coming to the end of its current shelf life, a slightly dated interior and rear light clusters may be famous the world over, but they are in need of an update. Thankfully the rest is a timeless classic, still beautiful and still quite wonderful to drive. The Aston Martin Vantage V8 N430 blows a breath of fresh air into the famous Vantage name, and gives us a quite wonderful machine in the process.

Starting at £89,995 with the first deliveries in September, we have just started saving for a manual roadster. See you in the Autumn!

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