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Drive

Aston Martin to unveil the Vantage on Nov 21

Teaser image of the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage. — Picture courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda LtdNEW YORK, Nov 10 — The preferred sportscar brand of the world’s best-known fictional secret agent is about to take the wraps off an all-new two-seater coupé.

The new baby Aston will be the second new model built from the ground up from the company in less than two years and also the second to receive a Mercedes-AMG heart transplant. This means that when it goes on sale in mid-2018, it will do so initially with a 4-liter twin-turbo V8 under its hood developed and built in Germany.

However, purists shouldn’t fear; it’s the same block that powers some of Mercedes’s most potent vehicles and will be a significant upgrade to the V8 that powered the first-generation Vantage.

Times change, as do client expectations, especially at the very highest end of the car market. If building premium sports and GT cars were still simply a matter of aesthetic beauty, then Aston would still be in a league of its own. On November 7, its CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, collected the much converted golden steering wheel award — voted for by some of Europe’s leading car designers, engineers, racers and motoring journalists — in Germany for the most beautiful car of 2017 — the Aston Martin DB11, beating off competition from 19 other contenders in the process.

There is a clear similarity between the new Vantage and the DB10 built for the James Bond film ‘Spectre.’ — AFP picHowever, thanks to the aforementioned relationship with Mercedes-Benz, the new DB11 won because it offers the performance and next-level creature comforts to back up those good looks — something the company had been struggling to do on its own since becoming independent of Ford and losing access to its R&D and other capabilities.

Therefore, expect the new Vantage to be raucous fun to drive but with an incredibly civilized cabin packed with everything from blind spot monitoring to emergency autonomous braking.

What’s more, although the company has only been providing carefully disguised teaser images, there is also very good news for James Bond fans as the new car clearly takes design inspiration from the one-off DB10 created especially for the last James Bond film, 2015’s Spectre. — AFP-Relaxnews