The 2010 Aston Martin Vantage is a smaller V-8-powered sportscar that's spun from the British automaker's VM aluminum architecture. It's distinct from the larger DB9, though, with its eight-cylinder engine, and its mission to give luxury-sportscar shoppers an alternative to the usual Porsche 911, Nissan GT-R, or Audi R8.
It doesn't quite thrill the way a911 Turbo might, but the Aston Vantage has a swift, engaging driving feel all its own. The 4.7-liter V-8 underhood has been massaged up to 420 horsepower, and it cracks off 0-60 mph times in 4.7 seconds, the company says. It's hard to imagine a being a whole second and a half faster, but it is.
The interior's jewel-box finishes are amazingly modern and rich, and interior space and trunk storage is remarkably useful, if a bit on the small side. The only letdown with the Vantage? It's considerably more expensive than the competition--the price of exclusivity and a bit more panache.
We're giving the Vantage its rating based on our first drive on our sister site, Motor Authority. For firsthand driving impressions, turn there for our review of the 2010 Aston Martin Vantage.