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Thread: Aston Martin V8 Vantage vs Z8?

  1. #1
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    Aston Martin V8 Vantage vs Z8?

    Any Z8 owners here driven an AM V8 Vantage for comparison? I know the Vantage (especially pre-2009) is down on power vs the Z8, and no doubt doesn't hold value as well, but wondering about other general comparisons/opinions.

    Interesting the V8 Vantage is another of Henrik Fisker's beautiful creations...

  2. #2
    The Vantage is a blast to drive. It handles well, has a lovely exhaust note, and great build quality. It's biggest advantage is its a super stylish and very fun lease it and thrash it car, but one that you don't want to keep in the long term, or out of warranty. If you want a long term keeper the Z8 is hard to beat, and it is just as fast and as fun as the AM V8!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    And perhaps, under 6" to drive it. I'm not even close at 6"4".

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    My wife is taking the Z8 for granted these days. When an AM DB9 or V8 Vantage passes by she 'ooooos and aaahhhs and wants one. I think she likes it better than our favorite!

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I just can't force myself to like the V8 vantage. Every time I see one I think "not as pretty or as good sounding as the DB9 and far more expensive that the better performing 911 for which it was intended to compete". It's kind of a why does it exist moment. It's a compromise in every form.
    thegunguy

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Aston V8 is much less $ than the DB9, more cach? than the 911, and most people who drive 911s, don't need all the performance...just want a nice sporty car for cruising to the country club...the Aston is perfect! Just not for me. Z8 + GT3 is my perfect.

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    When I was toying with swapping my Alpina for a DB9 I drove the Vantage, but liked the DB9 better. I never did swap the car as I agree with the above comments that it is a better value, and easier to maintain over time. But I do think that Fisker got the design of the DB9 right, almost as good looking as the Z8....

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    Smile

    My wife drives a DB 9. We take it on trips all the time. It is a great road car with stunning looks. We get comments from young and old, male and female about it's great looks.
    I have tracked it many times with the Aston Club and run next to the V8's. They are slower but handle really well. Their owners love them.

  9. #9
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    While Andrew will disagree, the DB9 is a true gentleman among cars. I'm a sucker for them. I think that's why the Vantage just leaves me short. I just can't get past the DB9 when I think current AM.
    thegunguy

  10. #10
    I have no problem with the DB9, it has glorious engine, lovely styling, and is a total joy to drive - what more can you ask of a supercar!!

    (lack of depreciation? buy a Z8! :-)
    Andrew Macpherson

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Indeed a lovely car the DB9 and who knows with AM moving towards Mercedes the "old" independent modells might not derpeciate that much in years to come!

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    The Vantage is one of the best sounding Jags in recent years.

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    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Did the quarter mile 2 weeks ago;

    Z8 (driven by me....): 13.2 seconds
    V8 Vantage (driven by a friend): 13.4 seconds
     

  14. #14
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    That's because instead of converting fuel into physical energy, the Vantage converts it into sound. It makes a horrible racket and doesn't go anywhere in much of a rush. Seriously, I was behind one in the Lotus for a bit at the track a year ago, and it made a dreadful sound. Come from the plastic buzz-bomb, that's saying something.
    thegunguy

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    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    It's not about the Vantage V8, but anyway...

    You have to jump at opportunities once they arise. That's what I thought, and I didn't spend too much time asking myself whether - after a filled out race weekend - a short visit to the GP course the following Monday morning would be justifiable. Especially in light of the invitation on my desk to drive the current Aston Martin portfolio there. A short dialog with the most understanding of all wifes made the decision, and hence I found myself in the pit lane under a sunny blue sky.


    After registration and a short briefing the driving started in groups of 12 to 15 cars, each driver had an instructor next to him. In my case this was Andy, a racedriver from the UK driving an E46 GTR there. Thus there was no shortage of stuff to discuss, of course. The stints were 3 times 20 minutes, the right duration to avoid the GP course boring you.


    During the first two stints I drove a DBS Volante, unfortunally with an automatic gearbox. The shift pedals and the manual shift mode helped a bit, however, the car didn't appear much faster that a regular DB9 due to the automatic transmission.
    Very nice to drive for a car of this weight. Fortunally, Andy quickly developed some trust to my style of driving, so that I could drive with too many restrictions. We tried several lines, starting with the classical instructor line to race lines, which help you to stay in front rather than to drive a beautiful line.
    The DBS is good-natured, no surprises. Turn-in is very good. Reaching the limit you will experience a bit of understeer, which was expected. If you hold back with pushing down the throttle, however, until you reach the apex of the curve, the DBS will settle nicely on its rear and push out of the curve with lots of torque and grip. Therefore, late turn-in is recommended to be able to "open up" the steering early. Traction control will help to control the enormous power.





    The DBS is a very nice evolution of the DB9. He has everything that I had missed on the DB9: more direct turn-in, more power, improved suspension feedback, everything a bit more sporty.

    However, my real interest was on the Vantage V12.







    Andy was excited as well, because he had not driven the V12 before himself either. After 300 meters of driving we came to the unanimous conclusion that this car plays in a very different league compared to the DBS.
    The V12 is delivered with manual gearbox only, and they are darn right to do so. All of a sudden this marvellous engine can show its true power. With the Vantage being quite a bit lighter than the DBS, acceleration is breathtaking. Engine and gearbox are absolutely excellent, and you get the sound for free on top.
    Unfortunately, the gear lever is located such that shifting to the rear gears is a bit difficult, at least for my body size.


    Seats are very good to sit in, much better than in the DB9. All in all the car fits like a nice athletic shoe. The quality of the interior is Aston level, of course.


    Well, now let's talk about driving it, and all I can say is that I am more than excited. Steering is very precise and passes back exactly what the car is doing on the street. Turn in behavior is perfect for street tires (P Zero Corsa). Grip on rear wheels is extremely good. You can drive the car very easily to its limits under the surveillance of a very fine-tuned traction control, which doesn't kill the fun right away. From the first moment on I felt safe in the V12, there were no surprises.


    The lefthander of the Michael_Schumacher-S forced the rear of the DBS into quite a strong drift, wheras the Vantage took the same sequence like on rails. Impressive how fast you can go there on street tires.
    Already the brakes of the DBS are excellent, however, those of the Vantage V12 are top notch. Maximum deceleration is gigantic for a regular car. I didn't notice any fading. That said, I behaved well and didn't brake at the very last moment.


    The best of this test driver after all was Andy, who trusted me enough to give me lots of room to explore the car. I believe we both had our fun driving. Nevertheless we drove cautiously, because other drivers were on the track as well driving much slower. And of course, you would want to bring back such a car in one piece.


    My overall impression is simple to describe: almost perfect. I am more than impressed with this car, although I won't buy it. Well..what did I just write? Let's talk again in the future...
    If I had to describe how an Aston Martin should behave, this Vantage V12 would have been the result for sure.

    In the meantime I have had a chance to cool off again (from the sun), and my brain is starting to get its deserved blood supply as well.
    The little boy is standing there, his nose pressed to a window of a car, eyes wide open. How long will it take, until excessive cars like this one will have completely disappeared?
    Can we find a replacement using electric motors and some headphones presenting the driver the mighty sound of the Aston V12, while sewing machines are humming in the engine compartment? Does that compare to virtual sex then?
    I remember TopGear and its unbelievable swansong for the Vantage V12...this is the end...

    TopGear

    Let's enjoy the few years that cars like this one will survive, and even if we only admire them. Let's be ecosensitive and future oriented, but please: let's also be a little bit irrational and naughty. Some time in the future this salt in the soup will have disappeared. Perhaps it will be replaced by artificial pepper.


    Perhaps.

    Thanks to Andy, you made my day. And to AM for the outstanding experience, of course.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  16. #16
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Great write-up and photos, Dieter. That looks a wonderful event.

    When I heard they were cramming the V12 into the Vantage, I smiled. Finally, that beautiful body gets the power and sound that it deserves. A true AM.

    Did they have any information on the direction of the product line for the future? One-77, etc.?
    thegunguy

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    Great write-up and photos, Dieter. That looks a wonderful event.

    When I heard they were cramming the V12 into the Vantage, I smiled. Finally, that beautiful body gets the power and sound that it deserves. A true AM.

    Did they have any information on the direction of the product line for the future? One-77, etc.?
    not too much. I guess the One-77s are already distributed among long-time AM owners. The Rapide is around the corner, being introduced at the IAA in Frankfurt these days. Nothing beyond that.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  18. #18
    Great write up and story. It echoes a similar story I read on the plane ride back from Munich in Motor Sport, the writer was a longtime AM fan, and he that said the V12 Vantage was the best AM ever by a long shot.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  19. #19
    Z8 Madness
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    The V12 Vantage is potently gorgeous!

    I'm off to play the lotto ...
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

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    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, it won't be sold in the US AFAIK.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8 View Post
    Unfortunately, it won't be sold in the US AFAIK.
    It seems that way. Well, that's fine, I didn't win the lotto
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  22. #22
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    It seems that way. Well, that's fine, I didn't win the lotto
    Good for you, wouldn't it be bad to win all that money without knowing what to do with it?
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  23. #23
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Thanks Dieter, Great pics and story.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8 View Post
    I am more than impressed with this car, although I won't buy it.
    That said...

    The human brain is subdivided into a lot of important sections. (Un)fortunately, not all of these sections are connected to the main CPU, which does all the logical thinking. Ladies, for example, are said to have entirely independent brain sections related to children, wedding rings, shoe shopping and zillions of other life deciding things more.

    Some say this is also true for men, albeit the section responsible for shoe purchases should probably have the size of a portion of a single atom. Nevertheless, we all have this big car section in our brains, which we can't deny.
    Over the last weeks, I had the opportunity to verify in a series of in-depth empirical tests that this part of at least my brain is at best loosely connected to my logical CPU.

    Or, in other words: I will get my Vantage V12 next week.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  25. #25
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Congratulations Dieter!

  26. #26
    Good for you!!
    What color??
    Andrew Macpherson

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  27. #27
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Good for you!!
    What color??
    thanks, same color as the one above: hammerhead silver, interior obsidian black.

    I'll post pics once I'll have it.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  28. #28
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Wow! That will be really beautiful. Congrats.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8 View Post
    ... Ladies, for example, are said to have entirely independent brain sections related to children, wedding rings, shoe shopping ...
    How many pairs of shoes does it take to equal the V12?

    Congratulations, can't wait to see pics!
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  30. #30
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Congrats! That AM driving day turned out to be rather costly in the end...
    thegunguy

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8 View Post
    thanks, same color as the one above: hammerhead silver, interior obsidian black.

    I'll post pics once I'll have it.
    Dieter,
    you still have your DB9 as well or are you trading that in?

  32. #32
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8-NL View Post
    Dieter,
    you still have your DB9 as well or are you trading that in?
    I sold the DB9 when I bought the Wiesmann GT. Now I traded the Wiesmann for the V12.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  33. #33
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    Congrats! That AM driving day turned out to be rather costly in the end...
    You are very right, and I am thinking of claiming damages because of that invitation.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  34. #34
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    I got the car on Monday. On Tuesday we had a test day on a track near Metz in France with our racing team. So the first drive was to France, and then we had quite some fun with it on a wet race track:



    I must say that I have not been as excited about a car since I first bought the Z8. The car handles phenomenally. Even on semi slick tires (PZero Corsa, but the "real" ones) grip was excellent on a wet track. We had lots of fun, and I guess we shortened the tires' lifecycles substantially.

    A couple of pics I took today:

    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  35. #35
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    wow! very nice!!

  36. #36
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Is the color close to stratus at all? Looks beautiful. Enjoy.

  37. #37
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Is the color close to stratus at all? Looks beautiful. Enjoy.
    It's more a cool grey without the golden reflections. Gorgeous nevertheless.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  38. #38
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Absolutely beautiful and very exciting with the V12! Enjoy!

  39. #39
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Great car Dieter, congratulations! But isn't the wheelbase a bit long for precise handling on the track?

  40. #40
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    Great car Dieter, congratulations! But isn't the wheelbase a bit long for precise handling on the track?
    nope, handling is excellent. The car is very well balanced, we immediately started heavy drifting on the wet track with ease.

    I added a couple of more pics at the location mentioned above, I like this one:

    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  41. #41
    What fun, good for you, you live a charmed life!!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by keitheva View Post
    Any Z8 owners here driven an AM V8 Vantage for comparison? I know the Vantage (especially pre-2009) is down on power vs the Z8, and no doubt doesn't hold value as well, but wondering about other general comparisons/opinions.

    Interesting the V8 Vantage is another of Henrik Fisker's beautiful creations...
    I had both in the garage for about 6 months. I took the V8 to the track 3 times as well and very much enjoyed the car. I put Quicksilver exh. on the car and had an ecu tune done as well. Not a fast car but very nice handling, awesome sound and always gorgous to look at. Great factory service, maybe the best of any car I have owned. They would send a single flat bed up the 150 miles, do service, including dialing susp. etc and send it back all in two days!
    What I did not like was the wind buffeting when the window was open, something about the mirror placement or shape, but annoying on a nice day.
    All in all, a very pleasing experience, and for my roads, a better choice than the larger DB9.

    At the end of the day, I still have the Z8 though and the Aston moved on after 8 or 9 months! I bet the 12cyl car would be very nice though.

  43. #43
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    Z8, 4.7 Vantage and DBS

    I've owned all three, with the '09 DBS currently in the stable. (along with an R8). One of the cars I truly regret selling is an '02 Z8. I always found it such a unique, beautiful and well balanced car. If I can buy it back, I will! My '09 Vantage was a disaster. First, while truly beautiful, I always found it a much harsher riding car than either the Z8 or the DBS. And, as noted here the driving position, especially the gear shift, was terrible. Interior was so-so. In my cse the engine was the problem. the car simply died, over and over. AM could never determine the cause, even after multiple ECU reprograms, parts exchanges, etc, etc. The finally offered a full price manufacturer buy-back for the car, which I took.
    I then bought the DBS; a whole different driving sensation. More well balanced than the Vantage, better driving dynamics, seating/gear position and wonderful road feel. (with the dynamic damping system). I have the 6-spd manual, which is the way to go. the AM Sports Shift, like the Audi Rtronic, is a poor choice. (I have the manual in the R8 too.)
    Yet, overall, I loved that Z8 most of all. Such a well designed and balanced package. I kick myself every day!

  44. #44
    Team Z8 riverflyer's Avatar
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    Stu, too bad about your V8 experience. The DBS is certainly another animal all together. More like a 575 if I remember correctly from my only drive.
    How do you like the R8? I was thinking about one as my daily kind of car.
    I have thought about selling the Z8 but am quite certain, like you, that I would regret it! You can certainly see the similar design ques.
    John
     

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    The R8 V10 is a great daily driver, but I would NEVER sell my Z8. LUV MYZ8!!!

  46. #46
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    R8 vs...

    I find the R8 to be an exceptional car. As good in various ways that the Aston's, Porsche's and Z8's are, the R8 combines all of that into one car. The ride is the best overall combo of sport/tour/daily compliant that I've ever owned. I've had Vipers, Vette's, SL65's, Ford GT's, 911's, M3's and M5's, etc, etc, you name it. The R8, from an overall perspective has them all beat, and mine's currently the V8. The fit and finish is exceptional too. Wonderful leather and the seating will comfortably support you all across the country. Every driving control and position is in the correct position and well integrated. While maybe not the fastest car on earth, it is plenty quick and the awd keeps things civil. Sounds fantastic too! That's why I'm thinking of a V10 to add to the V8; hopefully a convertible.

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    Similar pix

    My last batch of joy: