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THE OC ADVANTAGE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Sep 11, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

THE OC ADVANTAGE

By JOHN GRAFMAN

How befitting. Orange County, a.k.a. The OC, is hardly what one calls the slums. Spend a day at Starbucks along the Coast Highway and you are likely to spot cars on the road that normally are seen only in magazines and museums.

Maybe it isn't all together odd that a preview of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is being held in at South Coast Plaza, a shopping experience that rivals the likes of Beverly Hills with upscale shops galore. As it is expected that the well-to-do prospective Aston owners frequent the plaza, why not bring the upcoming sports car to where the buyers are, rather than drag them to a dealership? All the while, we generate a buzz long before the car hits the showroom floor.

While there might be a buzz in the air, the engines on these cars are silent. There will be no hot laps of the mall either inside or out. The masses will have to wait until January for a chance to enjoy this in all of its 380 horsepower glory.

Without the benefit of time behind the wheel, we can only provide a cursory overview. Beyond a doubt, this car is hot! Aston nailed the design on this, with a very strong family resemblance to other Astons. Even the interior looks like it's a double of the DB9. One has to look carefully as to not mistake it for one of its more expensive siblings. The body is smaller, the license plate location and mirror mounts provide distinction, but to the untrained eye this can be a bit confusing - in a good way.

The materials that make up the visible parts (as well as those unseen) are purposeful in their nature providing the right credentials to be taken seriously. For the first eighteen months, you can order this with but one transmission - i.e., a six-speed manual. This is a bold move for Aston Martin, or any other manufacturer for that matter. This is how the Vantage will earn a reputation as more than a poser. The expectation is that more than a couple Porsche owners will be adding a new horse to their stable.

The sleek body, and details like the headlights and flush pop-out door handles, only drive home the point that this less-expensive model is 100 percent true to the reputation of the brand.

The V8 Vantage is at home among the stores like Versace and Fendi. With an MSRP of but $110,000, though, this is looking like a red tag sale day at Nordstrom's.

For more please go to www.astonmartin.com

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