In my opinion, there are only two brands of automobiles that do not need to hit warp speed to sound and look good. You may disagree with me vehemently but my choices would be the Maseratis and Aston Martins. I have a sickness where I would wind the window down and mute the radio just to hear them drive off from the lights.
One of the last few British marques to be owned by a British entity (Majority owned by Prodrive UK), many have been sold to conglomerates. Mini and Rolls Royce are owned by BMW AG, Bentley is owned by Volkswagen AG, while Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by Tata Motors. Aston Martin, alongside Morgan, Caterham, Ginetta and Noble, is one of the few remaining true blue symbols of the British motoring industry, and is synonymous with the fictional MI6 secret agent, Sir Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
In the words of Aston Martin themselves, an Aston Martin can be described with just three words – Power, beauty and soul. While I may have said that an Aston Martin does not need to go fast, they are by no means slow by any definition.
Meet 9tro’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage tuned by Velocity Automotive Performance (Velocity AP) based in Dorset, United Kingdom. Armed with a 4.3 litre quad cam dry sump V8 engine producing 380hp and 409Nm of torque from the factory, it did not stay long this way like all the rest of the 9tro garage.
While the modifications are subtle yet ‘ostensibly aggressive’, this Vantage has definitely retained its beauty and soul. A Racing Sport Concept Vantage C front lip replacing the original plastic trim has been installed to offer additional form while improving airflow at the front of the car, not that we are able to hit such high speeds on the road to really utilize that. A pair of Vantage Collection V12 side skirts and Version 2 carbon fibre rear diffuser, a Hamann Motorsport rear spoiler and a set of Soleil LSX-1 20” wheels have also been installed to complete the exterior image.
The original exhaust system of the Vantage is by no means soft, with an ECU controlled butterfly valve opening up the exhaust flows at around 4000rpm while keeping things civil during lower revs. That said, good looks are nothing without a well matched grunt. A Velocity AP Super Sport muffler mated with 200 cell sports catalysts and performance headers were installed, replacing the original soundtrack with a true V8 orchestra, making the driving of this Vantage an emotional experience that I find hard to express. Having had the opportunity to be behind the wheel has been an experience I will never forget. Few super cars today come equip a stick shift, and this is one of the few rare examples of our roads that comes complete with the full driving experience.
Every blip of the throttle sends signals to my nerves that causes a grin on my face with the distinctive V8 burble at low revs. The car comes alive with a mature sporty grunt as the RPM increases that sounds race inspired. I have to admit that I kept the windows down and dragged first and second gear during my first drive and I am pretty sure that I had glances of approval as I drove past pedestrians. No, I wasn’t hooning – I was simply sampling a British cuisine made more desirable.
The original suspension system was ditched for a set of KW Variant 3s, with up-rated rotors co-developed by Velocity AP and Wilwood Engineering clamped down by Brembo calipers re-sprayed to our signature lime green. A Velocity AP ram air brake cooling kit has been installed under the car to channel vital cool air to the front brakes to maintain the optimal temperate and prevent fading, thereby reducing the chances of a spongy brake pedal. Velocity AP performane air filters also replace the original for increased longevity and improved air flow.
Velocity Automotive Performance Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Racing Sport Concept Vantage C front lip
The Vantage Collection Version 2 carbon fibre rear diffuser
The Vantage Collection Aston Martin V12 side-skirts
Hamann Motorsport rear spoiler
Project de Creation tinted taillamps
Soleil Wheels LSX-1 (20")
Velocity Automotive Performance uprated GT4 spec twin-plate clutch and flywheel
Velocity Automotive Performance 200 cell sports catalysts
Velocity Automotive Performance performance headers
Velocity Automotive Performance Super Sport exhaust
Velocity Automotive Performance performance air filters
Velocity Automotive Performance ECU performance reprogram
KW Variant 3 shock-absorber system
Velocity Automotive Performance ram-air brake cooling kit
Velocity Automotive Performance + Wilwood Engineering uprated performance brake rotors