Some things sell themselves – fortunately

Aston-Martin-V12-Vantage

About all that stands out in TopGear.com’s review of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is the end of the second sentence – “ … it’s more powerful than ever, and it’s louder” – along with the accompanying photos of the stylish sports car.

But, then again, power, noise and flashy pics can do much to mask muddled writing.

Yes, for the vast majority of us plebeians, dreaming of owning an Aston Martin is akin to window shopping on Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive – except, perhaps, you might get something a little more tangible for your money.

Perhaps that’s why TopGear loaded its review of the V12 Vantage S with jargon that makes it practically incomprehensible at first glance.

For example:

Following on from the Rapide S revealed earlier this year, the new Vantage S replaces the old V12 Vantage, and sports Aston’s new AM28 6-litre V12 engine, producing the same figures as the Vanquish. So you’re looking at 565bhp – up from 510bhp – 457lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 205mph. The old car did a piffling 183mph; positively pedestrian.

Aston hasn’t revealed the 0-62mph time, but if the heavier Vanquish can do it in 4.1s, expect this car, weighing 1,665kg (3,671lbs), to go a fraction quicker. Aston assures us that outside of the One-77 hypercar, this new Vantage S is the fastest road-going AM offered, which is nice.

That 6-litre gets racing tech, too, including CNC machined combustion chambers and hollow cam shafts. Then there’s the new automated manual transmission (for too long a traditional Aston vulnerability), or “Sportshift III,” a development of the ‘box from the V8 Vantage. We’re promised “motorsport-style paddle shift changes for optimum performance delivery” using technology filtered down from the company’s GT4, GT3 and GTE competition cars. We’re crossing our fingers here.

While I loved the line “The old car did a piffling 183 mph; positively pedestrian,” I’m not sure what to make of the likes of, “Aston assures us that outside of the One-77 hypercar, this new Vantage S is the fastest road-going AM offered,” or “We’re promised “motorsport-style paddle shift changes for optimum performance delivery” using technology filtered down from the company’s GT4, GT3 and GTE competition cars.”

aston martin logoOf course, the Aston is British car, so maybe this all makes sense to English car aficionados.

What’s interesting is that Aston Martin’s own press release about the Vantage S is easier to decipher than the car magazine’s story about the vehicle.

Here’s a bit from the company’s release: “Equipped with the new 573 PS Aston Martin AM28 6.0-litre V12 engine, featuring latest generation Bosch engine management, the car is capable of reaching 205 mph.”

That, I can understand easier than “you’re looking at 565bhp – up from 510bhp – 457lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 205mph.”

One supposes that when a car manufacturer comes up with something as elegant and potent as the V12 Vantage S, all any magazine really needs to do to get the point across that it’s writing about one heck of a car is to slap a few snazzy photos up.

In that case, mission accomplished, TopGear.com.

(HT: BBC.com.)

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4 thoughts on “Some things sell themselves – fortunately

  1. I admit to being a petrolhead although sadly I still can’t explain what brake horse power (bhp) is. That is probably more of an indictment on my habit of glazing over when people start talking in numbers rather than anything else!

    The “motorsport-style paddle shift changes for optimum performance delivery” is when you have no gearstick on the floor. It means there are two gear change paddles on the back of the steering wheel (like a F1 car) that ensure you don’t have to release the wheel.

    Clearly all this is of vital importance in the high speed racing world of traffic jams and heavy city traffic the average Aston Martin will encounter on its daily trips around the racetrack of life…. 😉

    • Yes, it’s interesting all the gizmos and gadgets that are attached to high-end cars that are likely never used. I’ll never forget the first time went in to buy a car. I’d been out of college for a year or so and they salesman was trying to get me to buy this upper end Toyota. One of his selling points was “Look here, it’s got wipers for the headlights.” I looked at him with a raised eyebrow that indicated “Why in the world would I need such foolishness?” It seemed to me just another unnecessary addition that could easily be snapped off by some liquored-up lout.

      I have never heard the term “brake horse power” before. Perhaps we refer to as simply horsepower in the US, or perhaps it means something else.

      And I’ve got to say, if I’m paying this kind of money for a sports car, it better darn well come with a stick shift. That’s half the fun of driving a sports car.

      • 😀 We have a rule with cars, the less fancy extra bits it has the less there is to go wrong! People do love to have all the gizmos though don’t they?

        (I couldn’t help myself and had to look it up in the end. Bhp is the measured power of the car without all the extra bits after the shaft so, really, the power a person wishes their car had without all those things necessary for operation that slows them down!)

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