2020 Aston Martin Vantage: James Bond sports car cool

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The video is in black-and-white, the quality marginal, the premise pure action and preposterous fantasy. But it’s James Bond driving an Aston Martin DB5 in the movie Goldfinger, and after 56 years it’s still fun to watch.

Perhaps only equaled in brand association by Volkswagen in the hippie movement, Aston Martin is secret agent 007’s getaway car. James Bond, played by Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, drove many other vehicles during the series’ 25 films. None represent the character’s automotive prowess more than his Aston Martin chase scenes throughout the years.

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage is James Bond cool.
The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage is James Bond cool.

The latest film “No Time To Die,” was delayed from a spring release to November because of the coronavirus. It will feature four Aston Martin vehicles to commemorate the milestone.

Neither the 2020 Vantage nor DBX, the new sport utility, will make appearances in the film. But the former is among the current offerings of the manufacturer headquarters in Gaydon, England, and it has plenty to offer.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage: Gets Bad Guys

A two-seat premium luxury sport coupe available at the standard Vantage and Vantage AMR, the 2020 Aston Martin retains the elegant look of a sports car with a muscle car’s authority. The Vantage features a 4.0-liter, two-turbocharged V8 with 503 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The AMT has a seven-speed manual transmission. A convertible is also available in both variants.

 

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A new generation was introduced last year, so much remains the same:  impressive engine and top-line time adaptive suspension dampers, a surround-view camera system, eight-way power-adjustable seats, Sport, Sport+ Trail driving modes and a Mercedes-Benz-based infotainment and navigation system.

None of those features and the nearly $30,000 price in a slew of what Aston Martin calls “Collections” were available when Bond encountered a host of guys with high-powered rifles. And then there was the always-annoying henchman named Oddjob and his signature razor-edged bowler hat weapon.

The nearly $182,000 Vantage doesn’t have weapons that pop through the headlights with the flick of a console switch. Current choices don’t a passenger ejection-seat option. And there are no smoke and oil to distribute on the road from the rear quarters to prompt the pursuing high-end cars to crash or catapult over an embankment and burst in flames.

Aston Martin’s contoured exterior styling defines what sports cars should look like and a color (Magnetic Silver) they should be painted. The interior design and construction are worthy of highlighting in a luxury furnishings magazine.

Cornering, acceleration, maneuvering out of tight spots and everything else that makes sports cars appealing is accentuated in the Aston Martin Vantage.

It’s difficult to categorize the Vantage as an entry-level machine. Is there another similarly categorized machine that can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds and complete a quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds?

Aston Martin sells only a few thousand cars a year, so like any niche brand, it attracts attention. But it’s not always for a vehicle’s beauty. Aston Martin gets nothing but praise in parking lots and from passersby on the open road who accelerate perhaps just to tell someone they drove past a James Bond car.

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage isn’t a good choice for a buyer with any thoughts of value in mind. It combines performance with beauty, heritage with overall enjoyment. It’s for drivers who appreciate the art of driving.

If Aston Martin is priced higher because of its association with James Bond and the coolness of the actors who have portrayed the character in author Ian Fleming’s books, so what? Have fun. Enjoy the ride and keep cool when the bad guys come along. You’re in charge.

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