2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 Unveiled

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 front 3/4 view

For most mainstream automakers, “entry-level model” is a euphemism for “thrifty, tiny and cheap.” Aston Martin is, of course, not a mainstream automaker, which is why the baby of its model family (at least until the surely-we’re-being-punk’d Toyota-based Cygnet city car drops in Europe and other markets), the V8 Vantage, is best described as “speedy, sexy and cheap-by-our-standards.”

However, for some folks, the 380hp of the pre-facelift V8 Vantage was just not enough, and many of these same folks would have preferred a bit less weight as well. For these people, Aston Martin offered the limited edition 2007 V8 Vantage N400, based on the V8 Vantage N24, a lightly-modified variant which schooled a whole host of more specialized racing machinery in the 2006 Nürburgring 24 Hour race. The British GT builder had no trouble selling every N400 it built, so why not do a sequel?

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 rear 3/4 view

The V8 Vantage N420 (the “420” denoting the engine’s horsepower output, as did the “400” in the N400) will feature the same 4.7L naturally-aspirated V8 as the base model but, as befitting a limited edition model, a gaggle of other goodies as well. The new front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser are made from carbon fiber, which helps make the N420 60 lb. trimmer than the standard version. The N420 also features special 10-spoke alloy wheels finished in gloss black, black mesh grille inserts, a sport exhaust system, the Sports Pack suspension (which is merely optional on the regular Vantage) and a range of racing-inspired paint combinations. The N420 will be available as a coupe or a roadster with the choice of a manual or paddle-shift transmission.

The cost of all this added sportiness and exclusivity? Well, U.S. prices and availability haven’t been announced yet, but the regular V8 Vantage starts at $119,500, and the N420 carries a roughly $21,000 premium over the standard car in the UK (though much of that is Britain’s value-added tax or VAT), so we’d guess it will cost anywhere from $130,000 to $150,000 if and when it comes here. And we certainly hope it does, because special edition models that aren’t just tape stripes and a numbered plaque on the console helps separate the connoisseurs from the poseurs.

Source: Aston Martin