The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a British grand tourer. It was hailed at its 1977 introduction as "Britain's First Supercar" for its top speed. Its engine was shared with the Lagonda, but it used high-performance camshafts, increased compression ratio, larger inlet valves and bigger carburettors mounted on new manifolds for increased output. Straight-line performance was the best of the day, with acceleration from 0– in 5.3 seconds, one-tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari Daytona.
The first series equipped with four 48IDF2/100 Weber carburetors produced at 5800 rpm and at 4500 rpm of torque, and series specific details such as a blanked bonnet vent and a separate rear spoiler. 38 of these were built. The Oscar India version, introduced in late 1978, featured an integrated tea-tray spoiler and smoother bonnet bulge. Inside, a black leather-covered dash replaced the previous walnut. The wooden dashboard did find its way back into the Vantage during the eighties, giving a more luxurious appearance. The Oscar India version also received a slight increase in power, to. This line was produced, with some running changes, until 1989. From 1986 the engine had. One of the most noticeable features was the closed-off hood bulge rather than the open scoop found on the normal V8. The grille area was also closed off, with twin driving lights inserted and a spoiler added to the bootlid. The 1986–1989 580 'X-Pack' was a further upgrade, with Cosworth pistons and Nimrod racing-type heads producing 403 hp. A 'big bore' after-market option was also available from Works Service, with 50 mm carbs and straight-through exhaust system giving 432 hp. Of the 'Cosmetic' Vantage, 14 Series 2 coupés and 56 Volantes were built. Cosmetic Vantages lacked the powerful Vantage engine but retained the Vantage name and most of its body alterations - though the lack of carburettors allowed a flattened hood. From 1980 they featured DOT-approved safety bumpers front and rear. Most of these cars have since been retrofitted with full power, European spec engines. Although the full spec Vantage models were not imported into the USA when new, they now qualify for entry under the DOT's 'Show and Display' rules in most US States. Federal requirements are also less strict for cars over 25 years old.
A Vantage Volanteconvertible version was also produced between 1986 and 1989. Six mechanically similar cars had been built earlier to special order, but it was not regularly available until then. The production version featured an even deeper front spoiler than fitted to the Vantage, even wider wheel arches, and extended side skirts. The Vantage Volante also had a rear spoiler, which the regular Volante did not feature. In total, 166 Vantage Volantes were built, with the last ones leaving the factory in December 1989. In 1987 Charles, Prince of Wales took delivery of a Vantage Volante, but at his request without the production car's wider wheelarches, front air dam and side skirts. This became known as the 'Prince of Wales Spec' and around another 26 such cars were built by the factory. These are now generally considered the most desirable of all the 1970s/80s V8 models. Combined with the PoW cars, 192 Vantage Volantes were built.