Watch out sports-car makers. The most capable Bondmobile yet has you in its sights.
Truth be told, the Vantage is nothing like any other Aston Martin before it. While the DB11 was the ﬁrst to be unveiled under the carmaker’s “Second Century” plan, it was the smaller two-seater brother launched next that genuinely broke the mould. It eschews the conservative Aston look for a more aggressive and – dare I say it – fresher design that gels well with the British marque’s ambitious sights as it navigates its next 100 years.
Just look at it – a menacing, orcalike mien that swoops ﬂuidly to the squat, wide hips at the rear end as if it is poised to attack. And the stupendous machine has the performance and handling chops to match its exotic appearance. The seat embraces you as you sink into it, the “cockpit” enveloping you not unlike that of a ﬁghter jet. To show that it means business, the Vantage has no cop-out “comfort” mode. The thrill-meters for the suspension and engine mapping start from “sport” and go from there to “sport plus” and ends at “track”.
Unless you are in Sepang, the middle setting is where you would want to be. Here, the springs are nice and tight for tenacious cornering without sending the smallest pothole judder up your spine. And it is where the exhaust is unmuzzled to channel all the raps and roars from the Astontuned, AMG-sourced V8 in full sonic glory directly to your ear drums. An aluminium body bonded rigidly with aeronautical glue and an electronically controlled with torque vectoring ensures miles of motoring fun.
It does nought to a hundred in 3.6 seconds but it is not all hooliganism – this is after all still the gentleman’s car of choice. Pads are thoughtfully mounted on either side of the transmission tunnel to cushion your knee as you clock in the cornering G’s, as are the seat controls, so that you can easily reach over from your seat to adjust the passenger’s chair before she gets in.
The Vantage is the sort of car in which you would gladly turn around 300km from your hotel because you had left your toothbrush on the sink. Just to relish the incredible experience of piloting such an extraordinary machine for that bit longer. Aston Martin Singapore. 45 Leng Kee Road. www.astonmartin.com.sg
The seat is snug, all the better to stabilise the driver as he zooms around corners.
Paying homage to one of the most successful race car drivers in history, the “Michael 50” Schumacher exhibition is now running at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy. The German champ holds a special place in the history of the “Prancing Horse” marque: In the decade leading up to 2006, the multi-record holder won five consecutive driver’s titles and contributed heavily to the team’s haul of six manufacturer’s titles. The exhibition will trace his most memorable racing seasons and showcase his crucial input in developing extraordinary GT cars in his years at Ferrari as a driver and later as a consultant. www.musei.ferrari.com/en/maranello
WHAT’S IN STORE
Classic car collectors here have always been stymied by two obstacles: the high-cost of registering a vehicle, and the punishing humidity and heat anathema to preservation. The climate-controlled bonded storage area at luxury car distributor Wearnes Automotive’s new eight-storey facility in Leng Kee Road is set to change all that. Built on the top floor of the multi-use project, it offers a club lounge from which beaming owners can have a bird’s eye view of their pride and joy. Reservation for spaces, which are air-conditioned and designated as customs-free zones, is already open. The building, designed by Wheelwright prizewinner Erik L’Heureux of Pencil Office, is due to be completed by the time you read this. www.wearnesauto.com
01 GOING BIG
The eight-storey Wearnes building is designed by Pencil Office’s Erik L’Heureux.
02 CLUB LOUNGE
The top floor has climatecontrolled areas for vintage cars.
TEXT LOW KA WEI