RAY MASSEY gets to grips with Aston Martin’s Vantage 200mph sports car

When you’re roaring down a serpentine mountain pass in southern Portugal to the soundtrack of a crackling exhaust with a broad grin on your face in a new 200mph Aston Martin Vantage, it’s very hard not to get carried away.

Thankfully, if you do, the sure-footed handling and subtle stability control technology in the background of this clever coupe may save you from yourself as you swing around those tight bends like a locomotive on iron rails. Providing you’re not too silly.

The great comedian Billy Connelly famously warned never to trust anyone who, left alone in a room with a tea-cosy, failed to put it on their head. In the same vein as the ‘Big Yin’s’ caution, I defy any red-blooded male – or female for that matter – when left alone in an Aston Martin Vantage not to hum at least a few chords of the James Bond theme.

And this super British coupe really does have a licence to thrill, as I’ve been discovering.

Vantage point: Daily Mail motoring editor Ray Massey prepares to take Aston Martin's new £120,000 Vantage sports car for a spin at the Portimao circuit in Portugal Muscular flanks and broad haunches give the 2018 Vantage an athletic prowess Under the bonnet is a 510 horsepower 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine The new Aston Martin Vantage will accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 195mph The quotes performance figures don't do justice to the thrill of being sat at the wheel, Ray Massey said While it might a ferocious animal on track, we were equally as impressed with how well mannered it was on the road The twistier the mountain road, the more the Vantage eased into its stride Aston Martin is known for making some of the most sumptuous cars on the planet, but the Vantage is easily one of the best looking British built models we've seen for some time Ray Massey: 'I felt very comfortable driving firmly and securely in Sport and Sport-plus mode' The new aero pack is designed to improve downforce, though there's enough power to burn rubber, as you can see The Vantage feels completely connected to the road and proved an engaging and exciting drive ¿like a carnivorous animal getting its teeth onto some real red meat Inside is a feast of premium materials, lightweight carbon fibre and race-car like switches Average fuel economy of 26.8 mpg and a CO2 figure of 245g/km won¿t please the green lobby Aston Martin chief executive Dr Andy Palmer said the two-door two-seater coupe was the most beautiful car he had worked on in his four decades in the motor industry The In-Car Entertainment system is controlled and viewed via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen and includes audio, Bluetooth, iPod, iPhone and USB playback and an integrated satellite navigation system Aston Martin appears to be toying with the idea of slotting a V12 engine into the front of the new Vantage at a later date Aston Martin appears to be toying with the idea of slotting a V12 engine into the front of the new Vantage at a later date

Aston Martin appears to be toying with the idea of slotting a V12 engine into the front of the new Vantage at a later date

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