The Formula 1 season is over, Daniel Ricciardo has secured a test seat for 2023, and I’m sitting behind the wheel of another supercar with a packed weekend of driving ahead. The only thing between me and a thousand kilometres of the best roads in NSW is the gargantuan fuel bill I’m about to rack up at the expense of the twin-turbo V8-powered Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition. Are you ever going to make an excuse for pointing an Aston Martin at a few twisties? Of course not.
So what’s special about the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition? If you’re a fan of Formula 1 you’ll immediately recognise it as the official safety car, but there’s more under the skin than the rear wing would suggest. More power for one, alongside a stiffer chassis, and sharper response from suspension, steering, and brakes that recognise the attitude associated with the ‘F1 Edition’ badges everywhere.
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2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition at a Glance
|2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1
|4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
|393kW @ 6000rpm
|685Nm @ 2000–5000rpm
|Eight-speed torque convertor automatic
What Powers the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition?
You’ll recognise the 4.0-Liter Twin-Turbo V8 as it’s been lifted from Mercedes-AMG. That doesn’t make it any less special and with Mercedes switching out the engine in favour of a 4-cylinder hybrid powerplant in their new C63 it’s also the last of a dying breed.
Not only is this one of the best-sounding cars I’ve driven this year, but it feels modern, delivers umpteen power, and provides smiles at any speed with a raucous bark.
Does it Have Any Particular Quirks?
I usually avoid pointing out specific quirks with supercars but I can’t help myself with the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition because there are so many questions. In a time when manufacturers are going ‘touchscreen everything,’ it seems Aston has gone the opposite direction, turning basic sliders and dials into buttons.
They start with putting the car into gear, why are there separate push buttons for drive, park, and reverse? Your eyes transition down, why are there so many buttons on the centre stack? Your eyes transition upwards, why does the infotainment look like it’s from 2010? You grab the steering wheel, why is it square? You go to adjust the aircon vents, why do they feel like they’re 3D printed in our neighbour’s shed? No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto?
For a car that’s drop-dead gorgeous from the outside, sounds great, and is fun to drive, the interior lets it down. Without knocking it too hard, it seriously needs an update.
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How Does the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition Drive?
Just how sporty is it? This question came up often while talking to fans of the car, they still remember the comments made by Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix where he talked about this very car being too slow on the track.
In a statement to the media, Charles said he “wanted to complain on the radio” about the pace of the car, “but then I checked how much the safety car was sliding in the corner, and I don’t think there was anything more that he could give, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure.”
My answer to the question is two-fold. Is it sporty? Yes. Is it sporty compared to the competition? Not quite.
On the street, it’s as quick of a car as you could ask for. It handles very well, the steering is sharp with plenty of feeling on centre, the brakes are great for street driving, and the connectivity through your hands, feet, and buttocks is plentiful. For a rear-wheel drive coupe with over 500 horsepower, it’s not skittish, actually quite the opposite, it’s focused and useable.
So where’s the catch? From the outside, you’d imagine the car would have more in common with a Lamborghini Huracan STO, but in reality, it bridges a gap between outright pace and comfort – similar to the current Porsche 992 GT3 I drove for 1000km in just four days. While the Porsche is scalpal, the Aston adds brute force with its throaty engine and aggressive styling. It’s a step down from the Porsche in outright pace, but it’s an Aston Martin.
Look over the fence at its engine-shared cousin in the Mercedes-AMG GTR (which produces more power) and that car is faster and just as exciting to look at, however, it’s not an Aston. And that’s where the Vantage F1 Edition left us.
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Man of Many’s Take on the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition
|2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1
|$340,926 plus on-road costs
|Colour of our test car
|AM Heritage Racing Green
|Interior Package 2×2 Twill Satin Carbon Fibre ($8210)
Rear diffuser insert and body-coloured blades ($1570)
|Price as tested
|$350,706 plus on-road costs
You could compare the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition to a myriad of cars on paper but that’s not the point. I had more comments driving the Vantage than any car this year (mostly congratulating me on my crypto fortune). People appreciate an Aston Martin more than any other car at this price point. It looks great, sounds great, gets attention, and is plenty fast enough for street driving.
If you want an Aston Martin, you’re not cross-shopping brands. You’ve decided you want one, you’ll buy one, and in the case of the F1 Edition, you’ll find everything you want on the performance and theatrics side of the equation. Assuming you can look beyond the buttons and infotainment.
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