The New Aston Martin Vantage Could Be The Last Great Sports Car 

German muscle-car engine, perfect dynamics, and just enough craziness make it an instant classic.

Some people aren't excited by the new Aston Martin Vantage. Maybe everyone's jaded by the performance-numbers game, or perhaps traditional front-engined, GT-styled cars just aren't as Instagram-worthy as are supercars designed by turtleneck-wearing aliens. Will there be no place for tradition in the social-media age? I say that's bunk. Bunk, I say.

The new Vantage is a truly fantastic sports car—yes, a sports car not a grand touring car—that deserves the glowing coverage being heaped upon it. (Driving impressions came off embargo this week, which is why you're seeing such extensive media attention.) It's engaging, has quick reflexes and excellent straight-line stability, and its balance couldn't be more perfect if it were created first as a see-saw. The Mercedes-AMG biturbo V-8's fat torque band suits the Vantage's comportment perfectly, although in a year's time when the manual (yes, manual) version comes out, maybe we'll lament not having a peaky inline six under the hood. No matter, though. 

In the sub-$200,000 super-sports-car class, dominated on one end by the quiet superheroics of the Porsche 911 Turbo and on the other by the snarling beastliness of the McLaren 570S, the Vantage inserts a much-needed dose of good, old sensory perfection. 

Sure, Aston chose to launch the Vantage an eye-searing color called "Lime Essence," but in video, that color couldn't have been more camera-ready in the gloom of a Portuguese rainstorm if they'd planned it.