I have lost count of the number of different models and limited editions Aston Martin has spun off its main model streams since the launch of the DB9 some seven years ago. But you have to admire how the marque has used this technique to keep its ageing range fresh, while wondering at the same time what architecture will be used for a generation of all-new Astons that has to arrive sooner rather than later.
For now, however, the N420 is another welcome addition to the V8 Vantage range, not least because it costs just £8000 more than the standard car. For that you gain carbon-ﬁbre seats and a carbon splitter and rear diffuser, all of which save around 27kg, while sports-spec springs, dampers and rollbars complement lighter wheels to tighten up the handling. A sports exhaust completes the picture.
I really enjoyed it, most of all because it’s still a comfortable road machine in the mould of a Porsche 911 GT3 rather than a road-legal track day machine. It feels as if Aston has taken the Vantage to a health farm where a strict diet and some ﬁtness training has returned the same car, but in rather ﬁner fettle. For eight grand extra, less than 10 per cent of the original list price, I think that’s value.
ENGINE: 4.7-litre V8
TOP SPEED: 180mph
POWER: 420bhp @ 7000rpm
FUEL/CO2: 20.4mpg, 300g/km