2015 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster GT
You know the type: no matter how special a car some folks have, they’re always on the lookout for something…special-er. If that’s you, our next car is one you may not have thought of: the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT. Sure you could buy one just for the beauty, or even its rarity. But it’s a whole lot more special than that!
One look at the 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT, and there’s no mistaking that it belongs in the legendary Aston Martin family.
But while traditional styling cues are obvious, and the overall look is far from fresh, there’s no denying this car is truly stunning; and proof that there is still plenty of shelf life left for a design that works this well.
Sure it’s a beautiful, exotic sports car, but there’s a subtle gentlemanly manner about it that enables it to be appreciated by any age group and members of all income brackets.
Of course it all flows from the iconic grillwork, here nicely trimmed in white and made of real aluminum, not chromed plastic. This Skyfall Silver livery features additional white accents throughout; and is 1 of 5 special paint schemes you can choose from.
Things are clean and uncluttered in the rear, with Aston feeling the design speaks for itself, so no need for excessive badging. Though the added GT graphics package on our tester suggests otherwise.
19-inch graphite forged alloy wheels wear 245-series rubber in front, 285 in the back. The fabric top is power operated and stores itself under a hard tonneau cover and also hides pop-up roll-over protection bars.
Inside, it’s certainly GT car spacious, not the more cramped feeling of say a Corvette. The gauges resemble fine watch faces, and all interior switch gear have a solid, high quality feel. The leather is deep, lush, and even smells terrific.
It’s not all great, though, as with hardly any miles on our test car, some interior surfaces are already showing significant wear. The screen for navigation rises from the top of the dash; while a central controller is mounted lower on the center stack.
And as for options, how about a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system for $8,330?
But, trunk space for picking up whatever luxury items the typical Aston Martin customer picks up is fairly limited to just 5.0 cubic-ft.
We were very pleased to see that our tester also sported a manual shifter! It engages swiftly and is accompanied by excellent clutch feel. The 6-speed can be replaced with a 7-speed automatic should you decide to wimp out.
Classic British touches abound, like the outboard parking brake handle. But perhaps our favorite feature is sliding the crystal key into the ignition; as it reminds us of Superman accessing the Fortress of Solitude, and the results that it triggers are no less stunning.
Power erupts from a 4.7-liter V8, and while it doesn’t have the bite of a supercharged Jaguar F-type, its bark is much nastier with a more realistic and primal sound. Make sure you engage Sport mode for full effect. Horsepower is 430; torque comes in at 361 lb-ft.
Our drive time was limited to a few days in the Garden State, so we weren’t able to hit the track, but Aston claims a 0-60 of 4.6-seconds and that seems spot on.
The suspension is very tight for a GT, with ride quality easily on the firm side, falling just within daily driver parameters. It handles well enough to surprise, so you’ll need much more than sweeping back roads to find this car’s limits.
Horsepower numbers are certainly far from class leading, but as with most classic roadsters, power numbers are not the be-all-end-all.
As at no matter which speed you’re travelling, this car feels like a true driver’s car; the proverbial extension of your driving soul, if you will. And can both help you remember the joy of driving and forget about whatever was bothering you before you got behind the wheel.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are about what you’d expect; gas guzzler tax worthy at 13-City, 19-Highway, 15-Combined. The Energy Impact Score is thus dismal at 22.0-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 9.6-tons.
Now for the good news, the V8 Vantage GT in Coupe form is actually the cheapest Aston Martin you can buy, starting at $104,425. Roadster guise of course, costs a bit more at $117,225.
Time may be winding down for this platform, but the 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT still exudes appeal and sexiness that few manufactures can channel. And while you may choose to buy it based on looks alone; after spending only a little time driving it, you’ll quickly realize that motoring is this car’s greatest asset.
- Engine: 4.7 liter
- Horsepower: 430
- Torque: 361 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
- EPA: 13 mpg city/ 19 mpg highway,
- Energy Impact: 22.0 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 9.6 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined