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Aston Martin V8 Vantage

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  • From the looks of your tag name "amv8", it would appear that you aren't THAT torn between an AMV8 and a 996TT. But if you are, some things you might want to consider:

    The performance of the 997S is WORLDS above the AMV8 and, as much as I hate to admit it (as a current M5 and former M1 owner), the M6. The time difference in the Top Gear test wasn't a second. It was 7 seconds on a run that the 911S did in 1:28. That's nearly a 10% difference, which is HUGE. Almost unbelievably huge. But, more importantly for me, the 911S drives, handles and feels like a true world class sports car. The 4,000+ lb M6 never really intended to be anything more than a uber-powerful GT. It's the AMV8 that teased us with claims of being a 911-beater, but has fallen well short in both objective performance and subjective feel.

    As far as the looks of the AMV8, after spending a night at a wine and cheese "unveiling", neither my wife nor I found it "art on wheels". From many angles, it has great lines. But from the front or three quarters, the grill and hood look exceedingly bulky. (Same problem with the M6 and old Z8, by the way). Frankly, we were both more impressed the first time we saw the XK8 nearly 10 years ago.

    Finally, if looks are that important to you, why are you even considering the 996TT? I am sure you realize there is a "world" of difference between the 996 and 997. Even I wouldn't take the extra power of the 996TT over the improved 997S interior (and exterior) and better handling. Fortunately, in several months, the 997TT won't require any compromises.

    Looks are subjective. My wife thought the AMV8 looked a little "fat", and Ferrari 360 is art on wheels. Your girlfriend sees an 80's look in the 911 - which Jeremy from Top Gear would claim is because she probably isn't old enough to remember back 40 years ago, or she'd say it looks 60's.

    Let's face it, both the 911S and AMV8 - and the bloaty M6 - are damn nice cars. So if you get the AMV8 because you (and your girlfriend) like its looks, good for you. Seriously. I had to horse trade to get my wife to accept my ordering a new 997 TT instead of buying a friend's 360. ;)
  • amv8amv8 Posts: 7
    You know, I must say I do not see that "world" of difference between the 996 and 997 but I am sure its there, I am just not familiar with either to a great extent and have just had two VERY short test drives. The 996TT clearly did feel like it would walk away from the 997S in a straight line. Also the resale is a bit of a factor for me, a 996TT has taken its hit. 997 has not. And I don't even know what will happen with the Aston. Looks are subjective I suppose, I have never seen a better looking car. Of course I have yet to see it in person. Congrats on your 997TT. Why don't you take that first year hit and call me when you want to sell it! :D
  • "Of course I have yet to see it in person."

    Of course?? Well, it's not even on my serious shopping list and I was personally invited by the local AM dealer to their wine and cheese reception back in November to view the travelling model in person. You need to introduce yourself to an AM dealership as a serious potential buyer.

    "The 996TT clearly did feel like it would walk away from the 997S in a straight line".

    No doubt, the TT's extra power is an advantage - but mostly at high speeds. I've driven properly broken in models of both the 2005 997S coupe and 996TT. The difference to 70-80 mph is minimal, IMO. If you were driving cars with less than 4,000 miles on the odometer, don't consider it valid. One of the car magazines tested a fully broken in 997S at 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. That's as good as the 996TT ever achieved. In any event, the AMV8 is significantly slower. What I liked about the 997S over the 996TT was it's more nimble handling. The chassis refinements are just what I was looking for. The only 996 version you could still get me into would be the GT3 or GT2. I am hoping that the 997TT with AWD retains the handling feel of the 997 C2S. But again, from the reviews I've seen, the AMV8 is not close to any 911 in handling feel. Much more of a GT car than a sports car feel.

    "Looks are subjective I suppose, I have never seen a better looking car."

    You are absolutely right about subjectivity. But again, don't gush over the photos. The upright grill and front end of the AMV8 is enormous. By itself, it defies a "sports car" label, IMO. Photos I've seen do not accurately represent this. The Jaguar XK8 front end looks selte by comparison. You definitely need to see this car in person before making any "best looking" judgements. And if your interest is in a British looking GT car, you might not change your mind. In that regard it is uniquely good looking.
  • amv8amv8 Posts: 7
    Please tell me why you say you would only consider a 996 GT2/GT3. You would take a GT3 over a TT?

    You know C&D rated the handling of the V8 *BETTER* than the 997? I think its this month's issue. I think the V8 is not so much "GT" like you say. Its supposed to be quite nibmle. I will reserve judgment until I see/drive the aston. Its supposed to get here next month.
  • "Please tell me why you say you would only consider a 996 GT2/GT3. You would take a GT3 over a TT"?

    I prefer lighter weight, RWD to the heavier 996TT AWD. Strictly personal. But if the 997TT handles as good as the 997S, I can live with the extra 200+ lbs that the AWD costs. I have driven the 997 C4S, but it wasn't broken in and I couldn't get a good feel for it.

    As far as C&D goes, you better re-read the article. From their website:

    "The British answer to the Porsche 911 is $10,000 cheaper than anticipated in an earlier story (C/D, April 2005) but still costs $30,000 more than the Carrera S that can beat its performance."

    Let me throw a question back at you. Why the AMV8 vs. the old 996TT? It doesn't sound like you are power hungry, since even the 997S is signifcantly quicker than the AMV8. So, for quite a bit less money than the old, now outdated 996TT, you can get a more attractive, better handling and only slightly slower 997S.

    The 996TT is a "hold" but not a "buy" IMO. If I owned one, I'd happily keep it. But I wouldn't buy a new left over one at this point.
  • Good day,

    Reliability data is commonly available for most cars; for example, many websites/magazines/forums/etc. offer comprehensive information on certain statistics of many car models (for example, car X from Y make has had 24 recalls, an average rate of 13 problems per 10,000 miles, etc. [they can get pretty creative, but this info gives us a good idea what we can expect if we buy these cars.])

    If there is ONE THING I absolutely loathe in any high-priced item, it's for it to be an unreliable piece of junk. You know when you bought that 6000$ high-tech big-screen TV that started to have glitches and problems after just 12 months? Or you just bought a new cordless electric saw for 500$ only to find out that something is flawed, or that something has broken sooner than expected; or, if you're a hunter or shooter, you just bought a fancy 4000$ rifle that would have feeding/ejecting problems after just firing 100-200 rounds - or worse, that a high-quality cartridge exploded in the chamber?!

    Well, take those sources of frustration, and multiply them a thousandfold when it comes to cars. We know, for example, as a general rule, that Toyota/Lexus, notwithstanding any prejudice or affection towards their vehicles, make extremely reliable products. Some Volvos and Hondas too have that ironclad reputation. Ford cars have been strongly chastised due to their apparent reliability problems (especially the Jaguar lineup of 1998-2004.) German cars, on the other hand, have often been criticised of "being plagued with electrical problems." But we never hear anything of the upper-luxury segment. Most people would argue that exotics are rarely driven more than a few thousands of kilometers per year, at the most, and that repair and maintenance costs are not problems since they are expected to be able to afford even the most outrageous price for replacement/repairs (friend of mine told me 14,000 USD for upgraded ceramic brakes on the F430!!)

    This said, my eyes are really taking a liking to the new Aston Martin Vantage, or maybe the DB9 if things go extraordinarily well, or I might get one used (2002-2006) from E-Bay; it would be a huge step up (presently own an old Hyundai! lived in bad conditions with a 3-litre fuel tank for the past few years... :-[) Thus, if I actually do decide to go ahead and own one in the very near future, is it a headache waiting to happen? Any feedback/info on reliability? Will I be enslaved to the dealership's few "certified" mechanics? Will they be profiteering from the rarity of replacement parts, etc.? Though I am willing to replace brake discs/tyres often due to the pothole-infested roads, given that I am intending to drive it as my daily car - however, more importantly, am I setting myself up for a whole lot of waiting time at the garage or being supremely angered and hating myself for ever making such a purchase?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    For someone potentially going from a Hyundai to an Aston Martin, I think you need to do a lot more firsthand research to satisfy yourself of what you might be in for.

    The AMV8 isn't even out yet, so it wasn't on my shopping list. And, as others have suggested, it's not quite a true sports car, more like a cross between a sports car and a GT. But I did briefly consider the Ferrari 430.

    I ended up with a 911(997)S Cabriolet. In no small part due to my conviction that, if I was going to spend in the neighborhood of $100k, I not only wanted something that was going to look and perform like a $100k car, bu also something that was reliable, durable and capable of being something other than a weekend driver and garage queen the rest of the time. I was spoiled by a $32k Honda S2000 that cost me $300 in total service over 2.5 years. Our 5 month old 911 already has 5,000 miles on the odometer and my wife and daughters have spent more time in the car between October and February than the average 360/430 owner spends behind the wheel in a year, or two..

    Will the AMV8 be a durable daily driver? One would hope so. But the other concern is the very limited dealer network. In the immediate DC area, there are 4 Porsche dealerships, 3 obnoxious ones and an OK one. I went 50 miles away within which there are 4 more and got a great deal with great service. There is one AM dealer within 100+ miles of DC, and it's under the same ownership as the most obnoxious Porsche dealership in the region. Good luck to anyone buying an AM in the greater DC area. :cry:

    Hyundai to Aston Martin? Good luck. ;)
  • amv8amv8 Posts: 7
    OK my logic of getting the aston is that there isn't any. I am just going overboard in price and risk for a car that I find really beautiful, inside and out. I am willing to spend that extra for.... lust. :surprise: I hate buying a car and losing a lot of money on it. The 996T seems like it has lost most of what it will lose. Turbos tend to hold their value well. Look at the old ones... they still go for a lot of money. They are more exclusive. A new 997S will take a BIG hit in the next couple of years.

    The AM does have a few advantages that may help its resale. Its low production, exclusive, better than most other aston products in terms of value to begin with, and can be considered semi-exotic if for nothing other than its low production numbers. Its the least expensive car in the manufacturer's lineup. Porsche also sells boxters. Its like buying the worst house in the best neighborhood versus the best house in the worst neighborhood. That's how I am looking at it. Am I crazy?
  • amv8amv8 Posts: 7
    You are really going from a Hyundai to an Aston? that's got to be the biggest jump in the history of car sales. Did you try pulling up to the Aston dealer in the Hyundai and asking to test drive a DB9? :)

    I can tell you this for reliability... things have changed at AM. They have a new factory with Ford money, the engine in the V8 is built in Germany, Volvo has done all the safety and helped a lot with the chassis, and if you look at a DB9 versus a DB7 for example, its night and day. If fit and finish are any indication, things have improved tenfold at AM. I really felt the DB9 I sat in had some real quality.

    As for the dealer network, its a problem. I have a dealer in my town, but I am not sure I like their attitude honestly. They are a little snobby. Its like they are doing ME a favor selling me an Aston. But if Vantage had a great dealer network, proven reliability, and ran around a track like a Porsche 997, they would be selling 30,000 a year like Posrche and not 3000, and there would go all the exclusivity. It's a car thats clearly not for everybody.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not to jump into someone else's discussion, but

    "The 996T seems like it has lost most of what it will lose. Turbos tend to hold their value well. Look at the old ones... they still go for a lot of money. They are more exclusive. A new 997S will take a BIG hit in the next couple of years."

    I don't think your statements are completely correct. Certainly new vs. used is going to suffer greater depreciation. But if you are talking new vs. new, I believe a 997S will hold it's value much better than a leftover 2005 996TT, even if you get a hefty discount on the 996. I carefully checked "real world" resale values here in the DC area before purchasing, and the Turbos depreciate more than the non-Turbos. Also, the 997 has been pretty much universally acclaimed as a significant imporvement over the 996. I can trade (and might) my 2005 997S for a 2006 (different color) and take a $7-10k hit. That's not too bad in my book.

    As far as the AMV8 holding it's value as well as or better than a 911, that's a big gamble in my opinion. Once the initial interest wears off (and, perhaps, the lower performance sets in), trying to sell a used Aston Martin with their limited dealer network could be a bear. Maybe not if you live in South Beach or LA, but most other places.

    The Maserati Spyder was supposed to have great resale value after Ferrari bought them, since it could be "the least expensive home in a good neighborhood". Hasn't happened. A Ferrari 360 (and Porsche 911) would have been a far better 3 year investment than the Maserati.
  • Habitat1 is absolutely right on.

    If AMV8's assertion is that a 997S will be a depreciating asset (versus the ideal outcome of an appreciating Vantage), he is right that it will depreciate "a lot".

    That being said, as depreciating assets go, you will be best off with a low mileage F430 or 360 . . . and short of that a 997 is likely your best bet. A 911 should have a residual of ~50-60% after 3 years and 30-40k miles--and while this is big-time depreciation as assets go, it is heroic as car values go.

    Remember, markets have two primary things that inform value:
    1. Supply and demand; and
    2. Relative liquidity.

    The proposition at hand is that because there will be few Vantages, there will be an implicit scarcity premium--i.e., point #1. However, absent a very well known quantity (such as the entry-level Ferrari), point #2 becomes relevant: you may actually face a discount due to the asset's lack of liquidity.

    One other point at issue is return on investment, particuarly for "incremental" differences.

    All things being equal, you will get a greater return on a base 911 than a heavily optioned one--because the extra $$ you spend on the options has a very low yield in the aftermarket. This is not to say that they don't make one's car more valuable when resale time comes along--becuase they do--but the question is what is the relative return. E.g., full leather interior is a great option (that I don't have) and looks great--but I suspect that you'll probably get (best case) $0.20 on every $1.00 you spend on this . . . so a 911 with this option will likely go for $600 more than one without (take my valuation assumptions at face value), but this isn't a very good return on the original $3k. In many respects, the turbo models are the same thing: an option.

    In addition, many people who want this kind of car or who can spend this much $$ don't want used cars. I'd always take a new normally aspirated 911 over a used turbo. Always. I don't buy used cars that cost >$50k (actually, I don't buy used cars at all!).

    Bottom line: time will tell. If the AM turns out to be well-loved, you'll do well on resale. While I think that's a bit of a gamble, who cares? As long as you're happy (and as long as it doesn't cause undue financial stress), hit the bid. We need more people buying these cars in the US to ensure that they keep sending them over here . . . maybe I'll even buy one someday (they are gorgeous, and the engine noise is breathtaking) . . . but not anytime soon.
  • bsumner wrote:

    We need more people buying these cars in the US to ensure that they keep sending them over here . . . maybe I'll even buy one someday (they are gorgeous, and the engine noise is breathtaking) . . . but not anytime soon.

    I don't think that this will be a problem. The waiting list on the car right now is 6 - 12+ months depending on where in the country you reside. The waiting list is longer in Canada (18 months) and the car is currently selling at well above sticker in the UK and the US. Of course, only a handful have been delivered in the US (First models to LA two months ago and to Dallas last month.).

    It is interesting to speculate on what will happen to the price but it is speculation. As I said in an earlier post, Porsches are as common as mud around here and even High School boys don't give them a second look. Aston Martins are rare, and exceedingly beautiful IMHO.

    That's the bottom line. I will take mine to Heartland Park and run it around the track but I am too old, my reflexes are too slow and it has been too long since I have raced, to seriously challenge what the car can do. I suspect that is true of most who can afford a new AM. Of the remainder, who are younger, very few probably can drive well enough to reach the limits of the car's performance.

    I think that I will look good in the AM -- well at least as good as an old man can.
  • The scarcity value of the Vantage increases by the day with significant production delays due to shortanges of critical assemblies. My delivery date has been pushed back by about a month since I ordered the car -- the dealer won't be receiving his cars (other than demo) until June! The car now has an almost two year backlog.

    Anyway, it appears that the cure for my "car fever" is somewhat off in the distance.
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  • amv8amv8 Posts: 7
    Kansashick did you pay full retail? My dealer told me to not even think of a discount. Full boat MSRP on a $119K car. I gotta say they are a bit snobby over there. Its like they are doing me a favor selling me this car.
  • nycrrnycrr Posts: 8
    Kansashick, you are very lucky! My March build date for the car has just been moved to September! It will be a 2007 and there will be a hike in the base price, and some of the options will become standard. I was told that they are running 15 weeks behind schedule, and if that puts your build date into the summer, you will need to wait for the fall. How many people are ahead of you on the list at your dealer?
  • I ordered my car in late December and took one of the dealer's demonstrator orders to get an early delivery. I paid full invoice for a car that is a bit overoptioned (I would not have gotten a battery conditioner, an umbrella holder and a few other options). The car ended up with a sticker of $125k.

    The car is currently scheduled to start build next week with a May ship date and a June arrival at the dealership. The delay since I purchased the car is about one to two months. There was, of course, a delay before the first of the year since the cars were originally scheduled to begin arriving in the US in February and March, and a few did (I know that LA and Dallas got demonstrator cars.)

    According to the dealer, I am number three on his list. Two cars are scheduled to arrive in May for customer delivery (and his demonstrator) and three in June (including the demonstrator that he is selling me new).

    The dealer told me that delays in shipping to the US are due to Aston being determined to get it right before shipping to US customers, who are more demanding than others. I was told that AM has switched some suppliers because of quality problems. There has been a recall of the cars in Britain due to electrical problems (I sure hope Lucas is not involved in parts production!).

    Anyway, I should have the car in two months.
  • praskindpraskind Posts: 4
    I can beat that... After a factory tour in March '05 I ordered my Vantage (well gave my deposit) and ordered the car in September when the prices for the US models came out- for a Jan '06 build. It's April and I am supposed to have my car on the 18th of this month. Or so they say... Fingers crossed if it comes on the 18th the dealer says I have the #4 car in the US. Could that be true?
  • I don't know if it will be number 4 in the US but you are clearly in the first group of customers to get the car. Mine is part of the second group of cars coming to the US as it is part of the dealer's second group of cars.

    If you are to have your car next week, it should have arrived in the US by now and only awaits shipment to the dealer.

    Let us know how you like it.
  • alfa2alfa2 Posts: 3
    Does any one know the dealer allocations for the V8? I put money down last July - position #6 and have just been toldd that won't get mine untill September as an 07. Supposedly only going to get 4 total incluing demonstration unit. If kansashick put money down in December and will get one I'm all little :confuse: .
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