The current Aston Martin Vantage has been the backbone of Gaydon’s range, spawning various V8 and V12 variants, numerous special editions and a successful racing programme that has bagged two Le Mans class wins and several World Endurance Championships (WEC). Now, twelve years later, there’s finally a new one, which will help usher Aston Martin into its Second Century plan alongside the larger DB11.

While the outgoing model was widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cars in the world, there will probably be greater contention with this one. The new car has been given a much more aggressive and sculptural design, clearly incorporating a lot of the design details found on the DB10 – James Bond’s favourite mode of transport in his latest film Spectre.

The front of the car is dominated by a massive new mesh grille that sits low down and is integrated into the splitter, giving the Vantage a love-it-or-hate-it look. You’ll also find slit-like LED headlights and a clamshell bonnet with a distinct power dome, while larger vents have been cut into the sides to bleed air from under the front wheel arches, reducing lift.

Classic sports car proportions remain with short overhangs, a long bonnet and a sweeping, low-slung glasshouse, this time without the DB11’s “floating roof.” The tail lights are slim and follow the upright flick of the rear spoiler forming a single line of light that, if controversial, is at least distinctive. That rear spoiler, together with the massive rear diffuser, is said to create a significant amount of downforce.

Inside, the current car’s elegant flowing lines have been ditched for a more technical design, with controls like the PRND selector buttons, climate control toggles and infotainment system controller all clustered into different zones. The high beltline and lower seating position also provides a more cocooned feel, and Aston claims there are generous storage areas such as dual-tier compartments.

Other features include a version of Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND Online infotainment system with an eight-inch central display, standard Alcantara upholstery (a full-leather interior is available as an option) as well as beautiful details like the saddle leather door pulls. Open the tailgate and you’ll find 350 litres of cargo space, and you can also fit extra luggage behind the rear seats.

The new Vantage is on the same bonded aluminium structure as the DB11, but with 70% of its components unique to this car. Measures 4,465 mm long, it’s 284 mm shorter than its sibling and 34 mm shorter than a Porsche 911, making for what Aston says is a more agile car. Dry weight is 1,530 kg.

Under the bonnet sits a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes-AMG, but with new engine mounts and a lower-profile wet sump to mount the engine lower in the car. Engineers have also retuned the engine and its intake and exhaust systems to give it a more Aston-like feel and a characteristic gravelly growl.

The headline figures are 510 PS at 6,000 rpm and 685 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm, sent to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transaxle. As such, the Vantage will blitz the zero-to-100 km/h benchmark in just 3.6 seconds before topping out at 314 km/h.

Underneath, the new Vantage rides on forged double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, with standard-fit adaptive damping and a solidly-mounted subframe to give a rigid base for the suspension to do its work. There’s also Dynamic Torque Vectoring and, for the first time on an Aston, an electronic locking rear differential (E-Diff) that works alongside the stability control system to react based on the car’s behaviour.

Also fitted are ventilated cast iron brake discs that measure 400 mm at the front (two-piece items) and 360 mm at the back, clamped by six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers. They hide behind 20-inch alloy wheels (either cast or lightweight forged), wrapped in specially-developed Pirelli P Zero tyres.

The new Vantage was revealed alongside the GTE racing version that will compete in the 2018 WEC season. So what do you think of the Vantage’s new design – is it a successful rejuvenation of its beautiful predecessor, or is it a step too far? Sound off in the comments after the jump.