The level of comfort was good but strangely the suspension coped with some of Portugal’s bumpy roads best when in Sport+ mode. Oddly to get back to normal Sport, you have to go first to Track mode and then back. The new electric power steering system is unusually brilliant too, providing excellent turn-in and good feedback.
That confidence is best tested on the track even one that tests your confidence with blind rises into dramatic right hand drops downwards and the instruction just to point the car at the marshal post and pray you have it all lined up properly as you turn.
In Sport mode there is a fraction of a delay in the power delivery, but it’s the track so put it into Sport+ or full Track mode and the gear changes are quicker, the engine responding in a more forceful manner. It is fast, very fast, particularly down the long pit straight, but it is the corners that reveal the Vantage’s new character. It makes you work and work damn hard.
It’s a well-behaved Sunday school toddler when it wants to be but it can throw a proper tantrum. The twitchy rear makes you fight it in the tight corners, and twice the back started to slide out as we powered through the long right hander at speed on to the pit straight. Incorrect tyre pressures were blamed for this after days of bad weather, but it showed this is no longer the gentleman cruiser — it’s a proper sports car.
Is it a 911 hunter? Most definitely, but will it pin a 911 to the ground? That seems unlikely, the 911 is more precise where the new Vantage is more raw, more involved. If Aston has been hunting for a true successor to that 1980's V8 Vantage, then the hunt is finally over.