Seeing just one of these on our roads can make your jaw drop and hit the paver block. Now imagine the two of them together! These cars are traffic stoppers – enough to make the functioning of the traffic lights irrelevant. Aston Martin added some serious virility to the Vantage all those years ago and to say that the basic design has lost its sexiness is akin to calling Claudia Schiffer a hag. The Jaguar XKR, on the other hand, is a British brute with all those haunches and extra add-ons to take on the Germans, but it can’t hide its sinuous lines or the fact that it is a serious set of wheels.
To even compare the two is somewhat criminal and yet underneath the veneer of aluminium and trick bits, the influence of Ian Callum on both can’t be downplayed. Back in the good ol’ days when Ford thought it prudent to share bits, it asked its men at Halewood and Gaydon to find out ways to build their own cars using similar techniques. And while Aston would create the VH platform that today is the basis of every single model, Jaguar has its own technique of building aluminium subframes using a sort of exoskeleton technique.
But all that metal, plastic and leather somehow do not matter when your hear them go. The exhaust baritone will either make you weep or wet your pants or leave your hair standing. And it’s all thanks to those beautifully honed V8s under their hoods. The Aston Martin Vantage feels like it benefits from a free-flowing exhaust through and through; the only other cars I can think of that exhibit such orchestral tendencies are Ferraris and Maseratis.
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