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Looking Back: The Aston Martin N420, (Aston)ishing

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On: Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:25AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Looking Back:  The Aston Martin N420, (Aston)ishing

There are few cars that actually elicit a physical reaction from people when they start up, but the 2012 Aston Martin N420 will make a believer out of anyone gearhead or otherwise.  Not like an Aston Martin needed anymore fanfare.  Being the go-to car for most James Bond films over the years has all but inducted it into the Hollywood Garage of Fame.  However, this Bond car is one that the bad guys could hear coming a mile away.  

The Vantage has been a very successful model for Aston over the years, and has gone through a few iterations bearing the same name in that time. The 2012 N420 was actually an improved version of the N400, which was released as a commemoration (and metaphorical company wide high-five) of their successful N24 hot rod racer entry to the Nurburgring.

The original N400 celebrated with a 4.3 liter 400 horsepower V8, but the N420 uses a 4.7 liter V8 that puts out a very predictable, you guessed it, 420 horsepower. The N420 is differentiated from a "regular" Vantage by 19-inch, ten-spoke aluminum wheels with a gloss black and diamond turned finish, rear diffuser, fender vents, a carbon-fiber splitter, and wider sills.

The N420's suspension is very impressive using an independent double-wishbone design on both front and rear incorporating anti-dive, anti-squat, and anti-lift geometry. Other perks include the usual high-end luxury car alphabet soup of safety devices including: Positive Torque Control (PTC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). For good or ill, the N420 still retains its roots as a big GT car and will never be mistaken for a Ferrari 458. At tick over 3,700 pounds, all the mechanical wizardry in the world can't defy physics forever. But then, anyone that's seen Quantum of Solace or Casino Royale knows that Aston's can take a beating, and move out quick despite their weight issues.

You can feel like James Bond in the traditional coupe or break with tradition and go for a convertible as long as you could pony up the $146,350 base price (with the convertible necessitating a few more secret-op paychecks), but a nice used example might still be out there for less than retail. Other than the open-header sounding exhaust and bodywork, your N420 differentiates itself from lesser Vantages by way of a few key placed N420 badges on the trunk, sill plate, and embroidered on the seats.

So if you aren't one of the chosen few to have an extra 150 grand sitting around, go find your best suit, put on a fake accent and head on down to your local Aston Martin dealership and see if you can con a salesmen into letting you test drive one of these bad boys, and if he balks, maybe you can just ask him if maybe you could start it up. Then sit back and watch as the unsuspecting salesman jumps out of his seat and is well ... Astonished at the sound that emanates from what appeared to be a civilized car Mission accomplished.


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