With U.S. deliveries of Aston Martin's next-gen DB11 slated to begin later this year, work on the car's little brother is well underway.
New spy shots of the second-generation Vantage coupe have surfaced, showing it testing at Germany's famed Nurburgring track. The car, due in 2017 as a 2018 model, will retain much of the character and styling that made the original a savvy Porsche 911-fighter.
The biggest change is a twin-turbo-charged, 4.0-liter, V-8 engine sourced from Mercedes-Benz's AMG division -- a result of the 5 percent ownership stake Mercedes' parent company Daimler has in the British brand.
Despite reports to the contrary and a first-gen V-12 Vantage, Aston insists there are no plans to offer the DB11's 5.2-liter, V-12 engine as an option on the next Vantage.
However, the next-gen Vantage lineup is expected to mimic its predecessor by offering both coupe and convertible versions, both in two-seat configurations. The gearbox will be either a six-speed manual or some form of self-shifter (automated dual-clutch, automated single-clutch or full slushbox).
Despite the heavy camouflage hiding key design details on this test model, the Vantage is expected to share much of the look of the larger and pricier DB11 while riding on an all-new chassis.
The interior is expected to offer a higher level of refinement and technology, including a digital instrument panel and an improved infotainment system.