Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550: 10 quickfire stats as 550bhp brute turns 30 | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
The Latest US News & Reviews
USA News
Monday 11th December

Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550: 10 quickfire stats as 550bhp brute turns 30

Time to step back into the Nineties and the heady days of the supercharged V8 Vantage

Centred front dead-on static studio shot of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550
  1. Only 239 were made

    Static shot of Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 in warehouse

    In the eight years of production, only 239 V550s were made. Though we should add, they were built slowly, very slowly…


    Advertisement - Page continues below
  2. It took 1,200 hours to build

    Rear three quarter static shot of a green Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550

    At a time when the Ford Fiesta took around eight hours to build, production of a single Vantage was much slower. At its peak production was just two cars every week, but we’re reckoning no one took lunch, ever.

    That glacial rate reportedly dropped to half a car per week at the slowest point. Only 239, remember – now we know why.

  3. The Vantage originally had a £177,600 price tag

    Front three quarter static shot of a green Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550

    The inflation calculator tells us £177,600 in the early ‘90s converts to approximately £453,000 in new money. Today half a mill buys you not one, but two Bentley Continental GTs heavily customised by its bespoke coachbuilding team at Mulliner. Or a home. (Maybe two of them, if you went far enough into mid-Wales).

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  4. Unsurprisingly, the Vantage V550 had... 550bhp as standard

    Close up of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 engine bay

    The world’s most powerful Aston had a monster 5.3-litre V8 engine, boosted by a pair of M90 Eaton superchargers. The package pumped out 550bhp and 553lb ft of torque, able to shift the two-tonne Vantage along at a fair old lick.

  5. It had almost 220bhp more than the Virage

    Close up of the Engine block with the Vantage name

    The real headline of the day was the in-house climb that the engineering team had made developing the quad-cam V8. It wasn’t that dissimilar to the 32-valve 5.3-litre in the Virage that preceded it, with that engine rated for 'just' 330bhp. Superchargers, huh.

  6. It did 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds

    Front three quarter static of V550

    The V550’s 4.6-second 0-60mph dash might seem pedestrian today, but in the Nineties that was enough to keep pace with a mid-engined Ferrari F355 (0-60mph in around 4.5s).

  7. It had a top speed of 186mph

    Close up of the instrument panel on V550

    The V550 topped out at 186mph, which was apparently described as 'adequate' by its then-sales staff. Quite.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  8. It had a massive 110-litre fuel tank

    Side profile static shot of a green Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550

    Massive, right? So massive, Aston fitted filling ports either side of the boot. For some context, Aston’s 630bhp DB12 has a 78-litre capacity.

  9. The 362mm brakes were the largest available at the time

    Close up of the wheel on Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550

    The V550 is credited with a few production car 'firsts' and 'mosts', including the brakes. Aston tells us the 362mm front/310mm rear ventilated discs - saddled with with four-piston AP calipers - were the largest for any production car at the time. Probably get those on a Fiesta nowadays.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  10. The Le Mans version increased power to 600bhp

    Front dead on shot of V550

    The V600 Le Mans version could be retrospectively applied to the V550 for a mere £43,000, and brought with it - that's right! - 50 more ponies to hit a nice, round 600bhp. It involved a complete strip down and rebuild from scratch, mind...


More from Top Gear

See more on Aston Martin

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5