While not a flawless car, it would be hard for anyone to take issue with the Aston Vantage’s V8 engine. The 4.0-litre is, after all, fundamentally an AMG engine, the ‘hot-V’ hell-raiser that’s done such sterling service in everything from AMG GT to E63. Brimming with boundless power and torque, accompanied by a rousing soundtrack, it’s everything you’d hope for in a modern Aston sports car engine. Still, everything isn’t enough for some people…
McChip-DKR in Germany clearly houses a few of those people, the company having now released its range of upgrades for the Vantage – culminating in the 700hp Stage 3 package. That’s 190hp more than standard, and the accompanying 623lb ft torque peak is 118lb ft extra, so rather a lot. It’s achieved through – you’ve guessed it – a rework of the ECU, but also new downpipes and sports cats, plus a rework of the turbocharger twins. To improve efficiency and response, the turbos feature new compressor and turbine wheels, as well as “adapted inlets and outlets”, presumably to get the air in and out quicker than standard.
With a 0-62mph of 3.6 seconds as standard, the DKR upgrades will not have much impact on standing start acceleration. But it will once up to speed, as shown in the test video; always useful to have an autobahn on hand to validate your work. 62-124mph now takes just 7.1 seconds, for example, which is damn quick. The top speed is 200mph.
This is all work familiar from what other tuners have achieved from the engine in AMG installations, but there’s something incongruous – and quite appealing – about the same mayhem being unleashed with the engine powering an Aston Martin. This is, let’s not forget, pretty much DBS Superleggera power and torque in a smaller, lighter vehicle. Naturally, this tuning invalidates the Aston warranty, though DKR says that all work has been “developed and tested with the utmost care”. It’s also €15,000, which is a significant amount of cash. It’s a significant amount of power, though, and might be quite hard to give up once it’s been experienced.