When the current generation Aston Martin Vantage came out in 2018, its giant grille was certainly its most polarizing feature. The shape was familiar, but the size was simply… a lot to take in. Now, though, there’s a solution.
British company Revenant has designed an alternate front clip for the Vantage that brings the car’s design in line with the Aston Martin’s other models, particularly the last-generation Vantage. The new face features a thinner mustache-shaped grille with horizontal slats, much like what you’d find on most Aston Martins for decades.
Sort of like the kit from Startech that will move the rear plate on your Land Rover Discovery to a more reasonable, more central location, the idea here is to ‘fix’ a more daring styling choice while simultaneously making the car more exclusive. It’s a fine line to walk, but when there is a market, you’ve gotta go for it, right?
Revenant says that their new front end, when installed professionally, will be able to accommodate all of the Vantage’s front-facing parking sensors and its front-mounted camera, making sure that owners don’t sacrifice practicality for style.
That said, there could perhaps be some drawbacks to putting this new grille on your car, even if it does look so much better. When the Vantage first came out two years ago, Justin did some digging into why the grille changed in the first place. The explanation he found in an interview the Drive did with Aston designer Marek Reichman was that the new shape allowed Aston Martin to save more than thirty pounds of weight at the very front of the car, which had obvious handling benefits.
Revenant doesn’t say how much their revised front clip weighs but I wouldn’t be surprised if it adds a few pounds. It’s not particularly easy to replace negative space with bodywork and keep everything weighing the same, even when it’s made of some sort of composite. But for most Vantage owners, that’s not really going to matter. If they wanted function over form, they could have bought something else.
To my mind, the Revenant treatment is better, but I’m not sure I want to mess with what Aston is doing. Aston is in the midst of a transformation that will, with some help from AMG, expand their offerings in the crossover and mid-engined. segments.
That classic Aston grille, pretty as it is, isn’t going to work in every application. Aston Martin themselves knew that in 1980 when they showed off the Bulldog mid-engined concept and they know it now as they launch the Valhalla supercar with its hybrid V6 in the middle. These cars didn’t feature the classic Aston Martin grille. It just wouldn’t have made sense.
But just because the Revenant grille might be something of a step backward for the Vantage, I’m still a fan. Every Aston Martin should be special and unique. To roll up at the country club next to someone in an identical Vantage must make for a humiliating round of golf. With this grille, you can probably avoid that easily, even if your friends might think you still have the last generation car.