Aston Martin Debuts the Vantage for North America
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Aston Martin Debuts the Vantage for North America

Fri, Mar 22, 2024 8:41amGrey Clock 4 min

It’s impossible to go 202 miles per hour on Manhattan’s Park Avenue (and you shouldn’t try) but that’s where Aston Martin’s opulent showroom is, just down the road from Ferrari. The cars follow the money, and the new Vantage that had its North American debut in New York this month carries a price tag of US$191,000.

Aston is aiming to produce “the definitive front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car,” powered by a four-litre AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 engine producing 655 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Shifting through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox (there’s no manual option), it can reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The Vantage can be ordered now, with deliveries this summer.

In other words, the Vantage is a traditional supercar in an age of rapid electrification. There isn’t an auto company in the world that isn’t aware of what’s ahead. And according to Alex Long, who was in New York and heads product and market strategy for Aston, the company is collaborating with California-based Lucid on an electric Aston that will appear in 2026. They’re having the naming discussions now, but few details are available. Lucid, which fields the ultra-fast Air Sapphire , is a pioneer in developing lighter and smaller components for EVs.

The two-seat Vantage has a lot of overlap with the DB12 (a 2+2, meaning it has two decent sized seats in the front and two smaller ones in the back] and it’s a venerable name in the Aston Martin universe, going back 70 years. The new model has been greatly reworked, with modifications to the chassis, engine, body design (the grille is 30% larger), and an all-new interior and bespoke in-house infotainment system with the company’s first touchscreen. Horsepower is up 30% and the torque is up 15%.

The DB12, seen in convertible form, is a Vantage relative that offers 2+2 seating.
Jim Motavalli

Technical types can thrill to such revelations as “a stiffer-yet-lighter front engine cross brace for increased torsional rigidity and lateral stiffness between the front suspension towers,” as described by Aston Martin.

The new Vantage is indeed techy for an Aston Martin, and offers active vehicle dynamics, adaptive shock absorbers from Bilstein, and an electronic rear differential. There’s a launch control system that manages torque to keep the car planted when it takes off for the horizon.

“[Owner] Lawrence Stroll has made a huge investment in Aston Martin,” Long says. “He believes that in supercar positioning, we have to go all the way.” The Vantage on display was certainly gorgeous in eye-popping Podium Green, which has some blue in it. Apparently the tried-and-true but dark British Racing Green comes off as black in photographs. The vivid green contrasts with a neon-like Lime Essence stripe around the rocker panels and tail.

There was no driving component, but racing driver Darren Turner, a three-time Le Mans winner and an Aston Martin development driver, was on hand.

“I’ve been with the Vantage development program from the beginning,” Turner says. “Our aim with the driving modes [which include Sport, Sport Plus, and Track] was precision behind the wheel.” There’s no “comfort” mode—if you want to commute or buy groceries, you use Sport which, Turner says, “is not too hard on the suspension.”

Long says the Vantage is “practical” because it has a big trunk, but it’s young couples and empty-nesters who won’t mind the absence of a back seat. As for what’s under the hood, Aston’s customers are still thrilling to the sound of a V8 engine and are not pushing for an EV. But with a European ban on internal combustion by 2035, and similar directives in American states, EVs are inevitable under the Aston banner.

Inside the Vantage, with a new infotainment system.
Jim Motavalli

Meanwhile, Aston has other models coming. The ultra-exclusive Cosworth V12-powered Valkyrie (priced at up to US$3.5 million for the track AMR Pro version) will be replaced by the even-more-potent Valhalla at the end of this year. Only 999 Valhallas will be built. The 937-horsepower Valhalla, with an AMG V-8 and two electric motors, will be Aston’s first plug-in hybrid and priced around US$800,000. The Valkyrie was a huge hit in terms of garnering publicity for the brand, and the Valhalla will similarly serve. Just 150 Valkyrie coupes and 85 Spyders are being built, and production should be done by the end of 2024.

The DBX was an instant big seller for Aston
Jim Motavalli

Aston has put considerable effort recently into Formula One and GT racing, and there’s also the Vantage GT4 competition car, which (because of strict rules) shares about 80% of the road car’s structure and mechanicals. But the bonded aluminium chassis gains a custom roll cage.

Aston Martin sold 6,620 cars in 2023. When the company introduced its first SUV, the DBX, it quickly became the company’s runaway bestseller despite a high price tag, now at US$200,086. The DBX 707 (the number is the horsepower rating) ups the ante. SUV leadership is a common result among supercar enterprises that grit their teeth and build SUVs to fulfil consumer demand.

It may be a while before Aston Martin is an all-electric brand. Right now, it’s keeping the order books filled with AMG-powered supercars. But transition is ahead.


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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Millennials Are Coming for Your Golf Communities

Living on golf courses has surged in popularity since the pandemic. Many courses have upgraded facilities and broadened amenities. Now the 40-year-olds want in too.

Sun, Apr 21, 2024 8 min

Gabrielle Sloan, 30, and her husband, Brandon Sloan, 30, never thought they’d live on a golf course. Gabrielle doesn’t even play golf—yet, at least.

But in January 2020, the Sloans spent $660,000 to buy a three-bedroom, roughly 1,960-square-foot ranch house on approximately 0.25 acres that backs up to the course at Tequesta Country Club, a private golf club in Tequesta, Fla., a village on Palm Beach County’s northern border.

Gabrielle and Brandon Sloan with their son and dog at their house in Tequesta, Fla. PHOTO: JAMES JACKMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“We loved how family-friendly the neighbourhood is,” says Gabrielle, noting that the club is catering to a younger crowd. “That lifestyle is something we wanted.”

Across the U.S., millennials like the Sloans are moving to where the grass is greener: private golf communities. “Millennials are starting to solidify their lives,” says Cindy Scholz, a real-estate broker with Compass in New York City and the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island. “And they are strategically using real estate to shape their lifestyles.”

In Texas, about 10 miles west of downtown Austin is Barton Creek, a community where the Barton Creek Country Club is a selling point. “Before the pandemic, millennials were sporadically buying in Barton Creek,” says Stephanie Nick, a Douglas Elliman sales agent. “Now it’s a full-bore, ‘let’s get going on the country club lifestyle’ movement.”

In Barton Creek, Nick says millennial house hunters typically budget about $3 million to $4 million. In 2023, she sold a millennial a four-bedroom, 5,500-square-foot house for $3.5 million. Recently, she showed a $5 million house to a young couple with one child.

Nick believes millennials—born between 1981 and 1996—are tired of paying more for less in the city. In Austin, $3 million might buy a roughly 3,000-square-foot house on a small parcel, she says, whereas that same price in Barton Creek might buy a 5,000-square-foot to 6,000-square-foot house on a half to one acre in a community with easy access to four 18-hole golf courses, tennis, workout facilities, swimming and more.

In Georgia, Mary Catherine Smith, a real estate agent with Corcoran Classic Living, says millennials are moving to Jennings Mill Country Club, less than five miles south of downtown Athens. In March, Smith listed a typical Jennings Mill property—a five bedroom, 4,984 square foot house on 1.07 acres—for $965,000.

One reason Smith thinks young homeowners gravitate to the club is for its social life. “Many Jennings Mills residents have golf carts,” she says. “They’ll trolley around together on the weekend.”

“There are millennials who have never picked up a golf club, and a country club neighbourhood is still the only place they want to be,” says Byron Wood, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty – Westlake Village Brokerage, about 10 miles from Los Angeles’s city limits.

Millennials moving to private golf communities is a trend that might have seemed unthinkable before the Covid pandemic, when such enclaves seemed destined for the rough due to waning interest in the sport, especially among young people.

Then an unlikely coincidence occurred.

A bucket of balls at the Bermuda Dunes Country Club. PHOTO: OLIVIA ALONSO GOUGH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Golf play surged during the pandemic and continues to grow: In 2023, more golf rounds were played than any other year on record, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Meanwhile, since the Great Recession, there are private golf clubs that have been transforming themselves into amenity-rich lifestyle hubs, whose resort-style pools, sports facilities, fitness centres, dining and social programming have broad appeal, says Jason Becker, co-founder and CEO of Golf Life Navigators, an online platform that connects golfers to golf clubs and golf communities across the U.S.

At the same time, during the pandemic, millennials started turning 40 years old. Research from Club Benchmarking, a private golf club business intelligence firm, shows that the average age of new private golf club joiners is early 40s, says Michael J. Timmerman, the company’s chief market intelligence officer.

That means at the same time golf and private golf clubs came back into style, the next generation of Muffys and Skips were primed to start their country club years.

Consequently, the NGF has seen a shift toward younger private golf club members on the heels of the pandemic. Since 2019, the number of golfers at private golf clubs has increased by approximately 25%, from just under 1.5 million to 1.9 million, according to the NGF. Adults under the age of 50 comprise 60% of those memberships, with young adults, ages 18 to 34, representing about 30%. The latter can include adult children of members, typically up to a certain age.

There is no one-size-fits-all U.S private golf club community. Some clubs have housing within their gates; other clubs are integrated within regular residential neighbourhoods. Roughly speaking, a top-tier club’s golf initiation fee could be $250,000 or much more, with annual dues in the mid-tens of thousands and up. However, there are also clubs with golf initiation fees and annual dues in the low thousands or less. Typically, there are lower-priced membership options that don’t include golf, such as social or pool- and tennis-only memberships.

In December 2021, Tyson Hawley, 37, and his wife, Maital Hawley, 40, paid $1.15 million for a turnkey four bedroom, 4,272 square foot house on 0.4 acres backing up to the golf course at the Bermuda Dunes Country Club. It’s located in California’s greater Palm Springs area, which has more than 110 golf courses, of which more than half are private.

“I leave my house and I’m on my club’s first tee in two minutes,” Tyson Hawley says. Hawley is a real estate agent with Desert Sotheby’s International Realty. He says within a prestigious desert club’s gates, houses might be in the multi-millions. However, there are lower priced golf community options that work for his millennial buyers, who typically have house budgets of about $800,000 to $1.2 million, he says.

undefined “It is very possible to buy a house at $350 per square foot in a golf community and be super pumped about what you get for your membership,” he says. “There are clubs that understand that millennials are in a season of their lives where they can’t hang with the big dogs paying $250,000 for an initiation fee.”

Golf Life Navigators’s Jason Becker says some private clubs have invested in their amenities, golf course and branding, while others have not and rely upon their historic status. “Millennials are very cautious by nature in terms of their finances and investments,” Becker says. “Industry officials are seeing very in-depth questions coming from millennials pertaining to the club’s financial health and long-term plan to remain healthy.”

Becker says there are, of course, golf communities where there aren’t many younger members, specifically those in the U.S.’s Southeast or Southwest that are geared toward retirees or second-home owners. “There’s just so much demand from the baby boomers,” says Becker, noting that since the pandemic, generally speaking, membership wait lists are now lengthy, fees associated with being a member are up, attrition rates are down and tee time availability is compressed. He added that the cost of being a member at some clubs can be prohibitive for younger people, especially in an era when the average initiation fee at a private club has increased 50% to 70% since 2021. In the Sunbelt, the average age of private golf club searchers is between ages 55 to 57, according to Golf Life Navigators’s data.

That’s not a hard-and-fast rule, though. In the Phoenix area, Lisa Roberts is a real-estate agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. She is working with a young millennial couple at McCormick Ranch Golf Club, in Scottsdale. They recently went into contract for $1.1 million on a three bedroom, 2,550 square foot house on 0.21 acre. “They plan to upgrade once they have children and a more established income,” Roberts says, “but this house lets them lay a foundation within the club’s gates now.”

Becker says whether younger people will be battling generational stereotypes hinges on the club’s culture, which sets the tone for all members. “It is up to the club’s board and management team to lead the way of established culture, such as playing music on the golf course or wearing a hat in the clubhouse,” Becker says. “For younger, new members, the club’s culture has to be understood or frustration will likely surface.”

Club Benchmarking’s Michael J. Timmerman says, “It really depends on how the club is designed, whether the club wants to focus on programming that will attract different members.” Timmerman adds that clubs catering to younger members and families will develop social programming specifically tailored to that age group.

Around the communities of Monterey and Carmel on California’s Central Coast, there are storied golf courses including the public Pebble Beach Golf Links and the private Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Nic Canning, managing partner at Canning Properties Group with Sotheby’s International Realty – Carmel Brokerage, says retirees and second-home owners typically live around these premiere courses, where he says properties can range from roughly $15 million to $35 million around Pebble Beach, and $3 million to $10 million around MPCC.

However, the area is rich with golf—there are roughly a dozen public courses and a half-dozen private clubs—and Canning has seen an influx of millennials buying in  family-friendly private golf communities such as the Club at Pasadera, Santa Lucia Preserve and Tehama Golf Club, and the semi-private Carmel Valley Ranch. He says since the pandemic, the area has particularly attracted tech workers migrating from Silicon Valley, with San Jose being only about 70 miles north.

At these clubs, Canning has recently sold millennials properties such as a three bedroom, 2,717-square-foot house on approximately 0.23 acres for $3.792 million, and a house with roughly similar specs for $2.7 million. Another house that has three bedrooms and 4,396 square feet on 13.3 acres just sold to a millennial for $4.42 million.

“Millennials are less driven by ocean views and care more about the community, the school district and access to things like restaurants, grocery shopping, trails and beaches,” Canning says.

Similarly, millennials want to equip their private golf-club houses a certain way. Kate O’Hara, CEO and creative director of O’Hara Interiors, which is based in Minneapolis and Austin, says the country club houses her firm works on might include everything from golf-simulator rooms and yoga studios, to outdoor-access showers and expanded mudrooms for equipment storage.

Back in Tequesta, Fla., the Sloans spent about $150,000 to optimise their house to fit their lifestyle, including adding durable furnishings and built-in cabinetry and jazzing up their outdoor entertaining area. They did so with the help of local interior designer Victoria Meadows Murphy, 35, who has a knack for taking the Bob Hope vibes out of country club homes without losing the martini spirit.

Meadows Murphy and her husband, Evan Murphy, 35, are building their own house, a project budgeted at $2.8 million, on a tear-down lot on the Sloans’s same golf course. “It’s exciting seeing the turnover of houses as young people are moving in,” Meadows Murphy says.

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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