On paper, you’d have to say that the £165,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 represents pretty poor value for money next to the much cheaper yet almost as potent regular V8 S. But in reality, it is a completely different animal.

The lightweight tweaks and optional titanium exhaust transform the ageing Aston into an utterly intoxicating machine.

In fact, it’s one of the most alluring sports cars money can buy, and certainly one of the best looking.

Steve Sutcliffe thrashes the new, near-race-spec Aston Vantage GT8, which could be one of the purest cars to drive today…