Many cylinders, carbon fibre and wings make the V12 Vantage a road-going superhero
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is set to land in April, with enough power to make owners of the 641bhp Porsche 911 Turbo S feel inadequate. The Aston’s 5.2-litre V12 monster has been tuned to deliver a spine tingling 690bhp and just 333 lucky owners are set to get hold of the most powerful Vantage in history, all of them signing up without even knowing the price.
The V12 Vantage innards have been donated by the much bigger and heavier Aston Martin DB11 and DBS Superleggera, so its robust dyno figures will see it get from 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, before topping out at a nice round 200mph. This performance data isn’t actually a world away from the 3.6-second and 195mph figures of the Aston Martin Vantage V8 with 503bhp, but the V12 is sure to sound epic with four extra cylinders firing.
To cope with the radically different engine, Aston has fitted a newly-calibrated ZF eight-speed automatic transmission to the Vantage, and unlike its rival from Stuttgart, power is sent to the rear wheels only. As you’d probably expect, the chassis has also been given a fettle to brace itself for the transplant. There are new adaptive dampers, tweaked anti-roll bars, stiffer springs and carbon ceramic brakes come as standard to counter its new accelerative force.
The package of upgrades also includes a set of new 21-inch alloy wheels, shod in Michelin Pilot 4S tyres. To help it meet the expectations of any enthusiasts who’ve signed on the dotted line, Aston Martin has also adjusted the steering for a sharper feel.
A wider track will boost its handling and grip levels, and this along with the need for extra cooling and downforce, means the V12 Vantage looks like a different beast entirely. Its bodywork has been widened by a noticeable 40mm, with extensive use of carbon fibre under the paintwork, helping to offset the extra weight of the new engine.
The front bumper and bonnet are all carbon, while the front wings, sills, rear bumper and deck lid are now composite. Aston has even fitted a lightweight battery and lightweight centre-exit exhaust, with the new pipework saving 7.2kg alone. With a GT3-like rear wing, front splitter and new rear diffuser, the angry baby Aston can muster 204kg of downforce as it hits its top speed.
There are changes inside too; thanks to carbon fibre bucket seats with grippy Alcantara inserts or woven leather, a carbon fibre steering wheel with lightweight paddle shifters, and even an exposed rear strut brace that’s no doubt as stiff as the upper lip of the Gaydon assembly line worker who fitted it.
If just driving a V12-engined Vantage doesn’t make you feel enough like James Bond, then the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ personalisation service certainly should. Enter this rabbit hole and a world of bespoke paint finishes, different interior trims and even exterior graphics opens up. There’s no word on pricing, as we’ve said, but the word is that Aston has already found customers for every car. No doubt a few of these last V12 Vantages will appear on the market shortly after delivery, albeit with suitably inflated prices.