Aston Martin is retiring the V12 Vantage, but it’s going strong as the company has unveiled an all-new limited production model that is the fastest and most powerful Vantage ever created.
Starting under the hood, the coupe features a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that produces a thunderous 690 horsepower (515 kW/700 PS) and 555 lb-ft (753 Nm) of torque. That’s 187 hp (140 kW/190 PS) and 50 lb-ft (68 Nm) more than the V8 Vantage, and the extra power allows the model to shoot up from 0 to a hundred kilometers per hour in 3.4 seconds. Those numbers are only part of the story, as the V12 Vantage incorporates a number of weight-saving measures to give the model a power-to-weight ratio of 385 hp (287 kW/390 PS) per tonne, which is more than 20%. increase compared to the standard model.
To achieve that number, the car has been equipped with a number of carbon fiber components, including the hood, front bumper, front fenders, and side sills. They are joined by a composite rear fender and platform cover, a lightweight battery, and a center-mounted dual exhaust system. The latter is made of lightweight stainless steel, allowing it to weigh about 7.2 kg (15.9 lb) less than the system normally found in the Vantage.
More technical details
While previous versions of the V12 Vantage were offered with manual transmission, the latest member of the family has an eight-speed automatic transmission that incorporates learnings from the V12 Speedster and Vantage F1 Edition. The automatic is sure to disappoint some fans, but Aston Martin noted that the gearbox features a unique calibration that improves responsiveness and driver interaction. It also promises to be in the right gear at the right time, as well as being more refined than a dual-clutch gearbox.
Performance that extends beyond the engine compartment
Since the V12 Vantage is advertised as the “ultimate expression of extreme performance,” the car has been fitted with a new adaptive damping suspension that helps deliver “brilliant handling.”
The changes are numerous and include new bushings, as well as stiffer springs that see their rates increase by 50% at the front and 40% at the rear. They are joined by new roll bars that are 5% stiffer at the front and 41% softer at the rear. The model also gains a rear secondary auxiliary spring, which “provides a lower spring rate than the main spring, providing greater driving comfort without affecting dynamic performance.”
Since sports cars need a good base, body rigidity has increased by 8%, while lateral stiffness increases by 6.7%. This was achieved thanks to the addition of extra transparent panels, a rear suspension strut and reinforcements in the fuel tank.
Other highlights include a limited-slip differential and a recalibrated steering system, which offers better feel and responsiveness. Engineers also equipped the car with a carbon ceramic brake system, which saves 23 kg (50.7 lb) of weight and resists discoloration at temperatures up to 800 degrees. The system features six-piston calipers that grip the 410 mm (16.1 in) front discs, while the four-piston calipers bite the smaller 360 mm (14.2 in) rear discs.
An unmistakable design
A look at the V12 Vantage ensures that this is not its typical model, as the car features a 25% larger grille to improve cooling. It is joined by a prominent front divider and a ventilated bonnet with a “horseshoe” design.
Moving further back, there’s a wide body kit and a sizable rear spoiler that contributes to a maximum downforce of 450 lb (204 kg) at top speed. While the spoiler is functional, it won’t be to everyone’s liking, so Aston Martin will allow customers to give it up for a dimmer appearance. Elsewhere, there are 21-inch wheels with black satin or diamond black satin finish. Customers can also order optional lightweight wheels that save 8 kg (17.6 lb) of weight.
Speaking of options, there are painted tweezers, smoked taillights, and dark exhaust tips. Customers looking for a more exclusive look can turn to Aston Martin’s Q. The customization service will offer “eye-catching exterior graphics and liveries,” as well as green, blue or red dyed lacquers for the carbon fiber components on display.
A familiar interior, but more sporty
The cabin is largely retained, but buyers will find the V12 badge on the center console, as well as the heated, 16-way power-adjustable Semi-aniline Leather Sports Plus seats. They are joined by a sports steering wheel, glossy black trim, lightweight carpets, an Alcantara roof cladding and an 8-inch infotainment system.
A variety of options will be available including a premium audio system, carbon fiber trim, and carbon fiber performance seats with an exposed carbon fiber housing and six-way manual adjustment. The latter save 16.1 pounds (7.3 kg) of weight and promise not to compromise on comfort.
Customers can also order Q options, such as a carbon fiber steering wheel, painted moldings, and color anodized details. While those are just a few examples, Aston Martin said: “With so many design combinations available, it wouldn’t be a surprise not to see two cars alike.”
Deliveries begin later this year
Production will be limited to 333 units globally, but the company has seen “unprecedented demand” since the car was officially announced last December. As a result, all V12 Vantages have been talked about and there is already an “oversubscribed record of interest eagerly waiting on the wings”. Those lucky enough to secure one can expect deliveries to begin in the second quarter.