A very racy Vantage mule has been spotted at the 'ring – is the legend coming back?
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / Loading comments
From the arrival of the first RS concept in 2007 all the way to the very special V600s more than a decade later, there was a whole lotta love for the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. It wasn’t hard to see why: the V12 combined Aston’s most stylish shape with its best sounding engine, fitted a manual gearbox (to start with, at least) and didn’t complicate the recipe very much further than that. While early cars were a bit intimidating to drive fast and the automated manual gearbox that came later far from the best, the appeal of the Vantages was plain to see. And hear.
Now it looks like the V12 Vantage might be making a return, as this development mule surely isn’t a regular V8. Note the gaping front intake, V12 Speedster-esque bonnet, DBS wheels, a redesigned rear end, and centre-exit exhausts – the latter just like the Speedster as well. There are also chunkier rear arches cloaking a wider track. Of course this could all be for another GT8-style Vantage, but our sources seem confident of a V12.
Moreover, let’s not forget the effort that must have gone into stuffing the 5.2-litre twin-turbo into the Vantage-derived Speedster; it seems very unlikely that Aston would have gone to that level of engineering outlay (which involved grafting a lot of DBS onto the front of Vantage) for just 77 cars.
The DBS look to the front splitter and grille lends further credence to that idea. A V12 makes sense. We convinced ourselves of that hours ago. Especially when you consider that the track focused V8 version is covered off well enough (for now, at least) with the F1 Edition, leaving a sizeable gap between that car at £140k and the £750k Speedster for some more V12 silliness.
That’s silliness meant in the best way, too, as this engine has never produced less than 600hp, and that was in the original DB11. It was uprated to 640hp for the AMR and then 725hp for the DBS Superleggera, from which it was only slightly dialled back (to 700hp) for the Speedster. Might this coupe match the drop-top for power? Probably not, if this is to be a series production car, but even 600hp – and the enormous torque that 12 cylinders and two turbos offer – would be a lot in a car that already has 195mph potential with the V8.
Given the rough and ready state of the prototype, don’t expect the V12-powered Vantage – if that’s what it is – to go on sale too soon. Especially not with the F1 Edition recently launched and the V12 Speedster not yet with customers. But once the hype around those two cars has died down a little, don’t be surprised to see a car combining the best elements of both emerge from Gaydon. And the adulation to resume five seconds later.
- 2021 Aston Martin F1 Edition | PH Review
- 2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster | PH Review
Image credit | S.Baldauf/S.B. Medien
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