There is a thing that supercar companies do sometimes as a mic drop, in that they will announce that they are building their next Super Machine and, wow, it goes really fast and looks great and also, huh, they are all sold out already! Aston Martin’s new V12 Vantage is the latest such marketing exercise.
There is also some kind of existential question embedded here, as, if an automaker makes a car that you or I will never drive, and perhaps its owners won’t either, because Aston is only making 333 of them, has Aston made a car at all? If a V12 roars and there is no one around to hear it, has it really made a sound?
You are free to ponder these questions as we run through the details on the V12 Vantage, which Aston says is the “finale” for the car, er “bloodline.” Here is, I will quote at some length, part of a press release that you will never read again:
The engine is the heart of every Aston Martin, but never more so than in this, the fastest and most powerful Vantage ever built. Developing 700PS at 6500 rpm and 753Nm of torque from just 1800rpm to 6000rpm, the quad-cam 60-deg 5.2-litre V12 offers an intoxicating combination of magnificent low and mid-range muscularity with searing top-end power. With a top speed of 200mph, V12 Vantage reaches to 0-60 in just 3.4 seconds. Thanks to the propulsive efforts of this magnificent powerplant – and extensive use of weight-saving materials throughout the car – the V12 Vantage has a power-to-weight ratio of 390PS-per-ton; an increase of more than 20% compared to the V8 powered Vantage.
These weight saving measures include carbon fibre front bumper, clamshell bonnet, front fenders and side sills, composite rear bumper and deck lid, lightweight battery and a special centre-mounted twin-exit exhaust system. Tuned to ensure the V12 Vantage has a voice to match its looks and performance, this new exhaust system is made from lightweight 1mm stainless-steel, saving some 7.2kg compared with the system fitted to the Vantage.
The power is fed through a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and mechanical Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) mounted at the rear of the car. The V12 Vantage receives a unique transmission calibration to enhance shift speeds and driver interaction, with learnings taken from the V12 Speedster and Vantage F1® Edition models. This specially calibrated software delivers a level of shift refinement and usability which is beyond that seen on dual clutch gearboxes. The transmission’s adaptive software is designed to gauge the conditions the car is operating in, along with the demands the driver is making, to ensure the car is in exactly the right gear at the right time providing a truly connected driving experience.
Suspension spring rates have been increased by 50% at the front and 40% at the rear, combined with top mount stiffness increasing by 13% and new anti-roll bars are 5% stiffer at the front and 41% softer at the rear. To maintain comfort for the driver, a secondary tender spring has been introduced to the rear. The tender spring provides a lower spring rate than the main spring providing enhanced ride comfort without affecting dynamic performance.
Body stiffness is increased with additional front and rear shear panels, a rear suspension tower strut brace and fuel tank bracing, increasing body stiffness (kNm/Deg) by 8% and lateral stiffness (kNm/mm) by 6.7%, giving the optimum platform stiffness for driving dynamics.
These changes are also supported by a new steering calibration, improving steering feel and delivering a sharper response - and in turn, an enhanced driver experience.
For stopping power that’s more than a match for its performance, the V12 Vantage features a Carbon Ceramic Braking (CCB) system as standard – At the front 410mm x 38mm discs with 6-piston calipers, while at the rear 360mm x 32mm discs are paired with 4-piston calipers.
Offering increased braking performance and significant reduction in un-sprung mass, these CCB discs maintain consistent braking performance at high temperatures and have been engineered to resist brake fade at temperatures up to 800 degrees, helping the V12 Vantage unleash its full performance potential while giving the driver maximum confidence and precise control.
This CCB technology also saves 23kg of weight when compared to steel brakes. Moreover, as this mass is unsprung, the weight savings further contribute to the V12 Vantage’s ride quality and dynamic handling character.
Those are, indeed, impressive-sounding features, though Aston also says that every V12 Vantage buyer can, and probably will, customize their V12 Vantage to their heart’s content, such that if you do ever encounter one of these things in the wild, it is probably a unique example. I hope you do encounter one, in any case, and Aston says deliveries will start this spring; the point of buying a car like this is really a public service, so that when you get stuck in traffic in Monte Carlo and other people, from the outside, can admire your purchase, much like one might view art at a gallery.
Meanwhile, Car and Driver says that it starts at around $300,000, which, again, is a moot point because Aston says they have already all been sold. That is perhaps a measuring stick, though, for when eventually they are resold, probably marketed then, too, as the last of a dying breed.