2010 V12 Vantage
Engine: 6 .0 Liter V12
Torque: 420 lb-ft.
Horsepower: 510 hp
0-60 MPH: 4.1 sec.(est.)
Top Speed: 190 mph (US)
EST. MPG: 12 City/24 HWY
Available: In Europe ONLY
Written By: Nicolas Bates
Slightly lower and slightly wider, the new 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage looks more than slightly meaner than it’s little brother, the V8 Vantage. The V12 Vantage, which is 100% based on the V8’s chassis and design, had one purpose: to have the largest motor possible in the smallest chassis possible. I will not argue with the outcome. Designed by Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin Motorcars, who, in his earlier days spearheaded such projects as the Porsche 911 Turbo, 968, 993 and BMW’s Z1 Roadster, the V12 Vantage will surely not be easily forgotten.
The V12 Vantage, think along the lines of an adolescent stuffed into a toddler’s body, boasts 510hp and 420 ft/lb of torque and has a top speed of 190 mph. Open the hood and you’ll find room for nothing but the gigantic, and might I add, “hand-built,” 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder, 48 valve, DOHC motor. The V12 Vantage borrows this gem from its cousin, the sexy Aston Martin DBS. If you ask Aston Martin, they will tell you the car will get from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Many thanks to the awesome grip of the stock Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, I am sure. Another firm “high-five” should go to Aston Martin for keeping an actual 6-speed gearbox. All too often, designers of the supercars of today are opting to replace the tangible gearbox with paddle shifters, to the chagrin of many performance enthusiasts.
The V12 Vantage did receive a minimal facelift, however, none were cosmetically inspired. Subtle changes include louvered carbon fiber vents on the hood for dispersal of hot air, a slightly wider front stance to allow a redesigned front splitter not only provide more downforce, but also to allow air into cooling ducts to keep the massive carbon ceramic brakes cool, and redesigned rocker panels channel air towards the rear of the car instead of under it. Aston Martin pulled valuable information from its experience with the N24 race program to implement these changes.
More serious changes were performed, as the issue of getting a chassis to receive a motor that simply did not fit, came in to play. Aston Martin, as great at their craft as they are, did a masterful job of dropping in the large 6.0 liter V12, where before only a V8 had resided. Spring rates were stiffened by 45%, as were the car’s anti-roll bars and the car was dropped slightly more than one half inch. Amazingly enough, through weight reduction tactics such as the ceramic brakes, lighter forged wheels, optional lightened seats, and lightweight inner rear quarter panels, the V12 weighs in at only 100 lb. more than its counterpart, the V8.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage has true potential as its designers and engineers have invaluable experience with the N24 race program, making this car one of the most technologically advanced in the world. CEO of Aston Martin Motorcars, Dr. Ulrich Bez states, “This is the ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range, combining our most agile model with our most powerful engine…” You probably won’t disagree, however, you’ll have to travel to Europe to hit this Aston Martin’s gas pedal. The size of the 12 cylinder motor in the Vantage has made the crash protection area too small to meet U.S. standards. Anyone up for a trip to Nurburgring? You bring the check for $268,000.
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