Either somebody at Aston Martin got tired of my whining about the V12 Vantage not being in the US, or they saw what an incredible demand for that car we have over here. I’ll keep telling myself it was me that changed their mind. Ever since Aston Martin dropped that incredible V12 engine into the Vantage body last year, I’ve been bothering them to bring it to the US.
After all, the V8 Vantage is one of my favorite cars of all time. I’ve driven the DB9, DBS, and Rapide, and would take the Vantage over all three. Just thinking about that V12 sitting in front of the Vantage’s small and agile frame makes me all tingly inside.
The V12 in question here is the same powerplant used in the incredible DBS – a 6.0-liter 510 hp beast capable of powering the DBS from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.3 seconds. The V12 Vantage is smaller and lighter though, so it beats the DBS to 62 mph by a hair – 4.2 seconds. The engine will bring the Vantage to a top speed of 190 mph.
One of my biggest concerns with the V12 Vantage is weight – one of the best features of the V8 Vantage is its lightweight “tossability” – my favorite feature in any sports car. The V12 engine does weigh 220 lbs more than the V8, but Aston Martin managed to drop half of that from the rest of the car by using carbon ceramic brakes, lighter aluminum wheels, lightweight inner rear quarter panels and lightweight seats. The result – a car only 110 lbs heavier than the V8 version, and a near-perfect 51:49 weight distribution. Would you expect any less from the Gaydon boys?
And I haven’t even gotten to my favorite part about the V12 Vantage. It’s only available with a six-speed manual transmission. No automated-manual flappy-paddle gearboxes here – this thing is pure driving machine. Why is that my favorite part, you ask? No, just having a manual available isn’t enough – having it be the only gearbox on the car shows Aston’s seriousness about this being a pure-bred driving machine, not an everyday driver for some wimpy CEO trying to show off.
Upon the V12 Vantage’s introduction to the States, it will be available in a highly limited Carbon Black edition featuring a special metallic Carbon Black finish which takes 50 man-hours to paint, carbon fiber side strake, and black 10-spoke alloy wheels. Obsidian black leather with silver stitching, piano black trim, and carbon line the interior. The normally-an-option upgraded 700W sound system and front parking sensors are standard in the Carbon Black Edition.