Aston Martin V12 Vantage Review

When the Aston Martin V8 Vantage first came out with its 380 hp engine a lot of reviewers criticized it for not being as fast as it sounds and looks. Some even called it a disappointment.

Aston just listened patiently to all the comments, but someday apparently they lost their temper and decided to shut the critics up once and for all. So they fitted the little Vantage with the 510 hp 6.0 liter V12 engine out of the DBS!

That turned the Vantage from a lovely GT car suitable for long drives into a full on sportscar which is no longer suited for long drives becasue they’ve stiffen it up and made it sharper to cope with the extra grunt. It is now more of a track car than a GT, but don’t worry, they still make the V8 too!

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Aston Martin V12 Vantage Review

The styling of the V12 Vantage is also different than the V8. It gets a new splitter at front, a massive rear diffuser at the back, and four vents on the bonnet which are really ugly! Apart from those and clear lights, the rest of the car is identical to the Vantage and that means it is desperately pretty.

The engine was designed at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and is hand-built at the company’s dedicated engine facility in Cologne, Germany. To achieve the power output, the engine features a number of enhancements over the standard 6.0-litre V12 found in the DB9. These include a ‘by-pass’ engine air intake port that opens up at 5500 rpm, a revised induction system and re-profiled air inlet ports that further improve airflow into the combustion chamber to improve performance.

The naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 hand-built engine produces 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS) at 6500 rpm and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque giving the driver access to high levels of power and torque at all engine speeds. Unique to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is a ‘Sport’ button which allows the driver to choose between two powertrain modes.

Although the V12 engine weighs 100 kg more than the standard car’s engine, intelligent use of lightweight materials and components including carbon ceramic brakes, lighter forged aluminium wheels, lightweight inner rear quarter panels and optional lightweight seats have resulted in the overall kerb weight being only 50 kg heavier than its V8 sibling. The ensuing weight distribution provides for balance that is near perfect (51:49).

Aston Martin V12 Vantage 2 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Review

The V12 being a sportscarm it only comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. That is fine by me becasue you don’t get many 12-cylinder machines with a proper gearbox these days, and it’s  joy to use.

The interior of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage provides the ideal environment for the focused driver to extract the very best from every element of the car. The extensive use of high quality materials with exceptional attention to detail placed throughout the cabin results in an unparalleled level of finish. The instrument cluster has been revised with even clearer dials to allow the driver to completely focus on the information being relayed from the car. The door pulls are made from beautifully-prepared carbon fibre where even the carbon weave has been meticulously aligned – a sign of exceptional craftsmanship. Additional light weight materials in the form of Alcantara are used to save valuable weight throughout the cabin. The unique ambience of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage interior beautifully marries the functional requirements of a driver-focussed sports car with the comfort of an everyday practical car.

Aston V12 Vantage is a superb car from every aspect, but my favorite still remains the V8 Roadster, preferably with some light tweaks on the engine!

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