The Aston Martin Vantage V12
The featured car of this Super Speed Friday is the infamous Aston Martin Vantage V12. As a strong competitor in the exotic sports car world, Aston Martin is no stranger to creating greatness. They have been designing revolutionary sports cars since the 1940s. These automobiles have exactly the type of style, tradition, and flair that one would expect from a seasoned British automaker. To truly harness the greatness of the V12, we must start with it’s predecessor, the V8.
Aston Martin V8s have been in production since 1969 and were even featured as Bond cars in the 1987 movie The Living Daylights. Although Timothy Dalton is not widely considered to be the best Bond, he did get to drive one of the most incredible automobiles ever made, as is customary for that particular super spy. The new line of Aston Martin Vantage V8s hit the market in 2005 and was aimed to compete with not only Porsche, but GT and exotic sports cars as well. Although Aston Martin had used their “Vantage” tag before on variants of certain high-performance models, this new Vantage V8 was a new force to be reckoned with. This particular model also featured something new to AM’s engines, though not new to the world of race cars, dry sump lubrication. Although I have previously defined dry sump lubrication in previous blogs, it’s importance to the world of sports cars must not be undersold. Having a lower mounted engine allows for a faster speed with greater control. Aston Martin had taken a chance and produced a very fine and incredibly sought after machine in their Vantage V8. After several successful years of producing this highly sought after automobile, Aston Martin knew they could not come that far and then not go further.
By 2006, the time had come to make the V8 even more powerful. The Aston Martin Vantage V12 was officially unveiled in 2009 after almost 3 years of anticipation and prototypes. The biggest challenge that faced the V12′s designers was how to fit the 6-litre V12 engine into the body of their V8, the smallest sports car Aston Martin has. Although the V8 can go from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 178mph, Aston knows their audience and wanted to improve all of the aforementioned features. Putting the V12 engine into the V8 body was the way to go. That way the new V12 would retain all of the classic style that the Vantage V8 had to offer. The challenge would not only be fitting the engine in, but doing it in a way where the increased weight did not negatively impact the performance of the car.
The V12 engine weighs approximately 220 pounds more than the V8. However, Aston Martin took steps to reduce that impact by making other parts of the car more lightweight. The carbon ceramic brakes, lightweight rear quarter panels, aluminum wheels, and optional lightweight seats all help reduce the impact of the engine weight by half. The distribution of weight in the vehicle is nearly perfect at 51:49, keeping a slight edge in the front half of the car. The V12 can go from 0-60 in 4 seconds and has a top speed of 190mph. It also delivers 420lb-ft of torque and 510 horsepower. The designers had done it, they had outperformed their own V8 while keeping it’s style and class completely intact. In addition to resolving the weight issues, the designers accommodated the new engine so that it could work to the best of it’s ability. The four vents on the hood of the vehicle are designed to keep the mammoth V12 routinely cool.
The Vantage V12 is also no stranger to luxury, which one would expect for the price. It features a Dolby Surround Sound system comparable to that of the average home theater, as well as numerous other super comforts. The vehicle’s interior is very sleek, mirroring what one would expect to find behind the wheel of a modern sports car.
Each car that makes this “super speed” list must be, in my opinion, the ideal combination of style and speed. I am very happy to use this particular post to add the Aston Martin Vantage V12 to that list.
Autoblog.com’s First Drive Review of the Aston Martin Vantage V12
V12 Vantage Roadster blog
The Unofficial Aston Martin News Blog
My First Super Speed Friday Blog | The 2012 Pagani Huayra
By Jeanne Longhorne
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