Aston Martin reveals the new V12 Vantage… and it’s already sold out
This is the end. Aston has revealed the last Vantage that’ll carry a twelve-cylinder engine, bringing this unique line of fantastically over-endowed small sportscars to a close. Welcome to the last ever Aston Martin V12 Vantage.
Aston calls it the ‘fastest’ and ‘fiercest’, though judging by the – let’s call it ‘bold’ – new silhouette, perhaps it’s more aligned to the cinematic universe that also starts with ‘fast’. Y’know, the one with the tuna crusts.
More on that later because these muscular little Astons have always been engine cars. This Vantage gets the company’s 5.2-litre twin turbo V12, here producing 690bhp and 555lb ft of torque; figures you’ll agree are suitably voluminous. Indeed, its power-to-weight stands at 385bhp-per-tonne.
The quad-cam 60-deg V12 is mounted up front of course, matched to a rear-mid-mounted eight-speed auto powering the rear wheels. There’s a proper mechanical LSD, and fully lit, Aston claims 0-62mph in 3.5secs (0-60mph in 3.4secs), and a top speed of 200mph.
To keep in touch with that powerplant, the dual clutch ZF gearbox gets a few tweaks using learnings from both the V12 Speedster and Vantage F1 cars; adaptive software said to be responsive to both driving conditions and driver input.
To better accommodate the massive-engine-in-small-car philosophy, lots of work has been done on beefing up the chassis. There are new anti-roll bars, bushes, and spring/damper assemblies. It runs stiffer springs – 50 per cent more up front, 40 per cent more out back – a stiffer body, a new steering tune for better feel and sharpness, and massive brakes.
Aston has slotted in carbon ceramics all round as standard, complete with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers on the back. Not only do these fancy new items save 23kg compared to steel brakes, they also resist fade better for – let’s call it ‘eye-popping’ – stopping power.
A convenient setup to talk about that hulking new aesthetic. Aston has deployed both barrels for this 2022 V12 Vantage. ‘Uncompromising’ is how it describes the carbon fibre heavy widebody atop the V12, and it’s certainly that.
The track is 40mm wider than a regular Vantage, said to improve cornering ability and stability, while the new full-width front splitter is said to generate more downforce and aero balance. The grille’s bigger. There’s a new bonnet incorporating a ‘horse shoe’ design that pays tribute to the mad GT12. A new side profile brings with it a single-piece sill inspired by motorsport. You get the picture.
Actually you don’t, because if you swing around back there’s more. A new “unique” rear bumper/diffuser provides yet more aero balance, sitting underneath a new rear wing offering up 204kg of downforce when travelling at 200mph. If you suspect the opportunities to go fast enough to generate 204kg do not present themselves regularly, there’s the option of binning that rear wing entirely.
It's standard Vantage fare inside, though here upgraded to better reflect the car’s halo spot. The standard seats are trimmed with additional quilting, while an optional carbon fibre-shelled seat saves 7.3kg. Indeed, there are plenty of other options via Aston’s Q service, which of course come at a price.
Though it’s all moot, because only 333 V12 Vantage models are being built, and each one has already been accounted for. Aston boss Tobias Moers said: “Right from the moment the first V12 Vantage RS Concept was shown back in 2007 our customers and fans around the world fell in love with the idea of fitting our biggest engine into our smallest and most sporting model.
“Now it is time to bring this bloodline to a close,” he added. Like we said, this is the end.
TEXT Vijay Pattni