Thursday, 7 May 2009

The New Aston Martin V12 Vantage

The New Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Since December 2007 we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, and it does seem to have been well worth the wait.

Aston Martin showed the V12 Vantage, its most potent production sports car in the marquee’s 95-year history at the Geneva motor show. Based on the hugely successful V8 Vantage, the V12 Vantage will feature a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp, and 570 Nm of torque with a top speed of 190 mph and 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds.

Aston Martin engineers have positioned the engine as far back and as low as possible in the car to contribute to the 51:49 weight distribution. Containing the weight within the Aston Martin V12 Vantage’s wheelbase, results in a low polar moment of inertia, creating a car which has a natural agility. Aston Martin claims that the V12 Vantage RS weighs less than 3,537 pounds compared to the 3,594 pounds of the V8 Vantage. Aston Martin says that the V12 Vantage RS concept is the fastest accelerating road car ever built by the company; with a 0-60 time of just under four seconds, the RS has as much power as Ferrari’s quickest car, the 599GTB, but weighs some 880lb less.

Unique to the V12 Vantage is the ability to toggle button between two powertrain modes. The default ‘normal’ provides a more progressive, throttle response, suited to more everyday situations. Selecting ‘Sport’ mode delivers a sharper throttle response together with a sportier exhaust note.

Common to both road and race cars is the VH architecture platform upon which the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is based. Consisting of extruded, pressed and cast aluminium alloy, bonded together with aerospace-grade adhesive, the backbone of the car works collaboratively with the powertrain and suspension to create an exceptionally responsive driving experience.

Carbon ceramic brakes are standard (398mm discs at the front, 360mm rear) and they're wrapped in 19in lightweight forged alloys and Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber. The tyres have been designed especially for the more powerful Vantage and help it to achieve the highest cornering forces yet from an Aston, with 1.3g possible.

Having established that the New Aston Martin is a hugely powerful engine which has been shoehorned into as smaller car as possible to ensure that it can accelerate and travel to its maximum capacity, our attentions turn to the looks of the vehicle. It has to be said that it is a stunner. It has been criticised for looking very similar to previous Aston Martin models, and whilst the grille, splitters, sills, bumpers and boot have all been altered it does look distinctively like an Aston Martin; and that’s as it should be sleek and stylish and instantly recognisable. Aston Martin hasn't really troubled the elite sports car sector in the past but the V12 changes all that and in some style.

No data has yet been released of the Carbon emissions of the V12 Vantage, however Aston Martins are not known for producing the greenest cars in the world, but the construction does compensate somewhat.

Aston has always been different, always been about understatement, and indeed could have the chance to really innovate towards a more environmental long standing.

Only 1000 V12 Vantages will be made, and deliveries start later this year, autumn 2009.

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