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Aston Martin V12 Vantage (2009): first official pictures

Wed, 04 Feb 2009

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

04 February 2009 09:00

Aston Martin today unveils the new V12 Vantage – the production version of the 2007 concept car. No prizes for guessing this car’s remit: it’s the beautiful Vantage bodyshell (now four years old!) stuffed with six litres and 12 cylinders of Aston muscle.

The V12 Vantage will be shown at the 2009 Geneva motor show on 3 March. Key performance criteria are 510bhp, 420lb ft of twist, 190mph of licence ruin and 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds. A maximum of 1000 will be made, although in the current economic climate, you suspect that Gaydon will be delighted if they get anywhere near that figure.

Of course, it’s a bit more complex than just shoehorning the DB9’s 48-valve  V12 under the hood. The engine sports a revised induction system, reprofiled air inlet and a bypass air intake port that opens at 5500rpm. A Sport button lets drivers pick between normal and race-spec settings, adjusting the throttle response and exhaust timbre.

Carbonfibre is used for some bodywork decoration, the propshaft and the door pulls, although the majority of construction remains a bonded aluminium structure. The aero's been tweaked with a revised front splitter, boot lip, composite rear diffuser and bonnet louvres (which increase front-end downforce and engine cooling).

Bigger ceramic brakes are fitted (saving 13kg) and the stability control is recalibrated to cope with the V12's grunt, while the Vantage's suspenion is fettled with 45% stiffer springs and anti-roll bars. The whole car sits 15mm lower and Aston says it can pull up to 1.3g through corners.

Inside the V12 Vantage, the cockpit can be specced with optional carbonfibre and kevlar seats which save 17kg and lightweight Alcantara is used instead of leather. Does the odd kilo here and there make a difference? It seems so. The V12 Vantage weighs 50kg more than the V8 – at 1680kg all in – despite the engine itself weighing 100kg more than the eight pot.

Chief exec Ulrich Bez said: ‘This is the ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range, combining our most agile model with our most powerful engine. This also illustrates one of Aston Martin’s key strengths – the ability to act quickly and turn concepts and ideas into reality.’

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage will arrive with customers in autumn 2009; prices are  yet to be announced, but it’s likely to cost around £140,000.

By Tim Pollard