The idea of putting a monstrous engine in a more compact car than the motor would normally power isn’t limited to the muscle car philosophy. Case in point with Aston Martin’s latest offering, the 2023 V12 Vantage, which sees the Britsh carmaker’s twin-turbo V12 being used in their smallest model—this also explains the title—for a spectacular result.
This is the second iteration of the V12 Vantage. And while the original came with multiple engine configurations for its naturally aspirated 6.0L heart and was also available as a Roadster, the twin-turbo 5.2L V12-powered coupe you see here, with its 690 hp and 555 lb-ft/753 Nm of torque, is representing the label alone.
Even so, the Gaydon automaker introduced the model earlier today while telling us that all of the 333 units had been spoken for, with the company mentioning it was overcome by the demand.
And, to answer the obvious question, I’ll mention that the V12 Vantage tips the scales at 1,795 kilograms (3,957 pounds). The engineers have put the machine on a serious diet, which involves plenty of carbon fiber bits such as the front and rear bumpers, front fenders, side sills, and rear deck lid.
Other weight-saving measures involve a new stainless steel exhaust that not only helps the car lose 7.2 kg (15.8 lbs), but also comes with a soundtrack fit for such a halo iteration of the Vantage.
And, in case you’ve thought about the brakes being carbon-ceramic, you were right. We’re looking at 410 mm front rotors with six-piston calipers and 360 mm rear discs working with four-piston calipers. Adding up the weight savings of all four corners, we end up with 23 kg (51 lbs).
Another 8 kilos (18 lbs) were shed by the 21-inch wheels, which are shod in 315/30 R21 Michelin Pilot 4S tires at the back and 275/35 R21 at the front axle.
The go-fast numbers
Note that the car doesn’t just seem wider—the track has been expanded by about 40 mm (1.6 inches), so there are meatier fenders above the said wheels. These are part of a greater body transformation and, all in all, the machine can deliver 204 kg (450 lbs) of downforce at its 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed. And now seems like the time to also talk about the 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5s (make that 3.5s for the 0-100 km/h sprint).
The tech package also includes a ZF eight-speed automatic that doesn’t just cope with the extra grunt but also delivers quicker shifts. However, in lieu of the standard Vantage’s electronically controlled rear differential, we find a mechanical limited-slip diff.
The adaptive suspension has been completely revised, with the spring rates going up by 50% for the front axle and 40% at the back. The list of changes in this department also includes the anti-roll bars and bushings.
Now, while some of the sound deadening has been removed for an even more immersive driving experience, you can revert that measure via the Comfort Package.
The price? If you have to ask, you can’t afford to know, because the automaker hasn’t released this detail. However, while a standard Aston Martin Vantage kicks off at over $140,000, the V12 limited edition might end up costing double.
Speaking of comparisons, to better put the V12 Vantage into context, I’ll deliver a short recap on the Aston Martin range.
The 2022 Aston Martin lineup
Yes, Aston has jumped the SUV bandwagon and even recently updated its DBX crossover with the 707 version, which delivers just as much horsepower by Euro standard (that’s 697 imperial ponies) while reminding us of the carmaker’s James Bond connection.
Then, as we enter the Grand Tourer arena, we find the “normal” Vantage, which, by the way, the V12 sibling being introduced here manages to better by a whopping 20% in terms of the power-to-weight ratio.
Next up we have the DB11, which represents the company’s traditional GT, available with both a Mercedes-AMG 4.0L twin-turbo V8 and the said Aston V12. We’ll move on to the DBS Superleggera. This is still a GT, but comes in even sharper form, being animated exclusively by the V12 and with meatier output figures.
Aston Martin’s first-ever hypercar, the Valkyrie, leads the stratospheric part of its range, with this mixing a Cosworth-build naturally aspirated 6.5L V12 with electric assistance for a total of 1,160 hybrid horses.
The Valkyrie has a little brother, even though that description hardly seems fitting for the Valhalla, which packs the said AMG 4.0L TT V8, which, together with electric power, dials things all the way to 937 hp. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a prototype in the metal three years ago, and, thanks to details such as the negative space architecture, it brings the kind of race car approach that feels more visceral than what you gen in a McLaren or a Ford GT. However, that’s just a static impression, since the machine has yet to set foot in the real world.
And, playing in a class of its own, there’s the V12 Speedster. While this is Aston Martin’s entry in the no-roof club that came under the spotlights in the final years of the previous decade, its chassis mixes aluminum with carbon fiber, while the latter material is also used for most of its body panels. Power? It’s got quite a bit of it, thanks to that 5.2L TT V12.
The V12 might not stick around for too long
Judging by how many times we used “V12” in this article, one would imagine the motor is safe. Alas, that’s not the case, with the ever-stricter emission regulations threatening to confine the glorious motor to the history books—by the way, the British carmaker has previously stated that 50% of its sales will be EVs by 2030. Besides, even the presentation video below—the live debut—is accompanied by a particular hashtag: #NeverLeaveQuietly. So, we’d better enjoy these monsters while we can.