► New Aston Martin V12 Speedster
► Two-seat roadster, 88 to be built
► First Aston under the Strolls
Aston Martin has revealed new pictures of a V12 Speedster prototype – and it remains a beast. Limited to just 88 examples and costing a cool £765,000, the open-topped two-seater is is about to begin on-road developmental testing. It'll go on sale next year.
Aston does Elva?
It’s easy to draw some immediate comparisons to McLaren’s similarly ridiculous hypercar – after all, both are designed to connect the driver to the road and the elements, and both have no roof or screen – but this is also a return to Gaydon’s racing roots. There’s a V12 upfront, classic Aston lines throughout – and it looks a lot like some of Aston’s 50s racers. Besides, Aston says the V12 Speedster was imagined around 12 months ago.
‘It makes me enormously proud to reveal Aston Martin’s latest, most exciting special model today,’ said CEO Andy Palmer. ‘The V12 Speedster is an incredible demonstration of the breadth of capability and determination from the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ team, who have worked tirelessly to create this stunning, two-seat sports car aimed at our most demanding and enthusiastic customers.’
Right, what about this V12 then?
A 5.2-litre V12 sits just in front of the cockpit, and it’s everything you’d expect from Gaydon. It’s an all-alloy, quad-cam, 48-valve block – and added twin turbos make for 690bhp and 516lb ft of torque. It drives the rear wheels through an 8-speed ZF auto 'box, and LSD. And it breathes through an exhaust system that exits directly out of the diffuser, so it should sound good, too.
Performance? 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.
What’s it built on?
The V12 Speedster will sit on a ‘Frakenplatform’ which consists of bits of DBS Superleggera, and other bits of Vantage. Overall that means the Speedster gets an independent double-wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension with coil springs. Adaptive dampers are also present, and like in other Astons they can be set to Sport, Sport+ and Track modes.
The V12 Speedster runs on 21-inch forged alloys and gets 410mm carbon ceramic brakes as standard on the front axle, and 360mm discs at the rear.
…If not slightly predictable. It’s everything you’d expect from an Aston turned up to 11. The bodywork is Aston Martin’s racing history expressed through carbonfibre. There’s bits of DBRS, parts of CC100 Speedster and even a dash of DB3S.
‘It’s also inspired by fighter jets as much as it is by our history, and it has been created to deliver an incredibly visceral experience,’ adds Miles Nurnberger, Director of Design, Aston Martin Lagonda.
There’s a bit of Vantage in the outlandish shapes in the centre console, but also a bit of 60s Batmobile: both occupants sit in pods, with the bodywork reaching through the cockpit and between them. And because this car also channels a F/A 18 fighter jet, the generally grey and carbonfibre-coloured interior is also dotted with red fabric tabs – like a plane’s emergency cords.
We’ll update this article when we get a better look at the car.