Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS (2009)

Published: 19 March 2008

This Aston Martin is thought to be a mule for the new V12 Vantage RS. Earlier this week Aston confirmed that the stunning conceptwhich CAR has just driven – will go into production in the first quarter of 2009. And now CAR Online’s spies have snapped this car testing on roads around the Nurburgring, with a rear diffuser remarkably similar to the concept’s. The V12 is one of two new Vantage models due in the next 12 months.

Two new Aston Martin V8 Vantages? So what is this car?

Just one new V8 Vantage is coming actually. That’s because the other is the V12-engined Vantage RS. CAR already knows that a mule exists with a V12, but the car in our pictures was registered in 2005 with a 4.3-litre engine. However, our spy photographer reported a much louder, deeper engine note coming from the car.

The new rear diffuser set-up on this car is the most obvious change over a regular V8 Vantage though. It’s very similar to the rear on the Vantage RS concept, and with a big V12 putting big power through the rear wheels, decent cooling for a rear differential is a must.

The car was spotted testing on the roads around the Nurburgring. Aston is trying to make the circuit its own, competing in the infamous 24-hour race there, announcing its own dedicated test centre at the ‘Ring, and recently launching a special edition N400 Vantage dedicated to the legendary circuit. 

Just what exactly will this V12 Vantage RS be like?

Fairly extreme, though not as hardcore as Porsche’s RS models. For Aston, RS stands for ‘road sport’, rather than Stuttgart’s track-focused ideology. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fast. The V12 gets its name from the 6.0-litre unit shoehorned under the bonnet. In production form, and with durability on Aston’s mind, expect about 550bhp, rather than the concept’s 600 horses.

Other changes for production will probably include the replacement of the static concept’s pop-up rear spoiler with the raised boot lip of the car we drove. The V12 should also get new wheels, not the bling aftermarket items seen on the static car. The Mako Blue colour will, however, be available. Production itself will probably be at Gaydon, and the price is expected to be in excess of £150,000.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the other new V8 Vantage coming soon

And the second Aston V8 Vantage?

Last month CAR Online had a world exclusive scoop as we discovered a couple of V8 Vantages testing in the Arctic Circle that were registered with 4.7-litre V8s. Because the car featured in our pictures isn’t registered with the new 4733cc engine it’s not likely to be the revised Vantage.

But CAR has learnt more about the new car in recent weeks. The Volvo key will go, to be replaced by Aston’s ECU (Emotional Control Unit) that doubles as a starter button. Interior updates will be similar to those found in the revised DB9 shown at Geneva. Expect the car to be shown this summer, along with a Sport pack V8 that was previewed by the limited edition N400

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy