In what could be the pinnacle of internal combustion engine performance in an Aston Martin, the British automaker announced Wednesday it will build 333 final editions of the V12-powered Aston Martin Vantage, a move first announced by the company in December 2021.
“It’s not just a Limited Edition, it’s a Final Edition. Returning in 2022,” the company said at the time. Now the company has revealed what to expect.
“It is time to bring this bloodline to a close, fittingly with the most spectacular example yet — the fastest, most powerful and most dynamically capable V-12 Vantage ever,” said Tobias Moers, Aston Martin’s chief executive officer.
So, what’s under the hood? That would be Aston Martin’s 5.2-liter V-12 developing 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, or 385 horsepower per ton of car, at least 20% more than the V8-powered Vantage. Power is fed through a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and a rear-mounted mechanical limited-slip differential.
Engineering refinements enhance its performance
But it’s more than brute force that enhanced the V-12 Vantage’s rapidity.
Engineers also employed a number of weight-saving measures to keep the V-12 Vantage light on its feet. It gets a carbon fiber front bumper, clamshell bonnet, front fenders and side sills; composite rear bumper and deck lid; a lightweight battery and a special center-mounted twin-exit exhaust system made from lightweight stainless-steel that saves nearly 16 pounds compared with that used on other Vantage models.
Engineers have also used a unique calibration to enhance the transmission’s shift speeds and refinement that the company says are better than those of a dual-clutch.
To enhance the V-12 Vantage’s driving dynamics, a new adaptive damping suspension system is fitted, which brings with it new anti-roll bars, bushes, and spring and damper assemblies.
Suspension spring rates have increased 50% at the front and 40% at the rear, while top mount stiffness is up by 13%. New anti-roll bars have been stiffened 5% at the front and softened 41% at the rear. Aston Martin also added additional front and rear sheer panels, a rear suspension tower strut brace and fuel tank bracing. As you’d expect, body stiffness has improved 8% while lateral stiffness has grown 6.7%, all in the name of better driving dynamics.
Steering has been recalibrated and stopping power has improved as well, the latter thanks to standard carbon ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers in the front, four-piston brakes in the rear.
A revised wardrobe
Aside from a choice of two new 21-inch wheel designs, the body has been widened by 1.6 inches to accommodate a wide track chassis. In addition, the front grille is 25% larger to increase air flow. A horseshoe-shaped engine vent, a tribute to the V12 Vantage GT3 racer, is integrated into the hood to enhance cooling.
A new rear bumper with integrated diffuser aids airflow, while a rear wing produces a maximum 450-pound downforce at top speed, although it can be deleted for those who don’t like it.
Aston Martin will also offer its personalization service, Q by Aston Martin that allows for the addition of unique exterior graphics, paint colors, colored brake calipers and special painted wheel finishes.
Inside, Q offers customers tinted lacquers for the carbon fiber interior trim that changes its appearance depending on the ambient lighting. Other choices include woven leather or Alcantara seat inserts, trim inlays and anodized rotary dials that can match an exterior color or other item.
Climb inside and you’ll be treated to standard sports seats trimmed in full semi-aniline leather. New carbon fiber performance seats with exposed twill carbon fiber shell and manual six-way adjustment are optional.
Here’s the bad news
Want one? You’re too late. The company says all 333 V-12 Vantages have been sold. Aston Martin expects the first cars to reach customers in the second quarter of this year. It’s the model’s final, raucous, fuel-powered concerto before the onslaught of electrification at Aston Martin.
Other Vantage models
But don’t be disappointed, You can still opt for other 2022 Vantages, with base price ranges from $139,000 to $147,000. For that money, you get an AMG-sourced “M 177” twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with as much as 528 horsepower.
While Mercedes-Benz has cut production of that engine for its own models in the U.S. market, the announcement, “doesn’t affect Aston Martin, so the V8 Vantage will continue to be sold in 2022,” according to Nathan Hoyt, head of PR for Aston Martin, The Americas.
Or you could opt for the new DBX707, which Aston Martin claims is the world’s most powerful luxury SUV. Its optional twin-turbocharged V-8 that unleashes a massive 707 horsepower. Thus, its name.
A long revered name
The Vantage moniker first appeared in 1950 on the Aston Martin DB2, and would be used through the DB6 and DBS. In 1972, the DBS Vantage was renamed the AM Vantage.
It was succeeded in 1977 by what was hailed as “Britain’s first supercar,” the 1977 V8 Vantage. It could outrun a Ferrari Daytona in the 0-60 mph sprint thanks to its V-8 engine, which was capable of producing 380 hp. It would lead a long life, finally being retired in 1991.
In 1992, a high-performance Vantage, tuned to produce an incredible 550 hp from its supercharged V-8, debuted based on the Virage 2+2 coupe. Production would last until the DB7 V12 Vantage debuted in 1999, which remained until the debut of the 2005 V8 Vantage built using the company’s new VH architecture first used for the DB9. It was powered by a brand new 4.3-liter, quad-cam, 32-valve V-8 engine that delivered 380 hp and 302 pound-feet of torque and a 4.7 second 0-60 mph time.
In 2009, the V-12 Vantage appeared once again, displacing 5.9 liters and producing 510 hp. But Aston couldn’t leave well enough alone. For 2013, the company released the V12 Vantage S, with 565 hp and a 205-mph top speed. Zero-to-60 runs now occurred in 3.5 seconds.
It was succeeded by the current car, which launched late 2017 powered by an AMG-sourced a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine rated at 503 hp. At the time of its introduction, then-CEO Andy Palmer said that there were “no current plans for a V-12 Vantage.”
That has changed, but not for long, as electrification, not internal combustion powers Aston Martin’s future. Still the essence of the brand isn’t expected to change.
“At Aston Martin we build cars, but we sell dreams,” said Marco Mattiacci, Aston Martin global chief brand and commercial officer. “That is the magic of this brand.”