From the ultra-luxurious Lagonda Taraf saloon to the track-only Vulcan, Aston Martin has built some amazing limited-run cars in recent years. Prepare to add one more to the list as the peeps from Gaydon are introducing today the V12 Speedster developed by the company’s Q bespoke division in charge of special projects. It was created over the course of about 12 months by mixing elements from the DBS Superleggera and Vantage – all wrapped in a unique package.
The styling combines old with new as there are 1953 DB3S and 1959 DBR1 influences merged with cues of the more recent 2013 CC100 Speedster concept. The V12 Speedster maximises the open-top thrills by not having a roof at all, following the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar we saw yesterday. It actually goes further than that as it also lacks a windscreen, much like the McLaren Elva. It rides on forged 21-inch centrelock wheels with 410-mm front and 360-mm rear carbon-ceramic brakes providing the stopping power.
Gallery: Aston Martin V12 Speedster (2020)
To shave off as much weight as possible, most of the body is made from carbon fibre that has also been used inside where the driver and passenger are separated by what Aston Martin refers to as a spine, similar to the Ferrari Monza SP2. The interior is a work of art and combines leather with chrome, aluminium, and even 3D-printed rubber, while a removable leather bag replaces the conventional glove box. Speaking of places to put your stuff, there are two more small cargo areas built into the twin humps behind the seats.
As the name of the car implies, the new Speedster uses a V12 engine with a 5.2-litre displacement and a pair of turbochargers. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is tasked to send an estimated 700 bhp and 753 Newton-metres (555 pound-feet) of torque to the rear axle via a limited-slip differential. Thanks to the powerful hardware arrangement, the V12 Speedster reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in three and a half seconds and maxes out at an electronically capped 186 mph. Take a moment to imagine how it would be to hit 300 km/h with no roof or windscreen to protect you.
The car featured in the adjacent gallery illustrates a conceptual specification package with an aviation theme as it takes after the F/A-18 Hornet. It’s finished in Skyfall Silver contrasted by the satin black dual exhaust tips mounted in the centre of the rear bumper, while the interior combines black leather and carpets with red door pulls. If you like it, Q by Aston Martin will happily turn the conceptual package into a livery you’ll actually be able to have with your car.
Aston Martin is already accepting orders and is asking a starting price of £765,000. Production will be limited to 88 cars and customer deliveries are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2021.
ASTON MARTIN V12 SPEEDSTER: A PURISTIC LIMITED EDITION FOR THE MOST DEMANDING DRIVERS
- Limited-edition V12 Speedster unveiled at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters
- Open, uncompromising, visceral, two-seater layout with only 88 examples
- ‘Q by Aston Martin’ F/A-18 livery showcases conceptual specification pack
- Pricing starts from £765,000. Now available to order. Deliveries Q1 2021
Wednesday 4 March, Gaydon: The Aston Martin V12 Speedster has made its global debut today, with just 88 examples of this puristic limited-edition model set to hit the road.
Created by luxury British marque’s bespoke customisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a truly visceral driver’s car that draws inspiration from both the brand’s rich racing history and aeronautical design. Today’s example is showcased in a conceptual F/A-18 livery, also curated by the same artisans.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It makes me enormously proud to reveal Aston Martin’s latest, most exciting special model today. 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.”
Conceived a little over 12 months ago, the V12 Speedster has undergone an intensive development programme, going from drawing board to production reality within that short period. Demonstrating the skills and meticulous planning of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ and Aston Martin Design, the V12 Speedster is a living show car, underlining the company’s commitment to deliver customers a stunning driver’s car, using the engineering ingenuity and advanced materials evident throughout the entire Aston Martin range.
Utilising Aston Martin’s latest bonded aluminium architecture, the V12 Speedster utilises elements from both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage model lines to create its own unique platform. With independent double wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and adaptive damping offering Sport, Sport+ and Track modes, the V12 Speedster also benefits from standard 21-inch forged centre lock alloy wheels. Carbon Ceramic Brakes of 410mm on the front axle and 360mm at the rear are also standard equipment.
Over the V12 Speedster’s unique chassis is a bespoke body constructed almost entirely from carbon fibre. Miles Nurnberger, Director of Design, Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “With the V12 Speedster we do go back a step and look into our past for inspiration. Since the DB11 launch, everything has been focused and very forward looking. Here though, we find a different tempo. There’s clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1 to our Centenary celebratory CC100 Speedster Concept in 2013. There is also a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section, so it really is our latest incarnation of the Speedster concept. 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, hence why it is a V12, rather than a V8. With the V12 Speedster we are amplifying all the emotional strings that we can to the absolute maximum.”
Nurnberger adds: “No roof or screen, a big engine, low, with broad shoulders and exaggerated and emotional styling with twin humps and the spine separating the driver and passenger. The light, low, rear end contrasts with the bold, enlarged grille, unique headlights and bonnet nostril at the front. The bonnet nostril we haven’t done in a very long time, but we’ve brought them back. It’s a neat trick visually to allow us to win some space for the V12. It creates this iconic looking vent.”
The interior specification pushes new boundaries, using a mix of traditional and modern materials. Structural satin carbon fibre, contrasts with traditional hand-crafted Saddle Leather, chrome, aluminium and even 3D printed rubber. Visually and physically the interior reduces mass, for a leaner, efficient style, but one that retains all the emotion and craftsmanship Aston Martins are renowned for. In front of the passenger is a removable leather bag in place of a traditional glove box, while there’s additional storage space under the rear bumps for luggage.
Unveiled here today at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ, the V12 Speedster has been shown in a conceptual specification that is inspired by the legendary F/A-18 and will be available for customers to order. Born from an exciting new collaboration with Boeing and created by the brand’s bespoke customisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, this striking livery takes the legendary fighter jet for inspiration and is finished in Skyfall Silver, with contrasting satin black on the exhaust tips, vent grilles and vanes. The dark theme is carried through to the interior, with satin dark chrome, machined aluminium, black leather, black technical textile, black carpets and vivid red Aston Martin scripted door pulls, creating a purposeful look for this conceptual styling.
Powering the V12 Speedster is Aston Martin’s scintillating 5.2-litre, Twin-Turbo V12 engine, with a peak output of 700hp1 and 753Nm1 of torque. Front mid-mounted, the all alloy, quad cam 48-valve engine is mated to a ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential driving the rear wheels. The V12 Speedster is able to accelerate to 62mph (100km/h) in 3.5 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h)1.
The iconic V12 engine promises scintillating performance, but further underlining the V12 Speedster’s abundant character and unparalleled commitment to a thrilling drive is an even more invigorating aural signature. To create this Aston Martin’s engineers have created a bespoke stainless-steel exhaust system exiting centrally into the diffuser surface at the rear of the car for an even more rousing, characterful sound from the drivetrain. With the V12 Speedster, every element of the drive is experiential, most obviously the removal of the windscreen adding to the visceral engagement, heightening the driving experience to new levels.
Matt Becker, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, said: “for raw, driving thrills the V12 Speedster is unparalleled, the fully open element of the car adding a new dimension to the experience. It engages on every level, delivering a precise, involving driving experience, with agility and poise backed by abundant power from Aston Martin’s twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12. Driving doesn’t get any purer than this.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “nothing demonstrates Aston Martin’s commitment to providing unique, special models to its customers more than the V12 Speedster. The 88 hand-built cars will be sought after by driving enthusiasts and collectors alike all around the world. I’m excited not just about what they offer drivers, but of what it represents. The V12 Speedster not just showcases our incredible engineering capability and ambition, but also celebrating Aston Martin’s rich heritage.”
Orders are now being taken for the V12 Speedster, with pricing starting at £765,000 including VAT and deliveries expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.