"It's not just a Limited Edition, it's a Final Edition" – that's how Aston Martin describes the new V12 Vantage, strongly suggesting the supercar debuting in 2022 will mark the end of the line for the twelve-cylinder powerhouse. Of course, we mustn't forget the Cosworth-developed naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 of the Valkyrie hypercar, but that's a different engine for an ultra-exclusive machine.
With the Gaydon marque heavily relying on AMG's V8 and inline-six units while pledging to go mostly electric by 2030, the end is nigh for the company's largest-displacement engines. That's especially true amid increasingly stringent emissions regulations all over the world, accelerating downsizing. Just look at the new inline-six, mild-hybrid setup of the DBX sold in China, with Europe getting an electrified version of the SUV soon.
Gallery: Aston Martin Vantage RS V12 Spy Photos
"Never leave quietly" suggests the V12 is going out with a proverbial bang, and reports say the engine is mechanically related to that used by the limited-run V12 Speedster. It is believed the car will go by the name of V12 RS that hasn't been used since 2008 and employ a twin-turbo 5.2-litre unit. In the roofless machine, it's good for 690 bhp (515 kilowatts) and 555 pound-feet (753 Newton-metres) of torque.
In the retro-flavoured Speedster, the engine unlocks a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in just 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 198 mph (319 km/h). Expect roughly the same performance from the V12 Vantage (RS), which will come along with a facelifted version of the stunning coupe. It will be the final update for the sports car seeing as how an all-electric replacement has already been announced for 2025 when the DB11 will also lose the combustion engine.
Now calling the shots at Aston Martin, former AMG head honcho Tobias Moers has not ruled out the possibility of a Vantage plug-in hybrid, presumably with hardware adapted from the next-generation C63 coming next year. Inside, the revised model and its V12 companion could get a newer infotainment system, perhaps the MBUX setup although this is only speculation on our part.
When the Vantage V12 debuts next year, with or without the RS suffix, expect low production numbers and a high price, well above the AMG V8 models.