2009 Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Gaydon, Warwickshire, Wednesday 4 February 2009 - Agility and outright performance formed the basis of design for the V12 Vantage to produce the most exciting incarnation of the Vantage model line-up to date. most powerful engine is fused with its most agile model to produce a truly exhilarating sports car.
The V12 power plant has been intelligently packaged into the Vantage’s compact form preserving its perfect proportions. While the external dimensions of the V8 Vantage remain unchanged, the internal front structure has been extensively revised forward of the suspension towers to house the larger engine, brake cooling system, and twin air intake system.
The engine was designed at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and is hand-built at the company’s dedicated engine facility in Cologne, Germany. To achieve the power output, the engine features a number of enhancements over the standard 6.0-litre V12 found in the DB9. These include a ‘by-pass’ engine air intake port that opens up at 5500 rpm, a revised induction system and re-profiled air inlet ports that further improve airflow into the combustion chamber to improve performance.
The naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 hand-built engine produces 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS) at 6500 rpm and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque giving the driver access to high levels of power and torque at all engine speeds. Unique to the V12 Vantage is a ‘Sport’ button which allows the driver to choose between two powertrain modes.
The default ‘normal’ provides a more progressive, throttle response, suited to more everyday situations, such as driving in urban areas, heavy traffic, or in challenging weather conditions. Selecting ‘Sport’ mode delivers a sharper throttle response together with a sportier exhaust note. This mode is designed for use in more dynamic driving situations where sharper responses are required, extracting the maximum performance from the car.
The V12 Vantage benefits from Aston Martin’s class leading all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture: a lightweight bonded platform that provides outstanding strength, rigidity and weight benefits.
Although the V12 engine weighs 100 kg more than the standard car’s engine, intelligent use of lightweight materials and components including carbon ceramic brakes, lighter forged aluminium wheels, lightweight inner rear quarter panels and optional lightweight seats have resulted in the overall kerb weight being only 50 kg heavier than its V8 sibling. The ensuing weight distribution provides for balance that is near perfect (51:49).
Exclusively available with a six-speed manual transmission, the gearbox uses a transaxle configuration to aid weight distribution. The V12 Vantage’s final drive ratio has also been modified from 3.909:1 to 3.71:1. This allows the Vantage to take full benefit of the high torque levels delivered by the engine to provide both flexibility at lower engine speeds as well as a high top speed of 190 mph.
For a car possessing such racing pedigree, the V12 Vantage surprises with its day to day usability. Featuring a luggage capacity of 300 litres and a traditional tailgate, coupled with ample stowage space to the rear of the seats, touring and trips away are made easy. Gear changes are light and precise requiring minimum effort from the driver and a longer final drive ratio extracts the most from the power and torque available to improve driveability. The communicative chassis provides comfort on long journeys and thrilling feedback with energetic driving.