Aston Martin just announced a very limited-edition V12 Speedster supercar that takes stylistic cues from one of the world's most famous fighter jets, the F/A-18 Hornet.
The new roofless model comes from Q by Aston Martin, the brand's bespoke personalization that recently created a decadently dark take on the DBX SUV. But the V12 Speedster is arguably the most dramatic automotive work we've seen from the division, which dressed the vehicle in a striking F-18-inspired "Skyfall Silver" livery and satin black accents on the exhaust tips, vent grilles and vanes.
Other technical elements featured in the front-engine vehicle are more familiar. A twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine is capable of producing 700 hp, just 15 hp shy of what the same engine cranks out in the flagship DBS Superleggera .
The all-alloy power plant is mated to a ZF-made eight-speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential turning the rear wheels, which is the same drivetrain featured in the both the DBS Superleggera and the DB11. A sprint to 62 mph takes 3.5 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 186 mph. Aston added a stainless-steel exhaust system exiting centrally into the diffuser surface at the rear of the car to make the V12's growl even louder.
The V12 Speedster's aluminium architecture is also derived from the flagship and Vantage models, including its independent double wishbone front, multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and adaptive damping in Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. It rides on standard 21-inch forged center lock alloy wheels that, with just five spokes, offer a restrained aesthetic that complements the shell's bold lines, while carbon ceramic brakes provide stopping power.
The design includes a number of nods to Aston models from past eras. Miles Nurnberger, Aston Martin Director of Design, says, "There’s clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1 to our Centenary celebratory CC100 Speedster Concept in 2013. There’s also a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section, so it really is our latest incarnation of the Speedster concept
“It’s inspired by fighter jets as much as it is by our history, and was 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.”
“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," Nurnberger adds. "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."
The exterior's theme is carried through to the interior, which boasts satin dark chrome, machined aluminium, black leather, black technical textile, black carpets and red branded door handles.
The cabin's other core material's include structural satin carbon fiber, hand-crafted Saddle Leather, chrome, aluminium and 3D-printed rubber. In front of the passenger is a removable leather bag instead of a traditional glove box, and there’s additional storage under the rear bumps for luggage.
Priced at $950,000, orders are now open for the V12 Speedster. Head to Aston Martin's website soon if you're interested, because only 88 examples will be produced.