In early 2020, Aston Martin announced that an extremely limited-edition V12 Speedster without a roof or windshield would get an 88-example run. While renderings presented a characteristically refined vehicle in "Skyfall Silver" and detailing inspired by the F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, photos of the prototype reveal a raw, menacing ride.
The sweeping broad shoulders, twin seat humps, and enlarged hood with a big "nostril"-like gap all look a helluva lot meaner in an all-black paint coat—especially with the test driver's color-matched helmet peering over the top. As Miles Nurnberger previously said, the V12 Speedster's design references multiple generations of Astons, from the vintage Le Mans-winning DBR1 and DB3S road car to the CC100 Speedster Concept that debuted in 2013.
No updates have been provided with regard to specs, so we assume that a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine producing 700 hp and an ZF eight-speed with a limited-slip differential are under the shell. We can also see the dual-exhaust poking out of the diffuser's rear, as promised. Predicted performance specs target a 3.5-second zero-to-62-mph time and a top speed of 186 mph.
The V12 Speedster's aluminum architecture is derived from the flagship DBS Superleggera and Vantage models, including its independent double wishbone front suspension, 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. Carbon ceramic brakes provide stopping power.
Car and Driver reports that the coronavirus crisis, a close call with bankruptcy, and the departure of CEO Andy Palmer have all tested Aston's resilience since the V12 Speedster first made the rounds, but things are looking up. A spokesman told the auto mag that three-quarters of cars have already been sold, even at an astronomical price of $800,000-plus. Not bad for a car that's only drivable in perfect weather.