Taking On The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
Our writer gives the explosive car a test drive. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
The V12 Vantage S is the single most explosive piece of machinery the wizards at Aston Martin have ever conjured from their car-building cauldron. The principle is simple: Squeeze your biggest, noisiest six-litre V12 into your shortest chassis, then force it on a crash-course carbon fibre diet to starve it of speed-stifling weight. The result is as explosive as it is engaging and, thanks to Viagra-stiff suspension, it hugs the surface like week-old road kill.
A slightly clunky seven-speed paddle-shift manual gear box boosts you from 0-60mph in a neck-jarring 3.7 seconds, and will roar and push you all the way to a staggering 205 miles per hour if you’ve a runway long enough (and balls of carbon fibre – not steel, they’d only slow you down).
Now, it’s all very well belonging to the exclusive 200mph+ club, but if you can’t stop quickly enough, things are going to get very hairy. Fortunately, this Vantage comes clad in F-1 inspired boots – ideal for dragging you back to a more law-abiding rate of knots.
Inside the cabin, the Vantage’s interior is a dark, foreboding, compact affair, brimming with auto fetishist equipment and tech. With a wheel and front facia maxed out with enough kit to unnerve a jet pilot, the Vantage S’s console centrepiece is the menacing Sport button. One prod from your pinkie totally transforms the Aston’s throttle response, gearshift speed, and engine note. Set the all-new “controllable damping system” – which looks after handling – to Track, and this Aston mutates from sophisticated sporty gent to an outright racing hooligan.
It’s a beast, yes, but it’s also a beauty that sees sleek body lines meld into an aggressive front grille with four greedy bonnet vents, letting you know this is a ride with a score to settle. £53,000 is a sizeable price hike over the “standard” Vantage, but for the extra outlay, you get to sit quite comfortably in the super car class elite.
Base Price: £138,000
Engine: 6.0litre V12
Torque: 457 lb-ft
Top Speed: 205mph