Aston Martin is gearing up to launch what could be the last-ever V12 Vantage, which will become a new rival for the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Our spy photographers have spotted the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage undergoing its development programme, ahead of its expected launch date later this year. These spies follow a short teaser video from the brand, which previewed the sports car’s engine note.
Aston Martin hasn’t officially confirmed what engine will power the next V12 Vantage, but we expect it’ll be the brand’s familiar twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine, found in the DB11 and the DBS Superleggera. Aston Martin’s limited-run, Vantage-derived V12 Speedster also uses the same engine, albeit tuned to 507kW.
The new V12 Vantage probably won’t have as much power as the V12 Speedster. An output closer to the 441kW offered in the DB11 is more likely – and that should provide plenty of performance given the smaller dimensions and lighter weight of the Vantage’s body.
There’ll be a range of aggressive styling tweaks to accompany the extra performance. The prototype has a new front splitter and an enormous radiator grille designed to meet the cooling demands of the new V12 engine. There’s also some new cooling vents in the bonnet to expel excess heat from the engine bay.
At the rear, there’s a new central-exit twin-tailpipe exhaust system, which we expect will be set inside a new diffuser on the finished car. This development car also features a small downforce-generating gurney flap on its ducktail spoiler, presumably to simulate the revised aero package of the final car during testing.
In order to produce the roofless Speedster from the current Vantage platform, Aston borrowed the chassis structure ahead of the A-pillar from the flagship DBS Superleggera in order to package the larger engine. We may see a similar solution for the V12 Vantage, which will also use a more aggressive chassis set-up to make it more suitable for track use.
In a previous teaser for the new V12 Vantage, the British brand also released an extremely short statement which read: “You’ve heard about it. You will certainly hear it coming. V12 Vantage. It’s not just a Limited Edition, it’s a Final Edition. Returning in 2022.”
This suggests that Aston Martin will make the next V12 Vantage the last of the breed, with tightening emissions regulations forcing the company towards electrification and downsized petrol engines. Last year, CEO Tobias Moers even confirmed the brand would launch its first electric sports car in 2025.
As part of its teaser campaign, Aston Martin also released a slightly blurred shot of the new V12 Vantage alongside its predecessors – the original V12 Vantage from 2009, and the more hardcore V12 Vantage S of 2013.
The arrival of this hardcore Vantage could follow a comprehensive facelift of the standard model. Both will form part of a brand offensive, dubbed “Project Horizon,” which will include a coupe-SUV variant of the DBX, the recently unveiled Valhalla supercar and the potential for hybridisation of the entire Aston Martin range.