25.06.2024

THE ADVANTAGED VANTAGE


To any red-blooded Aston fan it made perfect sense, take the smallest model – the 4.7-litre V8 Vantage, and shoehorn the biggest most powerful engine under its bonnet – the 5.9-litre V12 And thus the V12 Vantage was born. Nicholas Mee & Co. details everything you need to know about the V12 Vantage from it's beginnings as a Vantage RS Concept to the variants that spawned over it's 11 years of production.

2018 Aston Martin V12 Vantage AMR Roadster
V12 Vantage AMR Roadster
V12 Vantage
V12 Vantage
GT Vantage
GT12 Vantage

The Vantage RS Concept


​The Vantage RS’s first reveal was at the opening of Aston Martin’s new Gaydon design studio on 11th December 2007, and the response to the new car among the invited VIPs was highly positive to say the least. The one-off RS (RS standing for Road Sport) then showed its face in public for the first time at the 2008 Geneva show, and with the media present it was track tested soon after at Circuit Paul Ricard.

VH Platform


The adaptability of Aston Martin’s VH platform architecture proved itself as a DB9 engine cradle could be attached to the Vantage chassis, thus allowing the V12 to squeeze into the V8-sized space. And thanks to aluminium and carbon body panels, carbon discs, a stripped-out interior with carbon-backed grey alcantara-trimmed Recaros and reduced soundproofing, the RS Concept weighed in at 1,600 kilos –100kgs less than its V8 sibling, despite the V12 motor being 60kg heavier than the V8.


Watch our video on the Vantage RS Concept on our Youtube Channel


Everything you need to know about the V12 Vantage
Vantage RS Concept

Although this substitution altered the front/rear balance from 48/52 to 52/48, this resulted in more grip rather than more understeer during the track testing, which was perhaps an unforeseen benefit. But the Vantage RS a had another trick up its sleeve. Its motor was not the DB9’s 470bhp V12 or even the DBS’ 510bhp unit, but the 580bhp motor from an Aston Martin Racing DBRS9 GT3-class racer. With 500lb/ft of torque available, this tuned V12 was mated to a rear-mounted Graziano 6-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip diff.


Unsurprisingly, performance was impressive; 0-60mph in 4.1 secs, 0-100 in 8.5 with a timed 175mph top speed, although Aston Martin reckoned that 200mph would’ve been on the cards given a longer straight. Whatever, until the appearance of the One-77 a year or so later, the RS was the most focused and fastest road car Aston had ever built, and by some margin.

A fair amount of media speculation followed as to when a production RS would go on sale, how much power it might have and what it might cost. Estimates varied from around £150k to £180k, but as things turned out, Aston Martin only ever built the one V12 Vantage RS, to which Nicholas Mee offered for sale in 2015.

Rear of the Vantage RS Concept

The Story of the V12 Vantage​



V12 Vantage - The Birth of the V12 Vantage


2009-2013

A development of the V12 RS Concept, the production V12 Vantage came to market in early 2009 with a base price of £135k. The RS Concept had been deemed too hairy-chested for public consumption, so the 1,690kg production version put 510bhp with 420lb/ft through its 6-speed manual gearbox. However, a claimed 4.1sec 0-60 time, a 190mph max, carbon/ceramic brakes and 1.3g cornering capability all justified its billing as ‘Aston Martin’s most exhilarating sports car’.

1199 were built in total

V12 Vantage
V12 Vantage GT3
V12 Vantage GT3

V12 Vantage GT3


From 2011

It was perhaps inevitable, but such was the V12 Vantage’s potential that November 2011 saw Aston Martin Racing wheel out its V12 Vantage GT3 racer. Equipped with 600bhp, 516lb/ft and weighing just 1,250kg, the new GT3 car was faster and more nimble than the older DB9-based DBRS9.

It took just three races for the V12 GT3 to gain the first of countless victories, and over seven seasons it became the most successful model in British GT history. In addition to the ‘X3’ development car,

About 40 customer chassis were built.

​V12 Vantage Roadster


​2012-2013

Five years on from the first V12-powered Vantage and the company revealed its first convertible version with a base price of £150k, excluding any options or ‘Q by Aston Martin’ enhancements. Under the bonnet was the familiar 5.9-litre 510bhp V12 which delivered the same quoted performance as the V12 Vantage coupé’s.

Aside from the powered soft-top, two flying buttresses and a more pronounced boot lid spoiler, the Roadster also had modified rear suspension components,new forged alloys plus a number of minor aesthetic alterations.

Production was limited to 101 cars. 

V12 Vantage Roadster
V12 Vantage Roadster
V12 Vantage S
V12 Vantage S

V12 Vantage S


2013-2018

Vantage owners wanting for more power had their wishes granted with the announcement in late May 2013 of the new £138k Vantage S.

The V12’s capacity was still 5,935cc but power was now up to 565bhp with 457lb/ft. Gone was the conventional 6-speed manual, it being replaced on the S by a 25kg-lighter 7-speed Sportshift III with paddles. Quoted performance was now 0-60 in 3.7 secs with a 205mph max. The 1,675kg S also featured adaptive damping, quicker Servotronic steering, a new Bosch ECU and dual variable camshaft timing. An optional Performance Pack was available which boosted power by a further 30bhp.

1331 built of which 260 were manual.

V12 Vantage S Roadster


​2014-2017

Unlike the five years it took Aston Martin to bring the first V12 Vantage Roadster to market, deliveries of the open-top V12 Vantage S commenced in the Autumn of 2014, just a year after the hardtop S had appeared. 

Mechanically very similar to its S Coupé sibling but with certain modifications as applied to the 2012 Roadster, this was the fastest and most raucous Aston Martin convertible to date with a claimed 201mph top speed and a 3.9 sec 0-60 time. 

375 built of which 97 were manual.

V12 Vantage S Roadster
V12 Vantage S Roadster
GT 12

Vantage GT12


2015

Billed by the media as the last hurrah for the VH platform Vantage range (it wasn’t), a pre-production

prototype dubbed ‘Vantage GT3’ was displayed at the Geneva show in March 2015. Based on the Vantage S and borrowing from the GT3 racer, this variant soon officially became known as the Vantage GT12.

Sharing few body parts other than the doors with the Vantage S, this was the most aggressive, track-focussed road car that AML had ever built. With 100kg less weight (1,565kg), more power (592bhp), more torque (461lb/ft), a wider track and revised suspension, the figures were 0-60 in 3.5 secs and a 185mph max – 20mph down on the S due to a larger frontal area and increased downforce. Priced at £250k+, production

Was limited to 100 cars, all of which were very quickly spoken for.

V12 Vantage S Manual


2016

Following the V12 Vantage S with its 7-speed semi-auto paddleshift transmission came the £138k S Manual with a fully manual version of the same gearbox. In a nod to the V8 Astons of yesteryear, it was decided to give it a dog-leg first gear, with second to seventh arranged in a double H pattern. The new transmission also featured AMSHIFT which automatically blipped the throttle during downshifts while also permitting upshifts without lifting off the throttle. 

Other than the transmission, mechanical spec and performance was identical to the Sportshift III-equipped Vantage S. 

V12 Vantage S Manual
V12 Vantage S Manual
V12 Vantage AMR
V12 Vantage AMR

V12 Vantage AMR and AMR Roadster


2017

​Launched in June 2017, the V12 Vantage AMR (Aston Martin Racing) was conceived and produced in celebration of the Aston Martin’s racing success, in particularly with their win at the Le Mans 24 hrs that year. 

​Total production of the V12 Vantage AMR coupe and Roadster began in 2017 and was limited to just 100 examples, available in the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and China but not the USA. 

V12 Vantage V600


2018

Billed by the media as the final hurrah for the VH platform Vantage (which this time it was), the V600 shared its name with the 1998-2000 V8 Vantage V600 and it made its public début at the 2018 Le Mans 24h. 

Coincidentally, the 14 examples of this final V600 variant (seven Coupés plus seven Roadsters) were being made at Gaydon in tandem with the early ‘Second Century’ New Vantages. Obvious differences from previous V12 Vantages included a significantly reshaped DBS Superleggera influenced front grille, a new front splitter design and a heavily hole-punched bonnet. 

Nestled under the bonnet is the 592bhp V12 as found in the earlier Vantage GT12, and this was mated to the 7-speed manual transmission as found in the Vantage S Manual. With a quoted 0-62 in 3.5 secs and 205mph max, the V600 was the final and indeed the fastest iteration of the model. 

V600 Roadster
V12 Vantage V600
V12 Zagato

V12 Zagato


2011

Based on the V12 Vantage, work on the Zagato-styled variant began in 2010, with it being first revealed at the Villa d’Este concours in late May 2011. The aluminium and carbon fibre-body features Zagato’s iconic double bubble roof, the roof being fabricated from five separate sheets of aluminium.

The Zagato body sits atop Aston Martin’s bonded aluminium chassis with power provided by the motor from the standard V12 Vantage. Priced at £330,000 (plus taxes) when new.

No more than 65 were to be built (including two race cars and two pre-production cars) from mid 2012 onward.

Take a closer look at the V12 Zagato on our Youtube Channel

SPECIAL EDITIONS



V12 Vantage Centenary Edition


2013

As part of Aston Martin’s 100th birthday celebrations the firm announced that it would create up to 100 Centenary Editions each of the Vantage, DB9, Rapide and Vanquish. 

Although it was announced that the Centenary Vantage would be available as a V8 Coupé or Roadster, or a V12 Coupé – all with unique two tone paint, special leather and contrast stitching with sterling silver badges and plaques.

It’s thought that only a very few V12 Vantage Centenaries were quietly delivered in May 2013.


Aston Martin Vehicles with V12 Engines
V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 Edition

Other Special Editions


V12 Vantage Carbon Black - 2010-2013, one car per dealer allocation + 40

V12 Vantage GT12 Gulf Edition - 2015, five built

V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 Edition - 2016, eight built

V12 Vantage GT12 Roadster - 2016, one-off

V12 Vantage S Coupé and Roadster Red Bull Editions - 2017, very few

V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 Edition
V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 Edition
V12 Vantage Spitfire Headlinder
V12 Vantage Spitfire Headling
V12 Vantage Spitfire Seats
V12 Vantage Spitfire Seat

Interior of the V12 Vantage


Interior of a V12 Vantage Roadster
With Manual Transmission
Interior Seats

What it is like to maintain a V12 Vantage?


By Chris Green

Service & Aftercare Manager


We regularly perform all aspects of service and maintenance on these cars including various upgrades and enhancements and find that the work rarely extends to beyond the standard service and ‘wear and tear’ items.


If you’re considering buying a V12 Vantage then the main items we’d recommend checking before purchase would be clutch wear (the average clutch should last 25,000-40,000 miles) and ensure that the carbon ceramic brake discs are in good condition. Carbon brake discs that have not been correctly maintained can have a ‘milky’ appearance.


A tip for owners; to protect the CCM brakes we strongly recommend avoiding corrosive wheel cleaning products and copious use of water when cleaning the wheels. If you’d like some peace-of-mind before committing, we’d be happy to carry out a pre-purchase inspection for you. Overall, based on current values the V12 Vantage offers a lot of bang for your buck, along with exhilarating performance, a great soundtrack, focused handling and timeless styling. What’s stopping you?!

Chris Green Service and Aftercare Manager at Nicholas Mee
Chris Green Service and Aftercare Manager at Nicholas Mee

A closer Look at a V12 Engine


V12 Engine
Close up of the V12 Engine
V12 Engine

View from the Showroom


By Neal Garrard

Commercial Director

One thing I don’t think the V12 Vantage ever needed was ‘more’, and yet yet they kept adding more! More power, more gears, more carbon and more. The result? On-paper improvements that are difficult to discover on public roads. The first V12 Vantage with 510bhp and a six-speed ‘box on lukewarm P-Zeros was and still is more than enough to get pulses racing. An early V12 Vantage is also somewhat understated when compared to its younger brothers, but isn’t there an undeniable ‘cool’ factor to that?


To completely contradict myself, (as any good secondhand car salesman would), there’s also something undeniably cool about extracting every last grain of performance from a standard car, even if that is just a little bit bonkers. Take the GT12 for example. It’s excess in every way and great fun for it, and with only 100 built its rarity bodes well for the future.


A little over a thousand six-speed manuals were built and for me these are the ones that will shine, on merit of purity. I believe there are four right hand cars in green, and three in blue, and one of those would do very nicely

Neal Garrard Commercial Director at Nicholas Mee
V12 Vantage s with AMR Performance Pack

Currently in the Showroom


2015 ASTON MARTIN V12 VANTAGE S AMR PERFORMANCE PACK

Finished in Tungsten Silver over Obsidian Black hides with Iron Ore interior accents, we are now delighted to offer this highly specified V12 Vantage S, featuring many factory optional extras, including the AMR Performance Pack.

This 2016 model year V12 Vantage S is equipped with the 7-speed Sportshift III automated manual gearbox, which provides near seamless gear changes. Notable optional extras included in its specification are AM 700W Premium Audio, Dark anodised brake calipers, black textured exhaust tailpipe finishes, Gloss Carbon exterior door handle blades, Jet Black exterior graphic, tailgate graphic and grille ‘lipstick’, full length Piano Black facia trim and interior trim pack, front grille carbon, Black headlamps bezels, Aston Martin wings headrest embroidery, Carbon side strakes, Black side window finishers and lightweight Satin Black wheels.

A fantastic looking, highly optioned example, which sounds sublime, courtesy of the AMR Performance Pack! Supplied with our usual high standards of preparation and with 12 months warranty.

Available for viewing and demonstration at our Hertfordshire showrooms now.


View the Full Listing

Aston Martin's Saviour


​Just as the 6-cylinder and the later V12-powered DB7s proved to be Aston Martin’s saviour in the nineties and early noughties, it was the V8 and, to a lesser extent, the V12 Vantage models which have been largely responsible for maintaining optimism in the AML boardroom since then. That mantle has now been handed to the Mercedes-AMG-turbo-powered V8 New Vantage, with the DB11, the more recent DB12 and the New Vantage-

Note: Build number data provided by AMHT

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