Au Naturel - Aston Martin V12 Speedster

To some of us, cars are like homes. It keeps us warm, sheltered, and it's where our hearts belong. Now, imagine taking that concept of a home, and paring it back, to present only the bare necessities, by reconnecting us back to the nature that we've been born into.

In the automotive world, Speedsters are the equivalent to treating a hammock as a dwelling. There's the necessary comforts that you need, while also keeping you away from the nasty insects on the ground, and it also doesn't cover you from the rain. It's impractical, but you'll be a lot closer to Mother Earth.

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Credits to: TopGear (Aston Martin V12 Speedster)

In the past couple of years, exploding wealth means that carmakers are continually delving into new designs - made to present the most unique forms to the rich and famous. The newest entrant into this expensive movement is Aston Martin, joining Ferrari's Monza, McLaren's Elva, and Bentley's Bacalar.

With the closure of the Geneva Motor Show, Aston quickly assembled their own car show at their Gaydon headquarters - all to show off a rather special car. Simply put, take Aston's Vantage, put a V12 in it, chops its roof and windscreen off, and give it a muscular surgery. Now, you have a Speedster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnVWj8wN2hg


Taking The Top Off.

Just as Bentley's bespoke department, Mulliner took the lead on designing the Bacalar - Aston Martin's very own Q division penned the V12 Speedster. It marks a celebration of all things Aston Martin, and its legacy in motorsports, which began with the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1.

It's also taken some aeronautical inspirations, from none other than a F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet. Aston Martin is no stranger to aeronautics, given that they've partnered with Airbus to make a helicopter, and they've also partnered with the Royal Air Force for special edition cars before.

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Credits to: CarPixel (DBR1 & CC100 Concept)

Moreover, taking cues from a fighter jet certainly makes bold Aston's "predatorial " design ethos, which started with the Vantage. Speaking of, while Aston Martin made mentions of the iconic DB5, and their centenary CC100 tribute - there's no mistaken the strong design elements of their Vantage sports car in the V12 Speedster.

The side profile uncanny, barring the lack of a roof , as are those slim headlights. Other resemblances include the rear lightbar, and the shape of its (floating ) ducktail spoiler. The front grille is almost reminiscent of the new Vantage Roadster, readily preying on its next victim.

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Credits to: TopGear (Aston Martin V12 Speedster)

I can't fault Aston Martin, since the Vantage is a pretty car overall, and its plucky sportiness suits the Speedster just fine. Taking a closer look, the bonnet (hood ) has seen a lot of changes, with extra venting to cool the monstrous engine. Along the back, there is a rather large, albeit minimalist rear-diffuser, surrounding twin-exhaust pipes.

Since we're on the subject of Vantage-points, some of the design elements of the V12 Speedster reminds me of an older Vantage - the V600. Marking a swansong to the 6.0 N/A V12s of Aston past, the V600 was an equally bespoke creation by Q. There are some reminders here, like the strong bodylines on the side, and the design of the Speedster's 21-inch centre-lock alloy wheels.

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Credits to: UltimateCarPage (V12 Vantage V600)

In summary, it's quite the striking car to look at. But is it a pretty car? The answer is, somewhat complicated - speaking for myself at least. As much as I've gushed over Aston's previous designs, I'm surprised by how little I adore the V12 Speedster's looks. That sentiment remains for the time being, although this might be a grower.

I was stunned when Ferrari launched the Monza SP1 and SP2, and equally excited when McLaren followed up with the Elva, even though I've not been the biggest fan of McLarens post-F1. Mulliner's Bacalar also took my breath away when I first saw it. Yet, the V12 Speedster hasn't had that effect on me. Once the unveiling happened, I simply bookmarked the links for the purpose of writing this, and I've not even looked back on the design too much. Time will tell…

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Credits to: CarPixel (Monza SP2 & Elva)


In The Pilot's Seat.

The Barchetta-styling results in the creation of those distinct double-bubbles that all Speedsters have, as a necessary safety requirement, and also for making sure your hair isn't too ruined. Not only does the V12 Speedster not have a roof, it also doesn't have a windscreen. Suffice to say James Bond won't be driving this anytime soon - as it'll make him an open target for bullets, splatter his face with bugs, and it'll also ruin his suit.

There are some additions however, that aims to make your driving experience more enjoyable. Mainly, there's a set of racing helmets, housed under the rear canopy, and visible through the glass housing. There's even a large boot (trunk ) as well, which is a mightily practical addition, to an otherwise unpractical car.

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Credits to: TopGear (Aston Martin V12 Speedster)

Much of the body is made from carbon-fibre, and this is readily visible as soon as you get near the Speedster, with satin-carbon along most of the car. The copious amounts of carbon-fibre also extends to the fixed, and sculpted racing seats. As there is no roof to the Speedster (although a canvas may be provided to cover it while not in use ), the interior trim reflects that with its material choices.

While there are traditional materials here, such as hand-stitched leather, and aluminium, there's also plenty of fabrics - presumably resistant to rain, and mimicking ejector seat tabs. Placed in-between the driver and passenger, is a large central spine that run throughout the car - adding rigidity to the structure. There's no glovebox, but there is a leather satchel bag to compensate.

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Credits to: TopGear (Aston Martin V12 Speedster)

The underlying architecture is bespoke to the V12 Speedster, although it uses Aston's bonded-aluminium frame, and shares many similarities to the Vantage and DBS Superlegerra. More from this Frankenstein combination, is the Speedster's use of the DBS' front-mid mounted, 5.2L twin-turbo V12.

This massive engine pushes out 690bhp and 555lb-ft of torque, which are both slightly less than the DBS. However, it does have less weight to shove, with the Speedster weighing 1800kg, which is 40kg less than its DBS sibling. More shared componentry, is the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, which is not a dual-clutch setup as in most supercars.

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Credits to: TopGear (Aston Martin V12 Speedster)

Sending the power to the rear-wheels, it's enough to shove the Speedster from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, and onto a top speed of 186mph. While these numbers are more than adequate, they're rather underwhelming compared to the Monza and Elva - as both cars are lighter, and more powerful. Still, the Speedster will have a bespoke aluminium exhaust to enhance your aural pleasure.


Final Thoughts.

Writing this article, I've come to the realisation that I've not fallen for the V12 Speedster as much as I thought I would. For the time being, its design hasn't won me over, as I much prefer the curvaceous lines of Ferrari's Monza compared to this fighter-jet inspired design, with its many vents and creases.

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Credits to: CarNewsNetwork - Instagram (V12 Speedster Rendering)

I don’t subscribe to this notion of "the more horsepower, the better ", so I feel that the Speedster's performance claims are more than adequate, but it's the weight that somewhat miffs me slightly. I'm surprised that by removing most of the upper body-parts, the Speedster still weighs 300kg more than the Monza.

However, for the discerning collector, there are some good news for you. Being Aston, their Q division can make some truly bespoke additions to the Speedster, and I dare say that Aston's bespoke-ness goes far beyond what Ferrari and McLaren are capable of. Also, it's limited to just 88 cars, with a price tag of £765,000. Expensive, yes - but this makes the Speedster rarer, yet cheaper than either the Monza, or the Elva.

https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/zacknorman97/aqEBGgPw-aston_martin_v12_speedster_2020_rendering_03-1024x682.jpg

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Credits to: MotoriOnline (V12 Speedster Rendering)

This almost makes the V12 Speedster a bit of a bargain. If you're a car enthusiast, then there's still some things to celebrate here. For starters, special cars like these will add to Aston's coffers, which will only lead to better sports cars for us. It also reminds us to take celebration of Speedsters. While they're wholly unpractical and ridiculously expensive, it's a display to show how far and exciting car designs can go.

On that note, the V12 Speedster had also struck me with some rather interesting imaginations. Given that the Speedster shares its underpinnings with the Vantage, and is seemingly the same size, would it be possible for Aston to put their twin-turbo V12 in their new Vantage? They've been mum about reviving the old V12 Vantage, but this might just give it a chance…


Thanks for reading! For more updates on my blogs, or the more minute things in life, feel free to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and maybe give a shout there as well!

While you're at it, follow along @zacknorman97 for more, coming soon :-)


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  • @oldmans

    @tipu curate

  • @heroldius

    Interesting car but I prefer the Ferrari Monza, especially for the design. The Aston looks more like a boat than a car. Great post as always :-)

  • @zacknorman97

    Hello everyone, just stopping by to say Thank You for all the support. You're all amazing, and your support really helps me to keep doing what I love... https://media.giphy.com/media/NUwoRZzHc2Bws/giphy.gif