People with lots of money are often grilled for having poor taste and products made for them tend to be jarring to look at. But that’s the point. To get noticed, to stand out, to LOOK like you are way above the average lifestyle. Cars are a common means for showing off wealth but some millionaires are true car guys with an interest in driving feel, performance and exquisite styling. While EVs have run off into the distance with ridiculous performance figures, conventional noisy cars for millionaires need to offer something other than just exclusivity. So, carmakers decided to dive into automotive racing history and resurrected the drop-top, no-windscreen style of supercar. This is the latest entrant — the Aston Martin V12 Speedster.
When I first heard of it, my first reaction was to groan and wonder why has this become a thing? It’s all Ferrari’s fault. Then I saw it and I must admit I was awestruck by the looks of the V12 Speedster. It’s nothing like the Ferrari Monza SP or the McLaren Elva. The massive front grille, the long muscular bonnet and the beefy character lines make the Aston stand out. It really does look like a work of art and arrives onto a scene like a sledgehammer commanding your attention and respect. Aston Martin says this design lineage can be traced back to the 1959 DBR1 Le Mans winning racecar and more recently, to the CC100 Speedster Concept that was unveiled in 2013.
The V12 Speedster incorporates a mix of design cues from the current generation Vantage and DBS models. The headlamps and taillight section which also acts as the integrated rear spoiler are clear nods to the Vantage. Even though the grille shape is closer to the Vantage, its proportions seem more DBS-inspired.
Its beautiful design is the work of Aston Martin’s customizing specialist branch Q. Like other new Astons, it uses a bonded aluminium structure to make its own unique platform. The body is made almost entirely out of carbon fibre with large, uninterrupted, flowing panel designs which keep the car’s weight at just around 1800kg. The show car version features a specification idea that is inspired by the F/A-18 fighter jets but customers will get to personalize their V12 Speedsters almost any way they wish. This one is finished in Skyfall Silver with satin black contrasts.
Under that massive bonnet with a distinct hood scoop lies the heart of this beauty – a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 putting out 700hp and 753Nm. It’s mated to an 8-speed ZF gearbox which allows it to do the 0-100kph sprint in just 3.5 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 300kph. Given that there’s no windscreen or roof, that seems fast enough. It even has fender flares that help with the aerodynamics. The best part about a supercar speedster is that you can fully enjoy the sound of the engine, and the V12 Speedster features a bespoke, centrally positioned stainless steel exhuast tuned for that purpose.
Inside the fantastically styled cockpit of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, one will find carbon fibre seats with special materials for the padding and a large bridge that extends from the bonnet to the rear buttresses to separate the two passengers. Most of the cabin on this show car features exposed carbon fibre for that added fighter-jet supercar feel. There are red straps in place of door handles and to adjust the seats. In front of both seats is a sort of fighter-jet dashboard section. The driver’s controls are in the same layout as seen in the Vantage. Its central infotainment screen is directly under the bridge while the air vents seem fighter-jet inspired as well. The passenger side glove compartment is replaced with a leather bag. The V12 Speedster’s rear buttresses act as the ideal storage space for the helmets you’d need while driving it. It’s boot even has space for some luggage so you could use it for a summer road trip as well.
Only 88 units of the hand-built Aston Martin V12 Speedster are available to order with a starting price of £765,000. That makes it more exclusive and lot cheaper than the stunning Monza SP2 and the brilliantly engineered McLaren Elva. At that price, the slightly less performance is not too bad a compromise. The deliveries for the V12 Speedster are expected to begin in the first half of 2021.
What do you make of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster? Do you agree with us in saying that it’s the best modern-day no windscreen supercar for sheer presence? Are you looking forward to the V12 Vantage that will no doubt follow? Share your thoughts in the comments below the gallery and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.