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“In less than twenty-four hours I’m going to find out if this is the best car Aston Martin has ever built”


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When Aston Martin Australia confirmed to me that Car Advice was the only Australian media attending the worldwide launch of their highly anticipated V12 Vantage, I was humbled.

But when he told me that they were looking forward to the usual gallery of great photos, which Car Advice has won a hard earned reputation for, a cold chill ran up my spine.

With less than twelve hours remaining before I needed to board the plane, I didn’t have a camera. It was in a bag somewhere between Valencia and Sydney and TNT (use anyone but these guys) couldn’t tell me where in the world they were.  No camera, big problem.

I was now faced with the prospect of having to hire a Canon SLR (with lens) and after a quick Google; this wasn’t going to be cheap. A thousand bucks for the week was the general quote, until I stumbled on a small outfit called Camera Hire www.camerahire.com.au  These guys quoted me less than half anyone else, and that’s with a superior lens to my own.

They also gave me a few handy tips when it comes to shooting cars, and if you read this as a plug, then so be it, happy to oblige.

I only got back into Sydney several days ago as part of our Full Throttle test team, but despite being a little weary, there’s nothing like a V12 engine shoehorned into Aston Martin’s smallest car to pump up the adrenalin. Add to that an iconic location in that Mecca of speed Germany, and I’m wide-awake.

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This is Nurburgring, and this is going to be a great launch.  It’s the most feared and infamous racetrack in the world, with no less than 176 corners (many of them blind) over twenty-four kilometres and the weather can change depending on where you are on the track.

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Lap times around Nurburgring have become the benchmark for performance car manufacturers and with this particular weekend, we hit the jackpot. It’s time for the 37th running of “24 hour Nurburgring”

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Aston Martin will run a brand new V12 Vantage alongside the now familiar yellow V8 Vantage, nicknamed “Rose”.

This leads me to introduce Aston Martin’s German born CEO. He’s different, in fact, I’m not sure he even owns a suit, maybe a racing suit but nothing from Savile Row.

His name is Dr Ulrich Bez and you’re far more likely to see him sitting in the driver’s seat of one of his race cars, than in an in any Alcantara upholstered office chair.

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In fact, he and some of Aston’s engineering team will be piloting this V12 mean machine in this weekend’s race, and they expect nothing less than success – for both cars.

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And why wouldn’t they brilliant engine, brilliant chassis, Pirelli P Zero Corsa race tyres, and you’re in with a shot.

The really good news is that the V12 Vantage Nurburgring entry is closely related to the road going version and that’s from the P Zero Corsa rubber – up.  This is a proper race bred car, the real deal, if you will.

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There’s lightweight carbon fibre everywhere, from the cooling ducts in the bonnet, the front splitter to the rear diffuser. Even the door pulls have been hand crafted in the stuff.

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And none of this is for show; it’s all there to improve the performance and driveability of the car.

The front splitter channels cool air to the brakes and radiator, while at the same time, increasing down force.

The bonnet louvres remove heat from the engine bay and also provide down force by reducing the build up of air under the bonnet, while the side sills, which have been designed from experience with the N24 race car, channel air away from its under body and reduce rear end lift.

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When you drop a 6.0 litre V12 hand built engine (a al DBS) into Aston’s lightest car, you are bound to produce some serious get up and go.

That’ll be 380kW (510 bhp) and 570kW (420 lb ft) or 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 306km/h, thank you very much!

Standard stoppers are Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) with massive 398mm front rotors with six pots up the front. Take my word for it; fade free braking won’t be a problem.

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I’ll let you if this is the best car Aston Martin has ever built tomorrow night.




  • Shak

    the two scirocco’s at the top look really aggressive.

  • Wheelnut

    I believe that one of the key indicators as to whether or not a cars design is “perfect” is if the car looks good in a wide range of colours..

    What I mean is that there are a small number of cars which look just as good in Yellow Pink Purple Blue Green etc as they do in the traditional standard Black and White

    The Aston Martin is one of those cars as shown in the above photos.. sure the blue might not be to everyones taste but it grabs your attention and it still looks good

    I say this because as in Fashion there are a few lucky people who no matter what colour they wear they still look good and the same applies to cars – afterall in a way a car is also a fashion statement is it not? a means of expressing yourself and your “individuality”

  • Acfsambo

    I like the coloured insert in the brake lights

  • Reckless1

    Maybe it’s the best Aston ever built, but 3 of the Sciroccos and one A3 finished ahead of them on the road…..Stick with VAG until Bez can get the Aston’s to go a bit faster :)

    Scirocco 15,17,20,101,DNF + Audi A3 19,46
    Aston 21,31,36,54,DNF,DNF

    Where were the Nissans who claim to have the ‘ring lap record? Too scared to be measured where it counts, it seems.

  • Luke

    Reckless1 I was wondering aswell about Nissan not taking part. I think to truly showcase a company’s engineering ability at the ‘Ring you need to race the 24Hrs. Porsche are so dominant here it makes the Skyline GTR road car’s record seem a little less significant. That’s how I feel anyway, until Nissan races next year, maybe? That would be interesting. The Abt R8 got close but alas Porsche were still too good.

    By the way did you guys see the Ford GT that qualified first? What an amazing story that car has to tell. Winning Le Mans in the late 60s and the same basic shape is still a potent performer 40 years on. I was impressed with that. Gulf just needs to jump back on it for next years event.

  • http://newcarpicture.com/ autocar reviews

    306km/h? That’s 185mph, right? For the price I think 200mph should be minimum. I can’t get excited with this car, I don’t know why. The engine is fantastic there’s no doubt, they’ve been milking it since the DB7, but that package doesn’t do it for me. The tacky hood.

  • ABMPSV

    At the 24h Nurburgring this car qualifyied 12th and after 9 hours it is on 30th position. Not as bad as Lexus from 25 to 44th but still long time to go.

  • Robert Hohmuth

    i would like to know how they got around the fact that a car that light weight and with this much torque (380kW (510 bhp) and 570kW (420 lb ft) dose not twist the chasey???? . i am wondering why now one else picked this up.