V12 Vantage: Tiny wheelbase, massive heart.

  • 566 bhp
  • 205mph Top speed
  • 7 speed auto-clutch gearbox, or 6-speed manual
  • 3685 lbs
  • 0-60mph, 4 seconds
  • 102.4 inch wheelbase
  • 5.9L V12

What happens when you take Astons biggest V12 and squeeze it into their smallest chassis? You be the judge. The Aston Martin Vantage has the shortest wheel base coming in at 102.4 inches, making it the company’s smallest car. The massive 5.9L V12 produces a whopping a 566hp. Of course with such a large engine crammed into a small car you will need great stopping power, all is well because Aston has fitted the V12 Vantage with a set of carbon ceramic brakes. The Brits have taken it a step further by adding 3 stage adjustable dampers for daily driving, sport and race conditions.

The V12 Vantage sends its power to the rear wheels via either a standard manual (go for the manual) or an auto-clutch gearbox. Essentially what an auto-clutch means is that it’s an automatic, but the gear changes feels very much like a manual and the clutch is engaged by the car and not the driver. This results in a very shaky city drive. For a better feel, the driver should lift the foot of the gas slightly when shifting. One can expect a similar yet significantly smoother and sportier feel from the transmission when at higher speeds. Once you get out of the bustling city and on to the back roads the car begins to make much more sense. The engine note resonating from the V12s exhaust is just mesmerizing; if I could I’d download it to my iPhone.

The upside to having such a great engine in a tiny wheelbase is not only the power delivery, but also the agility you get behind the wheel. The V12 vantage can change direction so quickly it’s like a cat chasing a laser pointer. The Vantage is capable of doing the figure 8 in 23.9 seconds, tying with the great SLS AMG.

On the inside the Vantage is wrapped in delicious microfiber suede with stitching details that match the cars exterior color. The suede is soft to touch and I can spend all afternoon just running my fingers along the roof, it is just so addicting. In short, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is arguably one of the best V12 cars on the market. It would be wise to snatch one up before they become extinct.

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