Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford and became famous with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
The company had a troubled history after the third quarter of the 20th century but has also enjoyed long periods of success and stability. “In the first century we went bankrupt seven times”, CEO Andy Palmer told Automotive News Europe. “The second century is about making sure that is not the case.
In 1975, at one of its lowest points, the company was purchased out of receivership for just 1.05 million pounds. Aston Martin’s fortunes have since turned around greatly, with revenue in 2018 reported at over 1 billion Pounds.
Fueling the company’s fortunes are cars like the Aston Martin V12 Speedster which made its global debut on March 4th, with just 88 lucky souls having the ability to put one in their garage.
Created by luxury British marque’s bespoke customisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a truly visceral driver’s car that draws inspiration from both the brand’s rich racing history and aeronautical design.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It makes me enormously proud to reveal Aston Martin’s latest, most exciting special model today. The V12 Speedster is an incredible demonstration of the breadth of capability and determination from the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ team, who have worked tirelessly to create this stunning, two-seat sports car aimed at our most demanding and enthusiastic customers.”
Conceived a little over 12 months ago, the V12 Speedster has undergone an intensive development programme, going from drawing board to production reality within that short period. Demonstrating the skills and meticulous planning of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ and Aston Martin Design, the V12 Speedster is a living show car, underlining the company’s commitment to deliver customers a stunning driver’s car, using the engineering ingenuity and advanced materials evident throughout the entire Aston Martin range.
Utilising Aston Martin’s latest bonded aluminium architecture, the V12 Speedster utilises elements from both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage model lines to create its own unique platform. With independent double wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and adaptive damping offering Sport, Sport+ and Track modes, the V12 Speedster also benefits from standard 21-inch forged centre lock alloy wheels. Carbon Ceramic Brakes of 410mm on the front axle and 360mm at the rear are also standard equipment.
Over the V12 Speedster’s unique chassis is a bespoke body constructed almost entirely from carbon fibre. Miles Nurnberger, Director of Design, Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “With the V12 Speedster we do go back a step and look into our past for inspiration. Since the DB11 launch, everything has been focused and very forward looking. Here though, we find a different tempo. There’s clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1 to our Centenary celebratory CC100 Speedster Concept in 2013. There is also a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section, so it really is our latest incarnation of the Speedster concept. It’s also inspired by fighter jets as much as it is by our history, and it has been created to deliver an incredibly visceral experience, hence why it is a V12, rather than a V8. With the V12 Speedster we are amplifying all the emotional strings that we can to the absolute maximum.”
Nurnberger adds: “No roof or screen, a big engine, low, with broad shoulders and exaggerated and emotional styling with twin humps and the spine separating the driver and passenger. The light, low, rear end contrasts with the bold, enlarged grille, unique headlights and bonnet nostril at the front. The bonnet nostril we haven’t done in a very long time, but we’ve brought them back. It’s a neat trick visually to allow us to win some space for the V12. It creates this iconic looking vent.”
The interior specification pushes new boundaries, using a mix of traditional and modern materials. Structural satin carbon fibre, contrasts with traditional hand-crafted Saddle Leather, chrome, aluminium and even 3D printed rubber. Visually and physically the interior reduces mass, for a leaner, efficient style, but one that retains all the emotion and craftsmanship Aston Martins are renowned for. In front of the passenger is a removable leather bag in place of a traditional glove box, while there’s additional storage space under the rear bumps for luggage.
Born from an exciting new collaboration with Boeing and created by the brand’s bespoke customisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, this striking livery takes the legendary fighter jet for inspiration and is finished in Skyfall Silver, with contrasting satin black on the exhaust tips, vent grilles and vanes. The dark theme is carried through to the interior, with satin dark chrome, machined aluminium, black leather, black technical textile, black carpets and vivid red Aston Martin scripted door pulls, creating a purposeful look for this conceptual styling.
Powering the V12 Speedster is Aston Martin’s scintillating 5.2-litre, Twin-Turbo V12 engine, with a peak output of 700hp1 and 753Nm1 of torque. Front mid-mounted, the all alloy, quad cam 48-valve engine is mated to a ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential driving the rear wheels. The V12 Speedster is able to accelerate to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 300km/h.
The iconic V12 engine promises scintillating performance, but further underlining the V12 Speedster’s abundant character and unparalleled commitment to a thrilling drive is an even more invigorating aural signature. To create this Aston Martin’s engineers have created a bespoke stainless-steel exhaust system exiting centrally into the diffuser surface at the rear of the car for an even more rousing, characterful sound from the drivetrain. With the V12 Speedster, every element of the drive is experiential, most obviously the removal of the windscreen adding to the visceral engagement, heightening the driving experience to new levels.
Matt Becker, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, said: “for raw, driving thrills the V12 Speedster is unparalleled, the fully open element of the car adding a new dimension to the experience. It engages on every level, delivering a precise, involving driving experience, with agility and poise backed by abundant power from Aston Martin’s twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12. Driving doesn’t get any purer than this.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “nothing demonstrates Aston Martin’s commitment to providing unique, special models to its customers more than the V12 Speedster. The 88 hand-built cars will be sought after by driving enthusiasts and collectors alike all around the world. I’m excited not just about what they offer drivers, but of what it represents. The V12 Speedster not just showcases our incredible engineering capability and ambition, but also celebrating Aston Martin’s rich heritage.”
Orders are now being taken for the V12 Speedster, with pricing starting at £765,000 including VAT and deliveries expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.