The Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a purist example of the marque’s approach to sports car design. It’s also a vivid showcase of the skills of Aston Martin’s design team and its ongoing partnership with the Q by Aston Martin bespoke customisation service. The V12 Speedster is an uncompromising driver’s car, an open two-seater with stripped back, performance-focused design that draws direct inspiration from Aston Martin’s most iconic racing cars.
The V12 Speedster’s heart is its engine, Aston Martin’s remarkable 5.2-litre, twin-turbo V12. Front mid-mounted in classic Aston Martin configuration, the V12’s peak output is estimated at 700hp, delivering circa 753Nm of torque. The performance is spectacular, made even more visceral by the driver and passenger’s close connection with the sound of the all-alloy, quad cam 48-valve engine and the evocative noise of the exhaust. Acceleration to 62mph (100km/h) takes an estimated 3.5 seconds, while the top speed is circa 186mph (300km/h).
Matt Becker, Chief Engineer Aston Martin Lagonda, oversees the dynamic development of every Aston Martin, from DBX to Valkyrie. The V12 Speedster provided the opportunity to create a pure driving experience. “For raw, driving thrills, the V12 Speedster is unparalleled,” Becker says. “You have no windscreen, so the fully open aspect of the car adds 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 V12. Driving doesn’t get any purer.”
The wheels are 21in forged centre lock alloy wheels, with front carbon ceramic brakes of 410mm and 360mm at the rear provided as standard equipment. A bespoke stainless-steel exhaust system has been created especially for this car, creating an invigorating aural signature that heightens the excitement of every journey.
The V12 Speedster engages on every level, delivering a precise, involving driving experience
The V12 Speedster is the result of an intensive 12-month development programme, a testament to the close working relationship and shared skills of Aston Martin’s Design team and the Q by Aston Martin service. Underpinning the V12 Speedster is a custom platform created from elements of both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage model lines. The V12 Speedster has independent double wishbone front suspension paired with multi-link rear suspension with coil springs. It receives Aston Martin’s acclaimed adaptive damping system, with Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. A ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential sends power to the rear wheels. As a result, the V12 Speedster’s visceral intensity is enhanced by its poise and balance. The bodywork is constructed almost entirely from carbon fibre, a unique form that takes Aston Martin’s signature styling elements as well as re-interpreting iconic cars from the company’s racing history.
“We do go back a step and look into our past for inspiration,” says Miles Nurnberger, Director of Design at Aston Martin Lagonda. “Since the DB11 launch, everything has been focused and very forward looking. Here though, we find a different tempo.” Nurnberger cites the visual relationship between the V12 Speedster and the CC100 Speedster Concept designed for Aston Martin’s Centenary celebrations in 2013. That latter car was eventually built as a strictly limited edition of two and the Speedster shares its twin open cockpit layout. “There’s also clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1, with a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section,” says Nurnberger. “With no roof or screen, a big engine, a low body with broad shoulders and exaggerated and emotional styling, the V12 Speedster amplifies all the emotional elements of the car to the absolute maximum,” he says. “For example, the light, low, rear end contrasts with the bold new grille, unique headlights and bonnet nostril at the front. This is something we haven’t done in a very long time, but it’s a neat visual trick that allows us to win back some space for the V12 while also creating this iconic-looking vent.”
The team also drew inspiration from the aesthetic and forms of fighter jets. The aviation-derived elements have been integrated into the V12 Speedster’s design following the launch of a collaboration with Aston Martin and Boeing. The result is a conceptual livery inspired by the Boeing F/A-18 fighter plane. Continuing Aston Martin’s ongoing Wings Series, developed by Q by Aston Martin to honour iconic aviation designs, the V12 Speedster is finished in Skyfall Silver, with satin black for exhaust tips, vent grilles and vanes. The exposed carbon fibre binnacle above the instruments is mirrored on the passenger side, giving the V12 Speedster a unique sense of dynamic symmetry. Aston Martin’s grille shape is given a prominently defined surround that makes it stand proud from the front of the car.
The references continue to the interior, with a combination of satin dark chrome and machined aluminium paired with black leather, carpets and a special technical textile. Vivid red accents are deployed throughout, on the door pulls and seat straps. Finally, a trio of F/A-18 aircraft is etched on to the carbon detailing on the dashboard, doors and central spine. Innovations include the use of 3D-printed rubber elements, alongside the aluminium and structural carbon fibre elements, but there is also a place for the tradition and craftsmanship that continues to define Aston Martin: a removable saddle leather bag replaces a conventional glove box and the prominent rear bumps behind the head rests contain additional storage space.
“This car is an incredible demonstration of the breadth of capability and determination from the Q by Aston Martin team,” says Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer. “It has worked tirelessly to create this stunning sports car, aimed at our most demanding and enthusiastic customers.”
Q by Aston Martin has demonstrated its ability to create truly bespoke cars to exacting specifications of design, craft and technology. With just 88 examples of the V12 Speedster being made, Palmer believes they “will be sought after by driving enthusiasts and collectors alike all around the world”.
Pricing starts from £765,000. To register interest, talk to a dealer, or visit astonmartin.com/V12speedster