Aston Martin first fitted a V12 to the Vantage in 2007 but it’s not to then which I want to return.
Instead it's to late 2013, by which time the V12 Vantage was already “our favourite Aston of modern times” and had just been replaced by the V12 Vantage S, which had an additional 55bhp over that earlier car, so 565bhp in total.
The location was Snetterton. The reason for it being there was our Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest.
What the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S became wasn't just an updated variant of Autocar’s favourite Aston of modern times, but one of my personal favourite driver’s cars of all time. Top ten.
I adore the Vantage S, but in truth its naturally-aspirated V12 engine was only a small part of the deal.
“The Vantage makes friends before you’re out of turn one on lap one,” we concluded at the time. “Vantage-based Astons have this curious capacity for being a little bitter than you’re expecting, but not this one. It is wildly better,” said Andrew Frankel.
That 5.9-litre V12 was I think more dramatic than the latest turbocharged V12 in the places we’ve so far tested it, but there’s no denying the newer motor’s additional torque should make it easier to mess around with the Vantage chassis which, with a V8, is already one of the most playful cars on sale.
If as well as extra oomph and throttle adjustability, it adds a lot of drama to the current Vantage, it’ll be worthy of attention. If it makes the car as good as the 2013 Vantage S, it’ll be utterly sensational.