When the factory decides to let you loose in the fastest road-going Aston ever built, the 600bhp V12 Vantage RS, for an afternoon on Silverstone’s rather fast south circuit, the pure elation only lasts a minute or two. It is joined rather smartly by anxiety, especially when you learn that this 400bhp per tonne super-bolide has no ABS, no ESP and no traction control. No safety net, in effect.
The car — driven and extensively photographed in next week’s magazine — is in effect a union of the compact V8 Vantage chassis and (further lightened) body with a DBS V12 engine whose power is lifted from 510 to 600bhp. because it doesn’t have to deliver production-car durability, it has its own special engine management and is allowed a 7600rpm rev limit, around 800rpm more than standard.
Aston claim a 4.0sec 0-60mph sprint, and around 8.5sec 0-100mph which, when you drive the car, doesn’t really seem quick enough. Those figures aren’t much different from the figures we returned for the DBS when we tested it recently. The car feels massively fast; the problem you have is moving the lever quickly enough, because you rapidly run out of revs (even using the non-standard shift-light system Aston’s engineers had fitted).
Keep your cool, ansd this is a really fast car. It has safe, secure turn in, stabilised with a whiff of understeer, and the firm steering has plenty of authority. In mid-corner its soft Pirelli P Zeros grip well, but it’s the exit that can be problematic. Laying down 600bhp in a fairly light supercar with no traction control, whose engineers admit that in production it will need a bigger footprint, demands restraint.