First drive: Limited Edition Aston Martin Vantage GT12 - getreading

Consider the GT12 as Aston Martin’s answer to the Ferrari 458 Speciale, only still more exclusive and more expensive. Using an even more extreme version of the V12 S engine and inspired by Aston’s GT3 racers, the GT12 is the lowest, widest Vantage ever. You can even ask for plastic rear and rear quarter windows to further lighten the load. Do that and the kerb weight is 1565kg, an impressive 100kg less than standard. This, along with a splitter and rear diffuser, generates enough downforce for maximum speed to drop to 185mph compared with the 205mph of the V12 Vantage S. Inside, weight savings come from extensive use of carbonfibre. The standard V12 Vantage S develops 565bhp, which is more than enough for the chassis. The GT12’s 5. 9-litre V12 deploys magnesium inlet manifolds with revised geometry, there’s a titanium exhaust system (saving 19kg in itself) and it now produces a mighty 592bhp. By way of a single-clutch, seven-speed robotised manual transmission, which may prove less sophisticated than the best dual-clutch autos, the sprint time to 60mph from standstill falls by 0. 2sec to 3. 5sec. While this might not sound much, it’s worth remembering that this is a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive car, so traction, whether you have 550bhp or 600bhp, is the deciding factor. Source: