Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Aston Martin V12 Vantage sets the mark for its storied marque

Aston Martin V12 Vantage
The V12 Vantage is the best Aston Martin ever made, and Aston got it that way by following a simple formula that works every time.

“The V12 Vantage is the biggest engine in the smallest car,” said Aston's CEO Ulrich Bez. “It is the biggest fun.”

Bez should know; he races his company's cars in Germany on the N�rburgring's feared Nordschleife circuit. As we wrote this, Bez and his factory team of engineers--backed by a sizable squadron of privateer entries--were racing a fleet of Astons, including a V12 Vantage and a four-door Rapide, in the N�rburgring annual 24-hour race. Last year, the team took its second class win in as many years at the event.

But the engineers had plenty of practice. As a few other carmakers do, Aston has an engineering facility right at the track, the Aston Martin Test Centre. While the V12 Vantage was under development, engineers put 5,500 miles on it around the 12.9-mile, 73-turn Nordschleife. That's approximately 426 laps, all done at “95 percent of maximum speed.” So they got it pretty well sorted out by the time Aston introduced the European version of the car at Geneva last year.

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