Aston Martin, the British manufacturer of great looking sports cars, including many famous ones that appeared in James Bond movies, has unveiled a new, limited-edition V12 Speedster. In a hat-tip to Aston’s remarkable racing history and heritage, the open-top car takes design cues from the 1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1, which was designed by the company’s in-house designer, Frank Feeley.
Beside its racing successes, the DBR1 is also significant as the forerunner of Aston’s much-admired DB series of roadgoing sports cars and grand tourers. Only 88 units of the DBR1-themed V12 Speedster will be made, making it one of the most exclusive cars produced by Aston Martin. The 1950s DBR1 was powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six, mated with a 5-speed gearbox. The car, which weighed a mere 800kg, was capable of hitting a top speed of about 250kph. Only five units were built, four for Aston Martin’s own racing team, and one for a private collector.
Like its 1950s ancestor, the new V12 Speedster comes with a British racing green colour, with white pinstripe and roundels, silver-anodised grille, and leather interiors. Modern touches include subtle use of carbon fibre, and brushed aluminium trim. Since the Speedster doesn’t have a windshield, the car comes with special Aston Martin helmets for the driver and passenger. Outright performance is, of course, the very heart of the Aston V12 Speedster. It is powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, which produces 700 horsepower and 753Nm of torque. With power going to the rear wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic, zero to 100kph comes up in just 3.4 seconds, and the car is capable of hitting a top speed of close to 320kph.
‘Emotion and exclusivity are at the heart of this car. A rare and exceptional Aston Martin, it has been engineered to offer a visceral driving experience that belies its elegant, artistic shape,’ says Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. ‘Creating a bespoke specification that nods to the glory of the DBR1 has been a privilege for my team and me. I very much look forward to seeing these cars being driven with the same enthusiasm that we have applied to their design.’
Aston Martin is now officially present in India, and the company is expected to launch two or three cars here, sometime later this year. It has already set up a showroom in New Delhi, and might soon establish its presence in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well. Since the V12 Speedster is available for global orders, there’s no reason why it should not be available in India. Luckily, people who can afford Aston Martins never really bother about the price. As for the rest of us, it is sufficient to know that the figure runs into multiple eight digits.