Even Aston Martin likes to get sassy, and the 2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage is an example of that. Available only in a coupe body, the V12 comes in regular or carbon black trims. The V12 was introduced last year, and the superior Vantage gives sports car lovers a taste of what Aston is all about. And what it's all about is a heady combination of sports and luxury that attempts to draw buyers away from such 'pedestrian' brands as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
In fact, the V12 Vantage is essentially Aston's version of the venerable Porsche 911 Turbo S. And it makes a pretty good comparison, actually. For the price of entry, V12 Vantage buyers get a bespoke-feeling car that features a front-mounted 6.0-liter V-12 engine producing up to 510 horsepower, 90 horsepower more than its V-8 sibling. The brawnier Vantage is mated to a six-speed manual transmission only, and is truly an enthusiast's ride.
While the V12 Vantage is a highly stylized performance machine, competitors such as the Audi R8 5.2 and the Porsche 911 Turbo S can boast better performance figures, but unless you're racing on the track and concerned with fractional times, you won't miss much. With beautiful styling, a powerful engine and an interior that combines sporty and luxurious elements, the 2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage is an attractive sports car worth consideration for shoppers in the segment.
Body style: Coupe
Engine: 6.0-liter, V-12
Transmission: six-speed manual
Models: Coupe, Special Edition
The V12 Vantage model was new for 2011, adding power, and pairing it with the only available transmission, a six-speed manual. The 2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage uses the same 6.0-liter engine as the Aston Martin DBS, and shares the same nimble body as the V-8 powered model. If performance is paramount, the V-12 is the Vantage to get.
The 2012 Aston Martin Vantage's sleek and elegant design language includes wrap-around LED taillights, taut body lines, and a subtle aggression that is undeniably British. The V12 Vantage is available in regular and carbon black trims. A trapezoidal grille, flared front fenders, and twin exhaust pipes all add a sporty touch. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, a chrome grille comes on the carbon black trim and painted brake calipers are optional.
Most interior surfaces are lavishly wrapped in real leather and aluminum, in keeping with Aston's luxury-oriented nature. The 10-way power seats are comfortable. Options like dual-stage heated seats are optional--even though this isn't Aston Martin's top-level sports car, we'd expect options like that to be standard with an asking price like the V12 Vantage's. Bluetooth connectivity is standard.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage is a higher-performance Aston with enough power to keep road egos in check, and handling sharp enough for virtually any road work. The exhaust note is sonorous. As standard, the Vantage is a sports car that can be driven every day without compromise. Want to head to the track? There's a Sport Pack for that.
The 2012 V12 Vantage includes carbon-ceramic brakes with an antilock braking system, dual-stage driver airbags, as well as side airbags when fitted with sport seats, all standard. Stability and traction control are also both standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
V12 Vantage 6.0-liter V-12: 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway
- The perfect ratio of luxury and sport
- Everyday usability
- Slick-shifting manual gearbox
You Won't Like
- Outperformed by rivals
- Audio controls aren't intuitive
Bond car with more oomph.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi R8
- BMW M6
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- Porsche 911 Turbo S