At the official opening of Aston Martin's first dedicated design centre in Gaydon, Warks, UK, Dr Ulrich Bez, Chief Executive Officer, thrilled the audience with a surprise unveiling of a stunning 600hp performance concept car; the V12 Vantage RS.
The concept is based on Aston Martin's acclaimed V8 Vantage coupe, but the company's design and engineering team have exploited the flexibility of their unique VH architecture and the motorsport development of their 6.0 liter V12 engine to create a dramatic and feasible concept car focused on extreme performance and dynamics.
In a speech to the assembled guests, Ulrich Bez said: "Over the last five years, we have established a reputation for presenting functional, feasible concept cars, and the V12 Vantage RS is no exception. We will listen to feedback and, as ever, if there is sufficient demand we will consider a low volume production run in the near future with a price that will reflect the exclusivity of the car.
"With our dedicated production facilities, our own engine plant, our unique vehicle architecture and now a dedicated design studio, we have the ideal framework to bring new models such as this to market and to further establish Aston Martin as the ultimate independent luxury sports car company."
Although the 600hp output of the V12 Vantage RS will be the focus of attention, just as significant is the level of weight reduction achieved by Aston Martin's engineering team. With a kerb weight of less than 1600kg (3500 lb), the RS concept underlines Aston Martin's continued commitment to intelligent use of materials and weight reduction as a means of achieving improved efficiency and performance. In common with the recently launched DBS, the hood and trunklid are molded in carbon fiber and the concept adopts motorsport-inspired carbon/ceramic brake rotors.
The subtly aggressive exterior is driven by function. The dramatic hood louvers extract air from the ducted cooling pack, while the trunk lid features a deployable spoiler that rises automatically at high speed to increase rear downforce. The front bumper features cooling ducts for the carbon/ceramic brakes, as well as a carbon fiber splitter to balance downforce.
Director of Design, Marek Reichman, commented: "Much of Aston Martin's recent success has come from the ability of our designers and engineers to work hand-in-hand to optimize form and function. Our new design centre will take this process to a new level and I am delighted that the V12 Vantage RS is the first car to stand on the turntable in the studio."
The 600hp 6.0 liter engine featured here has benefited directly from the race development of this acclaimed power unit. It features dry sump lubrication, tuned-length exhaust manifolds, forged pistons and steel con-rods, revised lift and duration camshafts and modified cylinder heads. Peak power is achieved at 6250rpm and peak torque of 690Nm (509 lb-ft) is at 5000rpm.
With a power-to-weight ratio of over 375hp per ton, the V12 Vantage RS concept is the fastest accelerating road car ever built by the company, capable of reaching 62mph (100km/h) from rest in 4sec and 100mph (160km/h) in just 8.5sec.The unveiling of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS concept concludes a remarkable year of new product announcements for the British manufacturer. In the last 12 months the company has launched two sports cars - the DBS and Vantage Roadster - and announced details of the DB9 LM and V8 Vantage N400 special editions, which celebrate the company's racing successes at Le Mans and the Nϋrburgring. All of these models now join the award-winning V8 Vantage, DB9 and DB9 Volante models in production at the company's Gaydon headquarters.