2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Review

V12 Vantage

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2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Overview

True sports cars have become somewhat rare in this age of high gas prices and low carbon emissions, but the 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage proudly carries on the tradition of the unapologetic high-performance street racer. Based on the British automaker's V8 Vantage sport coupe, the new V12 Vantage borrows a 6.0-liter V12 powerplant from Aston Martin's DBS/DB9 and cloaks it in a tweaked Vantage body designed to excel at higher speeds. The result should impress even the most carbon-concerned, fuel-conservative drivers.

Built at the Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, the V12 Vantage displays an exterior design very similar to the V8 Vantage's, including the iconic Aston Martin grille, but a closer look will reveal its unique nature, which emphasizes functionality. Two rows of carbon-fiber louvers on the hood, for instance, help remove heat from the engine bay and allow the release of air pressure under the hood, which increases front-end down force, according to the automaker. A front splitter in the lower air intake channels cooling air to the radiator as well as to the front brakes. Race-car-inspired side sills help reduce rear-end lift, while a rear spoiler, rear carbon-fiber diffuser, and rear underfloor channel help increase downforce, ensuring good road grip, while also sending air to an oil cooler.

The Vantage body was revised structurally, especially in the front end, to accommodate the large, hand-built V12 engine, which sits mid-front to ensure proper balance and proportions. The naturally aspirated engine generates 510 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which drives the V12 Vantage from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. The engine links to a six-speed manual transmission, which Aston Martin also modified to channel the V12's horsepower and torque. The powerplant offers two modes of operation. Drivers can choose the Normal setting for everyday driving or a Sport mode for a more aggressive driving experience and a throatier exhaust note. The V12 Vantage has a top speed of 190 hp and posts fuel economy numbers of 11/24 mpg.

The interior of the V12 Vantage reflects its sporty nature. The two-passenger cabin features sport seats with 10-way power adjustment, stitched-leather trim, automatic temperature control, a hard-drive-based navigation system, Bluetooth, and an aluminum shift knob. Organic electroluminescent instrument gauges ensure easy readability. A 160-watt Aston Martin audio system with an MP3 input jack keeps passengers entertained. Interior features such as carbon-fiber door pulls and other similar components help keep the car's weight down, while a steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara (a suede-like material) provides an upscale feel. For a sportier interior, owners can opt for lightweight Kevlar and carbon-fiber composite seats, which provide additional support yet remain comfortable for long trips. The V12 Vantage's rear tailgate provides access to the cargo area, which has a capacity of 10.6 cubic feet (300 liters).

The 2010 V12 Vantage comes equipped with Dynamic Stability Control, traction control, and antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Safety features include dual front airbags, while side airbags are also included when owners opt for the available carbon-fiber sport seats. The V12 Vantage rides on 19-inch wheels with Pirelli tires, which provide plenty of grip, as befitting a true supercar.


Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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