No windscreen, but licenced to thrill - the R15m Aston Martin Speedster
Gaydon, England - You have to be a dyed-in-the-wool car enthusiast to appreciate driving in its purest form, with full exposure to the elements, and that’s exactly who Aston Martin is targeting with its new V12 Speedster.
Just like Ferrari’s Monza SP1 and SP2, the new Aston Martin follows the classic speedster tradition with an open air design that includes no windscreen, so unless you want bugs in your teeth, a helmet is a must.
Aston Martin refers to its latest creation as a “visceral celebration of the British sports car brand’s proud past and exciting future”.
Keeping up the “visceral” end of the deal is a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that cranks out 522kW and 753Nm. That’s enough to get the Speedster from a standstill to 100km/h in a mere 3.5 seconds, and to an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h.
Only seriously skilled drivers need apply here, of course, as power goes to the back wheels only, through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
“For raw, driving thrills the V12 Speedster is unparalleled, the fully open element of the car adding a new dimension to the experience,” said Aston Martin’s chief engineer Matt Becker. “It engages on every level, delivering a precise, involving driving experience, with agility and poise backed by abundant power from Aston Martin’s twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12. Driving doesn’t get any purer than this.”
The V12 Speedster’s structure is constructed almost entirely from bonded aluminium, utilising parts of both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage to create its own platform. The chassis is not quite as puristic as you might have expected, with an adaptive damping system offering Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The car rolls on 21-inch alloy wheels and stopping power is provided by carbon ceramic brakes measuring 410mm up front and 360mm at the back.
The cabin has an interesting mix of materials, including hand-crafted Saddle Leather, 3D-printed rubber and structural satin carbon fibre.
Created by in-house bespoke service Q by Aston Martin, the Speedster takes inspiration from the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 race car as well as the more recent CC100 Speedster centenary concept car, which was unveiled in 2013.
You don’t have to worry too much about your neighbour buying one of these puristic, hand-built machines as only 88 Aston Martin V12 Speedsters are slated for production.
And you have to know the price, don't you? The V12 Speedster goes on sale in the UK early next year at a starting price of £765 000, which is around R15 million at today’s exchange rate.