Aston Martin unveils ludicrous, roof-and-windshield-free V12 Speedster
As threatened earlier this year, Aston Martin has unveiled one of its most strikingly weird cars to date in the V12 Speedster. Bereft of roof and windshield, it's a two-seat, open-top, 700-hp leisure machine inspired by the F/A-18 fighter jet.
Like McLaren, Aston was forced to do its own little reveal video in place of a big-budget presentation in Geneva, thanks to an eleventh-hour cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show due to coronavirus concerns. Luckily, the company had something pretty wild to show off in the form of this special edition oddity.
A fully street-legal machine inspired by the CC100 Speedster Concept of 2013, and indeed by the DBR1 race cars of some 60-odd years hence, the V12 Speedster is a thoroughly unnecessary, totally impractical car designed purely to smash both driver and passenger with all the raw sensation their quivering nervous systems can handle.
The motor alone would be enough to overload most people; a howling 5.2-liter, twin turbo, 48-valve V12 peaking at 700 horsepower and 753 Nm (555 lb-ft) of torque. It'll propel the Speedster to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed that's limited to 300 km/h (186 mph) – that's scant mercy for the fragile humans within, whose cheeks will begin comically flapping and billowing long before the limiter gets out of bed and goes to work.
Of course, you're supposed to wear a helmet if you're engaging in this sort of shenanigans, but you don't buy this kind of car if you're a sensible person prone to doing what you're told, do you? What's more, if you're going to go so far as busting a helmet out, you should jolly well sack up and get on a modern supersport motorcycle to take the whole "me and the vehicle and the insane acceleration and the elements" thing up several notches from what any car can deliver.
The chassis uses bits from both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage, featuring adaptive multi-mode suspension damping, carbon ceramic brakes and 21-inch forged alloy wheels. The body, on the other hand, is an all new and very eye-catching carbon construction with a slim bridge separating the driver and passenger compartments as if the whole car's had a pair of underpants pulled over its head. Don't act like you haven't been there. Beneath the surface, there's no wall separating you from your passenger, so they're still free to punch you for going too fast.
If it looks like the hood's not shut properly, that's because the Speedster's colossal V12 simply wouldn't fit in the engine bay of a car with this silhouette without some jiggery-pokery. Aston calls this solution a "nostril vent" and is rather chuffed with how it came out.
The interior is chock full of carbon fiber, with bits of saddle leather, chrome, aluminum and even 3D printed rubber, of all things. The glove box is ditched for a removable leather bag, there's a bit of storage space under the rear bumps, and in the model in our photos, there are little red straps absolutely everywhere to make you feel like a fighter pilot. That's something to do with an "exciting new collaboration" between Aston Martin and Boeing, manufacturers of the F/A-18 fighter jet.
You know the deal by now: it's strictly limited to 88 examples and will cost £765,000 (near enough to US$1 million). Doubtless it'll sell out quick smart, and #88 will probably be as sought-after in China as #1 is in the high-falutin world of automobile collectors.
Where these supercar companies keep digging up customers with that kind of cash to throw at designer trifles like these? That's the real mystery here. You could have no less than nineteen equally open-topped Ariel Atom 4s in the garage for that money, with change left over to swaddle them in mink furs for that elusive luxury factor. Those are a lot quicker.
Source: Aston Martin