Roofless and windshield-less speedsters seem to be the new big trend in the world of limited-edition supercars. McLaren has the Elva, for example, and Lamborghini has the SC20. And then there’s the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, which is officially ready for release. But what’s it like driving a supercar that lacks any real sort of weather protection? As it turns out, grin-inducing.
The 2022 Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a roofless racing homage built on Vantage Roadster bones
Technically, the 2022 Aston Martin V12 Speedster is based on the modern Vantage Roadster and its aluminum chassis. And it also uses some of the front-end components from the DBS Superleggera, Car and Driver reports. But the V12 Speedster’s main influence is the past.
Arguably the biggest source of inspiration for the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is the 1959 DBR1 race car, Petrolicious explains. So much so, that the British automaker offers a limited-edition version of the limited-edition supercar based on the DBR1’s color scheme, Motor1 reports. And the original DBR1 has the success to back up its status, having won at Le Mans and the Nurburgring 1000 Km, Top Gear explains. It doesn’t hurt that it was driven by several famous racers, including Sir Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, and Carroll Shelby.
But the Aston Martin V12 Speedster also celebrates the more recent past. It also resembles the 2013 CC100 Speedster concept; makes sense, given the two roadsters share a designer. And some of its design elements mirror those found on the DBX SUV, MotorTrend explains, as well as the One-77.
However, the 2022 Aston Martin V12 Speedster has more than just style. Besides the Vantage’s chassis and DBS Superleggera front suspension, it also has the DBS’s limited-slip differential. Its eight-speed automatic transmission comes from the DB11, MT reports. And then there’s the engine.
The Aston Martin V12 Speedster uses the same 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12 as the DBS. In the roadster, it ‘only’ makes 690 hp and 555 lb-ft, as opposed to the Superleggera’s 715 hp and 664 lb-ft. But, as MT points out, the Speedster is smaller, not to mention lighter. As a result, Aston Martin claims it goes 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, Car reports, 0.1 seconds faster than the Superleggera.
It might be “utterly pointless,” MotorTrend says, but the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is certainly fun
The 2022 Aston Martin V12 Speedster isn’t exactly a practical car. Besides lacking a roof and windshield, the V12 Speedster doesn’t have a trunk or a glovebox. It only has helmet-sized pods behind the seats and a removable leather bag, Car and Driver reports. The interior does feature plenty of carbon fiber and leather, though, Car reports.
Although it lacks weather protection, the V12 Speedster does have the same HVAC and infotainment systems as the Aston Martin Vantage. And it has heated seats, adaptive dampers, power-folding mirrors, and carbon-ceramic brakes, Top Gear reports. Plus, if the ‘no windshield’ thing is a bit much, there are optional accessory aero screens available.
Once you’re above 40 mph, wind noise drowns out any audio coming from the Aston Martin V12 Speedster’s speakers, Car and Driver reports. And it also means the V12 is harder to hear than in the DBS Superleggera, especially if you’re wearing a helmet. However, removing the windshield and roof makes for an “IMAX view down the road,” MT reports. And it leaves you viscerally in contact with all the sights, smells, and sounds of the countryside around you.
Compared to the DBS Superleggera, the V12 Speedster is a bit softer and less sharp. As such, it’s more of a GT car than a sports car. However, while the V12 is less powerful, it also delivers its power and torque more linearly, if no less explosively, MT notes. As a result, the Speedster has better grip management. Plus, with the more compliant ride and smoother shifts, driving is a “more fluid and effortless” experience, MT reports.
In short, the V12 Speedster isn’t the most practical supercar or the fastest or the sharpest. But it’s still great fun.
Getting one might be tricky, though
Those interested in getting their own 2022 V12 Speedster will have to act fast. The British automaker is only making 88 examples, and they won’t be cheap. Prices start at around $950,000.
That price does make the V12 Speedster cheaper than the McLaren Elva and the Lamborghini SC20. However, its design means it technically isn’t road-legal in the US. But Aston Martin is working to get it legal for importation under ‘show-and-display’ rules, Car and Driver notes.
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