THREE-QUARTERS of a million pounds – for a car with no roof or windscreen.
Quite possibly the bargain of the year. I’m not even kidding.
Aston Martin’s latest special, the V12 Speedster, is total fantasyland for most of us.
But compared to the open-air McLaren Elva costing £1.4million, it’s almost half the price. And way more exclusive. Not only that, this car is today’s equivalent of the legendary DBR1 racer from the Fifties, which is worth about £25million today.
I rest my case.
Right, let’s go for a drive.
The first thing you notice, even at 40mph, is just how exposed you really are: The onrushing hurricane of wind in your face; being coated in flies. There’s no escaping either. Rain = pain. Stones are bullets.
But aside from the brain freeze and the Bear Grylls banquet, I have to say this car is utterly intoxicating.
Like skydiving in an armchair. Or a never-ending ride on the Pepsi Max Big One.
It also draws attention absolutely everywhere you go.
If you don’t want people to speak to you or take a photo every time you pull up, don’t buy one.
Mind you, you could say that about any Aston these days but this is next-level cool. Rare and extreme and totally gorgeous. One of only 88 in the world.
At this point, I should perhaps explain what you can’t see.
The V12 Speedster uses elements from both the DBS Superleggera and the Vantage. The 5-litre V12 (from the DBS) feeds 700hp to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential, while the suspension and damping is mostly Vantage.
Total pussycat at low speed, properly entertaining when you hurry it. The body is carbon fibre.
Under those humps behind the headrests are storage pods for your paint-matched crash helmets and goggles. Strongly recommended.
You won’t want to do 98mph without them, let alone 198mph.
As for the two-seat cockpit, it’s every inch an Aston. A wonderful fusion of old and modern materials.
Structural carbon fibre and digital screens contrast with a removable leather glovebox and leather-strap door handles.
Visibility is extraordinary and you’ve got headroom of about 20,000 miles.
I can also tell you this car is remarkably comfortable, from the neck down.
Just don’t get caught in a downpour or you’ll be drilling plugholes in the floor to drain it out.
To conclude, then.
The V12 Speedster is exhilarating and exceptional but at the same time utterly pointless with one week of summer a year.
You’d be far better off with a Vantage Roadster. Or a Mazda MX-5.
That said, I’m just glad cars like this still exist because it would be very easy for them not to.
Next up, Valkyrie, Aston’s F1 car for the road.
KEY FACTS: ASTON MARTIN V12 SPEEDSTER
- Price: £765,000
- Engine: 5.2-litre V12
- Power: 700hp, 753Nm
- 0-62mph: 3.4 secs
- Top speed: 198mph
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