2007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS Concept

David Gluckman
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Aston Martin has been looking to show the world it never needed Ford's help. At the opening of the company's first dedicated design studio this week, one more piece of evidence was added to the file.

The V12 Vantage RS concept is exactly what it sounds like: a Vantage with Aston's V-12 engine nestled under the bonnet. Simple enough. In this trim, the engine displaces 6.0 liters and makes 600 horsepower and 508 pound-feet of torque, and that bonnet is made of carbon fiber.

This engine is similar to the 5.9-liter found in the DB9, though in the RS it takes advantage of Aston Martin's race experience. Additions include forged pistons, tuned exhaust headers, a dry sump lubrication system, and special cylinder heads and camshafts.

Other upgrades include a carbon-fiber trunk lid to go with the bonnet. Air flow is aided by a rear spoiler that deploys at high speed and a carbon-fiber front splitter. Ducts in the front fascia bring cool air to the carbon-ceramic brakes. These tweaks help make the fastest streetable Aston built yet, with the V12 Vantage reaching 62 mph in 4.0 seconds.

Lest you think this is just some one-off show car meant as lobby jewelry for the new design studio, Aston Martin officials say they can see a case for building the car. Numbers would be low, and the price inversely high, but if enough people show interest they'd be happy to add yet another variant to the VH architecture that underpins all current Astons.

We see no problem with adding more power to an already stunning car, even if it is a bit formulaic. And Aston, if you're reading, this would tide us over nicely until the Rapide becomes a reality.

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