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Aston Martin V12 Vantage – Clive Sutton Market Report

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Clive Sutton Market Price from £83,500 (2009 car, 7,000 miles)

Aston martin-v12-Vantage

What is it?

To create the V12 Vantage, Aston installed the race-derived 6.0-litre V12 from the DBS, giving it a full 510bhp for 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds. It is a staggeringly able machine, with the handling to match. Aston has also pumped up the looks just enough for it to look special: the louvres in the bonnet are a giveaway, as is the rear diffuser, and it’s often also finished in vivid colours such as bright orange.

Befitting its high performance status, it also gets standard carbon ceramic disc brakes, which offer tremendous retardation at speed but do take a bit of getting used to, as they are less effective when really cold.

Who buys it?

Buyers seeking the pinnacle of the sporting Aston Martin range – no matter what the cost – choose the V12 Vantage. It is a car that is getting a cult following of its own, helped by appearing in video games, but also for its famous appearance on the end of Series 13 of Top Gear. In a beautifully produced film, Clarkson described it as “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful”. This clip can now be found on YouTube as an example of Top Gear doing what it does best: the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is the lucky beneficiary of all this attention.

What is the model range like?

The V12 Vantage range comprises just the single coupe, with a manual gearbox: Roadster and automatic models are unavailable. A recent addition is the Carbon Black model with, as the name suggests, deep black paint and carbon fibre detailing. The gloss black alloy wheels with diamond turned finish are particularly striking.

How did the model range develop in its lifetime?

The V12 Vantage is slowly starting to develop. There is still no automatic option – this goes against the car’s driver-focused philosophy, says Aston – but the firm has now launched an open-top Roadster version. Debuting this summer, it’s a car likely to be even more dramatic than the coupe.

The firm is developing another new model from the platform of the mighty V12 Vantage: later this year, the remarkable £400,000 V12 Zagato goes on sale… form an orderly queue.

Which model do you recommend?

The single V12 Vantage is a top-level buy but it does come with all the extras so you don’t need to add more. The only pity is that Aston does not sell one with the Touchtronic automatic gearbox found on the DB9 and DBS. A manual does suit it well, but a self-shifting gearbox would suit some customers better.

What colours and trims do you recommend?

Aston Martin offers some very elegant silver and blue metallics with the V12 Vantage, and these suit the muscular car well. Brighter (yet still understated) metallic help show off those bonnet louvers too – a crucial differentiator for many. Again, both for this reason and because of fashion, you’ll also see some V12 Vantage finished in white.

What should I avoid?

The highly bespoke colours Aston Martin finished some of the launch cars in were distinctive, but Aston buyers paying this sort of money do not want to be seen in bright orange cars. Few supercars can get away with these garish hues and Aston Martin is much too cultured a brand to carry off solid fluorescent orange.

Summer 2012 Market Report values update

The V12’s heady price ticket remains lofty for a Vantage, so I look forward to seeing these age a little to find used examples at more sensible price points. They are obviously rare but they are slowly coming to market. Really, I wish Aston had taken a page out of Audi’s book – there, the difference between V8 and V10 is just £10,000.

As it stands, the V12 Vantage is a remarkable, stunning car that drops jaws, takes buyers’ breath away and retails for a very pretty penny on the used market. If you’re paying £55,000 for a 2009 V8 Vantage, you need to add on almost £30,000 MORE to get a V12 Vantage: whereas a 2011 V8 sells for £75,000, a V12 commands £105,000.

Thank the Clarkson effect – one of the best pieces on the modern Top Gear was that Clarkson ‘speechless’ spot driving the V12 across deserted mountain roads, and the lasting impact of this is likely to keep V12 prices secure for some time yet.

Things to look out for

  • Camcover gaskets often leak
  • First and second gear synchromesh in early cars can be troublesome. This should have been fixed under warranty
  • Main dealer servicing costs are the most affordable of all supercars here, at £1,442. This fits in with Aston’s affordability aims
  • Extending the warranty is half the price of a Ferrari, at £1,724, but a Porsche is cheaper still

 

 

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