V12 Vantage: End of the Line for Aston Martin’s Big Engine?
According to Aston Martin’s latest and maddeningly brief press release it looks as though the upcoming 2022 V12 Vantage will be the last one. The entire press release says only: “You’ve heard about it. You will certainly hear it coming. V12 Vantage. It’s not just a Limited Edition, it’s a Final Edition. Returning in 2022.” And that’s it.
So is Aston walking away from the Vantage nameplate entirely like Lamborghini is doing with its final Aventador? Or are they keeping the Vantage around, and this will simply be the last one powered by a V12 engine? They don’t say and it’s freaking us out because we’re nothing if we’re not fans of putting Aston’s biggest engine in its smallest car.
We all know the story by now – the inexorable march towards electrification continues to make itself felt throughout the automotive universe, with nary a week going by without a major announcement about a new EV model in the works. Aston Martin has been dipping its toes in the electric pool for a bit now but their latest announcement was a reaaaal dinger – past comments from CEO Tobias Moers indicate that the days of internal combustion Astons are numbered.
The first model similar to the Vantage we know today goes back to 1950's DB2 with a straight six engine, which later evolved into the V8 Vantage in 1972 (the first to officially wear the Vantage name and driven by James Bond for those keeping score at home). The V12 we know and love was dropped into the DB7 Vantage in 1999 and then again in 2009’s Vantage. The name has roots, and it would be a downright travesty for it to go away. So, the question remains.
In order to try and get to the bottom of this intrigue we’re going to need to make like David Caruso and put on our CSI sunglasses. Because while the clues are sparse and vague, we do believe that there’s enough evidence here to support a conclusion: the Vantage will likely stick around as an electric car.
First, we take for granted now that the Vantage is occasionally a V12. As mentioned above it is historically a car whose drive train is always evolving. From six to eight to twelve cylinders, the name was never inextricably linked with any one engine like the Lamborghini Aventador’s V12 or the Porsche 911’s flat six. So, it stands to reason that the Vantage is just going electric like everything else.
Second, Aston’s wording in the press release is careful to not just say “Vantage” but that the “V12 Vantage” is getting its final edition. Combine this phrasing with the car’s history of an ever-evolving powertrain, it tracks that the V12 is what’s retiring. And then finally, there’s the Aston’s point about the sound of the thing.
EV’s are famously silent. But one of the things that made the Vantage what it is today is the noise it makes. The low guttural rumble that sounds and feels though it’s coming from deep beneath the earth is what Aston is intimating we’ll miss most about the current Vantage. And if we’re right, then we wholeheartedly agree.
No matter what, you can’t go wrong with a big V12 motor stuffed into a (comparatively) small car. We can’t wait to listen to this now-endangered beast roar one last time.
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Related: Why Aston Martin Became James Bond's Signature Car
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