2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition

The 2012 V12 Vantage elegant design, beautiful natural materials and superlative craftsmanship are defining qualities of an Aston Martin. The moment the gently assisted ‘swan-wing’ door swings open in a graceful upward arc and you slide into the supportive driver’s seat, you know you’re about to experience something truly special. One of the world’s great engines clothed in one of the most stylish coupes ever designed, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is a unique and extraordinary Aston Martin. Compact, agile and blisteringly quick, it is quite simply the most potent of the Vantage model range. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition fuses classic understatement with brooding charisma. Specially formulated Carbon Black metallic paint, lightweight carbon-fibre and Kevlar sports seats wrapped in Obsidian Black leather plus unique design flourishes and fastidious detailing make this menacing Aston Martin a monochrome masterpiece.

Flagship of the range is the spectacular Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition. With its unashamedly aggressive and purposeful stance, distinctive detailing and, of course, a breathtakingly powerful, 6.0-litre, 12-cylinder engine, the V12 Vantage can rightly claim to be one of the most exciting and extraordinary cars in the world. Available only as a Coupe, and with a slick-shifting, six-speed, manual gearbox and state-of-the-art carbon ceramic braking system fitted as standard, the V12 Vantage combines the low weight, agility and dynamism of a compact sports car with the big-hearted performance and mile-eating stride of a great GT. In Carbon Black Special Edition specification, you can add supreme style and understated menace to the mix.

However, for the ultimate adrenaline rush, look no further than the phenomenal Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition. The most potent production sports car in Aston Martin’s history, this remarkable machine is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.2 seconds and powering on to a maximum speed of 305 km/h (190 mph). Thanks to 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque and the Vantage’s inherent lightness, it delivers explosive in-gear performance that will leave you breathless with excitement.

Subtle visual differences distinguish the three Vantage All models. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage and Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition both showcase aerodynamic refinements featured in Aston Martin’s GT4 motorsport programme. At the front, a deeper bumper and aggressive carbon fibre splitter pluck more downforce from the airflow for increased stability at speed, while pronounced side sills reduce aerodynamic lift and give the flanks greater definition. At the rear, the Vantage’s tailgate is shaped into a more pronounced upswept ‘flip’ again to reduce lift  and a carbon-fibre diffuser helps extract air from beneath the car. The addition of carbon-fibre bonnet vents is a dramatic and functional signature reserved solely for the Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

As a pure sports car, the Aston Martin Vantage combines terrific agility and response with assured stability and an unrivalled sense of confidence. A natural and intuitive car to drive quickly thanks to its optimised front-engined, rearwheel drive layout, the Vantage is the epitome of dynamism. The core of the Vantage just like the DB9, DBS and Rapide models is Aston Martin’s VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture. Providing a light, strong and rigid structure to which the engine, transmission and double wishbone suspension are attached, the VH platform is designed to concentrate as much mass as possible within the wheelbase for perfect weight distribution, a low polar moment of inertia and a low centre of gravity.

To this end, both the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition engines are mounted as far back in the chassis as possible, the former being entirely behind the centreline of the front wheels for a genuine front mid-engined layout. Likewise the transmission is rear mid mounted forward of the rear axle line and connected to the engine by a rigid, cast torque tube, within which is housed a light and hugely strong carbon-fibre propshaft. There is a choice of three different types of transmission in the Vantage range. The first is a slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, which is standard equipment on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition models. For those who prefer the fingertip control of a paddle-operated gearbox, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is also available with an optional six-speed ‘Sportshift’* electro hydraulic transmission. Delivering quick, precise upshifts and perfectly timed throttle blips on downshifts, ‘Sportshift’* also features an ‘Auto Drive’ mode and a ‘comfort’ setting for more relaxed driving and effortless urban manners.

If the Vantage’s stamina and reliability are beyond question, then so too is the occupant safety it provides. Deformable front and rear crumple zones absorb crash energy and protect the central VH tub from damage, while door beams, side airbags, dual-stage front airbags and an inherently strong structure provide ample protection in the event of an accident. In the Aston Martin V12 Vantage these safety systems are supplemented by two roll-hoops, which deploy automatically through the tonneau cover in a potential roll-over situation. Of course it is better to avoid an accident in the first place, which is why every Vantage model benefits from a suite of sophisticated electronic safety aids. ABS and Traction Control (TC) help maintain maximum grip at all times and in all weathers, while Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) provides a further layer of protection against wheel slip or loss of traction. In ‘Track’ mode (available on V12 Vantage and V12 Vantage Special Edition), the thresholds of TC and DSC are relaxed (but remain active) to enable more spirited driving, while for track use these systems can be fully disabled.

In keeping with the performance potential of the various V12 Vantage models, immense stopping power comes as standard across the range. To ensure the V12 Vantage  Carbon Black Special Edition slows as well as it goes, gigantic carbon ceramic discs (398 mm front, 360 mm rear) are fitted, along with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers for the ultimate in 21st century brake technology. From the soft, supple, hand-stitched leather that swathes the seats, dashboard and door panels to the intricate, aluminium-faced instruments that are designed to resemble the technical look of a chronograph watch, everything you look at and touch has been lovingly crafted to give visual and tactile pleasure. Even the ignition fob, or Emotion Control Unit (ECU), is a delight to hold and use.

Hand-assembly and finishing is labourintensive and time-consuming, but where the precision and judgement of a skilled craftsperson cannot be bettered we prefer to take time to achieve the absolute highest quality. In this respect an Aston Martin Vantage V12 and Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Special Edition is no different from a Swiss watch or Savile Row suit, for all the world’s finest luxury goods are made by hand.


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