“Bad fight.” Test of the fastest serial Aston Martin

Usually “bad guys” attract attention with powerful energy, ostentatious impudence, excessive temper and aggression. Is this role suitable for the 573-strong Aston Martin V12 Vantage S?

… I take the car out of my personal underground garage, I skip the bridge and in a moment I’m already rushing along the night empty boulevard, then abruptly turning to a narrow street and slowly rolling, looking in the rear-view mirrors, so as not to tear down some parking machine by accident. Suddenly, the bright light of the camera flashes to the point of irritation dazzles the eyes. Heck! How uncomfortable being a Hollywood star! No personal life! With anger I click the Sport button and, drowning the trigger in the floor, escapes from the annoying paparazzi, leaving behind a portion of thick smoke from the burned rubber. The mighty V12 inimitably growls, composing a duet with the track “Metallica” from the speakers, and the gray “two-door” diabolically quickly cuts the oncoming airflows of the brand-name “mustachioed” grille … 180 … 250 … This beast from my zoo too exotic. Can I roll into the villa and change the Briton to some trivial sports car? ..

“Hey! Wake up! What are you so staring at this V12 Vantage S? Let’s move better. This is my favorite, I even invented a nickname for him – “bad boy”, – interrupted my fleeting waking in the clouds pilot of the test center Aston Martin.

As they say, lucky! To get acquainted with the Aston Martin line we were brought to the closed range of Millbrook Proving Ground, in the British county of Bedfordshire: dynamometric “pigs”, imitations of ordinary and mountain roads, a huge speed circle … What to say! Here they test their technique (from motorcycles to tanks) not only automakers, but also various engineering companies from around the world. It will be lucky to be here on any car. Well, behind the wheel of the fastest serial Aston Martin of our time … Just fantastic.

Beat “jab”

Inside the V12, the Vantage S encounters a very low landing, wrapped in Alcantara steering wheel, classy analog devices with miniature monochrome displays and, of course, a delicious smell of high-quality leather. So to speak, pure British conservative style in an expensive sports wrapper. How do you, for example, this mystery with a translucent key that you need to insert into a special socket on the center console to push it to awaken the six-liter atmospheric V12?

How does the “engine” start and sound at idle speed? Better listen yourself by clicking on the audio below. I can only say that V12 Vantage S “exhales” from the entire current line of “Astonov” really really well and loudly. “Exhaust” is right here from the limited 760-strong hypercar of One-77. And such cars in their time built only 77 pieces.

I squeeze the clutch, turn on the first gear and … Exactly! I forgot to say that the British specialists are still magicians! They decided that the most frantic Aston should only be with a seven-step mechanics. Have you already imagined 573 forces on the rear drive and the “handle”? It, by the way, is not simple, but of the so-called dog-leg type: the first gear is switched to the left and down, and the second and third, which the driver most often uses in active driving mode, are located on the same line for convenience. Earlier I already had experience with a similar gearbox when I was driving a BMW M3 E30. And all would be nothing, but the car is on the test, we have “right-hand drive”. I will say that I had to “sweat the brain” pretty hard to program my left hand correctly and quickly switch at least the first four gears that will be useful for me on a high-speed straight line in one mile (1,609 meters).

Right, but where else in the first place to test the fastest “Aston”? I do everything as I should: I lift the tachometer needle to 4,000 rpm, I throw the clutch and under a light slip, I stick tightly into the back of the seat, plunging headlong into the symphony of the “atmospheric” under the load, which vibrates loudly to 8,000 rpm. I’m ready to argue that the “specialists” responsible for sounding the “exhaust” are excellent musicians or, at least, they could easily become them.

But let’s go back to the most interesting action – switching gears. Do you think it’s so easy to force a sports car on a mechanic to accelerate to “hundreds” in less than four seconds? Here are the engineers and come up with various tricks like electronic gadgets called AMSHIFT. It allows you to switch gears of a manual gearbox, without raising your foot from the accelerator! Only it remains to manage to squeeze the clutch and hitch the short-stroke gear lever with the “jab” of the left hand. Of course, to switch under traction, you either have to force your brain to give up the habit of lifting the leg from the accelerator while gripping the clutch, or simply roll it into a gypsum in the gas-to-floor position.

“This is a bad boy! It’s not so easy to tame it! Stubborn! “Laughs the pilot of the Aston Martin test center in the passenger seat, while the speedometer needle has already reached the 140 mph mark (240 km / h). Yes, and at a good pace would crawl further to the “maximum” at 330 km / h, if it was not time to brake, whistling heated carbon-ceramic brake discs.

An impressive maximum speed and 3.9 seconds to “hundreds” is, of course, cool and sweaty palms quickly. But do not forget that the rear-drive V12 Vantage S has a short base, wide track and sweeping tires that hint in every possible way: “Hey, man, I can drive fast in corners!”

Fortunately, that different sites with bends of different configurations at the test site are complete. But the most interesting, of course, is the winding mountain. By the way, it’s on the way to him at the same time I have time to test the V12 Vantage S on various types of coverage: from cobblestone paths to “noise-producing” sites. Strange as it may seem, with all its sporting refinement, the car was in moderation comfortable, if, of course, let me put it this way. Despite the 19-inch wheels and low-profile rubber, strange sounds-creaks and external noises make their way into the salon. And adaptive shock absorbers Bilstein in Normal mode (there are even more “evil” Sport and Track) work very friendly, allowing you to not pick up teeth from the floor after every crack in the asphalt. I guarantee that even when traveling long distances the car will be perceived as cozy.

Spitting from a bend

Finally a real fun! Ahead is an imitation of a narrow mountain road with elevations and twisting turns. That’s where the enticing Sport mode comes in handy, which, like a sip of power, leads to tension in the steering, power unit and shock absorbers of the suspension. In this case, the sound of the exhaust system becomes so brutal that a shiver runs through the car, without a sly one. So I drew a real bully.

In the turns to go beyond the limit of the clutch limit on the V12 Vantage S is really quite difficult. The machine itself is wide and compact plus the weighting on the axes is excellent (52% to 48%): the heavy motor presses the front wheels to the ground, and the gearbox, located behind the transaxle type, is rear. Having such a decent hook, it is especially pleasant to open the gas a little earlier at the exit from the turn, so that the slipped rear wheels effectively spit out the car from the bend. And chicanes and can be safely pass almost without dumping gas with easy adjustments to the steering wheel.

By the way, the steering here is not sharpened as much as possible “sharply”, which allows you to avoid the nervous behavior of the machine with an active taxiing. A hydraulic booster from ZF works just smart, passing on the steering wheel exactly the effort you expect: not as resilient as the classic “hydrach”, but not too easy. In a word – super!

… Juicy klatsanya manual gearbox, automatic peregazovki with downshifts, rough hissing and bubbling spitting exhaust system – all this creates a natural brutal atmosphere. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S and the truth “bad fight.” He leaves behind a huge amount of sweet memories, but still manages to break his heart: in Russia for the fastest “Aston” will have to give about 13 million rubles.

Alexey Dergachev

Photo: AstonMartin

Specifications of Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

Dimensions (length / width / height), cm

438.5 / 202.2 / 125

Wheelbase, cm

260

The equipped weight, kg

1 665

Cargo space, l

300

Engine

12-cylinder, V-shaped, gasoline, 5 935 cm³

Power, l. from. / rev / min.

573/6 750

Torque, Nm / rev / min.

620/5 750

Transmission

7-speed mechanics with AM shift function

Drive unit

Rear

Acceleration from 0-100 km / h, from

3.9

Maximum speed, km / h

330

Combined fuel consumption, l / 100 km

16.4

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