The Aston Martin V12 Vantage: All of the noise

Take your smallest car and stuff a massive engine in it, stir and add "dry bias" tyres. Bring to the boil, fold arms and look pleased with yourself, knowing you've made a stonkingly brilliant car.

Auto Tech
Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF

Being British and loving cars means I have a special place in my heart for Aston Martin. Maybe it's the fact they're built in the UK, maybe it's the Bond thing... I don't know, but I love them.

The look of an Aston -- strong haunches, swan doors and "that" grille - makes me go all wibbly. It's so graceful, so styled and so ... charming that if it were sentient I'm pretty sure I'd be begging it to go to dinner with me.

However, the V12 variant of the Vantage, Aston's smallest car, has a minor tweak to its elegance. Where there's usually a smooth bonnet, there's a set of carbon fibre vents to keep the 6.0-litre V12 cool. And so it looks suitably different from a "standard" V8 Vantage.

Inside it's all pretty lovely. The seats are sports buckets, which meant there's no real adjustment to be made. No great shakes, as you need your seats to keep you firmly in place because the V12 is utterly, utterly mad. A car that small combined with an engine that big is a recipe for lots and lots of speed. Also smiles.

The noise it puts out is entrancing. Even burbling around town at around 20 mph, the V12 was so loud it turned heads. Well, the noise and the fact it was a shiny Aston. They have a habit of doing that.

I was lucky in my time with the V12 V, as I'm told that in the wet they can get a bit lairy thanks to "dry bias" tyres. Essentially, all of its power would be slithering out of a set of rear wheels with grip akin to that of a cat on a polished wood floor.

All in all, I loved my time with the Aston. It's pretty, noisy, and very quick indeed. Lovely.

Engine 6.0-litre V12
Power 510 bhp
Torque 420 lb. ft.
0-62 mph 4.2 seconds
Top speed    190 mph