Aston Martin gives us one last blast of analogue excellence with the V12 Vantage V600
It could be argued that the analog driver's car is something that seems to be in the autumn of its life.
The weighting of hydraulically assisted steering, the interactivity of a manual gear box, the sound and response of a large, naturally aspirated engine.
These old sensations That are gradually being phased out in new cars.
Some companies retain one or maybe two of these facets, but it is incredibly rare to see them all come together in one car these days.
[SOUND] And this, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage V600, it might just be the last of the breed.
This beautiful car was originally a customer's idea.
He commissions Ashton Martin a last hoorah of fantastic celebration of what he saw is one of the final analog super cars.
Ashton liked the idea so much that it asked a very small runner V600's seven [UNKNOWN] and seven roadsters can be produced And this is one of that very rare handful.
V600 is a sort of road orientated version of the monstrous track Focus GT 12.
Firstly, they decided to get rid of the wild arrow addenda because I'm not sure arrow is very analogue.
And instead let the fluid muscular coat bottom shape beneath the sills and wings do the talking The results is one of the most gorgeous cars I've ever seen.
Short, wide, but somehow still aching and pretty.
That sculptural body work is all carbon fiber.
The exposed section's hair and bone immaculately.
The huge hexagonally holed grill is a subtly waved work of art.
And I like the fact that the design of the side vents connects this old vintage to the new current generation of the car.
The owner of this particular V600 has chosen to have the center of wheels diamond cut.
As it neatly brings out the intrinsic of that particular design.
And beneath the broad and bulging bonnet lies the GT12's large capacity naturally aspirated V12.
Kicking out 592 brake horsepower.
416 pounds-foot of torque and an almighty sound through its titanium exhaust.
And of course Crucially because this is an analog road car, the engine is mated not to the GT12s panel shift gear box, but seven speed dog leg manual.
And the details continue inside the car as well.
I mean every one of the seven coupes and seven roadsters will obviously be spec purely to each individual owner's desires and whims.
So each car will be, Slightly different, but there are things like these, these controls here.
They might not look particularly special at first glance, but the more you look at them, the more you realize that this is actually threads of carbon fiber wound round to make the beautiful rotary switches.
The carbon fiber dash in here as well, then the little Right on the center of the needles.
It's all absolutely exquisite.
There seems to be carbon fiber everywhere you look from small flips to the huge suedes like the door cards.
Other details include the saddlebags behind the seats and the gear lever that feels cool and weighted to the touch, thanks to being machined from [UNKNOWN] aluminium.
I can't say that I often examine air vents that closely.
But do so on the V600, and you'll notice that they are leather-wrapped.
As an advertisement for Aston Martin Q, you couldn't get much better, but of course, as beautiful as this car is to look at, it was Conceived principally for driving.
So what's it like to drive?
Well, you have a wonderful 5.9 L, V12 under the bonnet.
Naturally aspirated of course and it sounds utterly glorious.
Through that [UNKNOWN] and titanium exhaust, particularly with the SPORT button pressed.
Wow, that titanium exhaust, [INAUDIBLE]
And then of course we've got the manual gear box, the seven speed dog leg manual.
Some people have said it's a little bit tricky, and yes, I suppose the thing you have to get used to with this particular dog leg is the fact because you've got the so many different planes across here, the springing, you just have to get used from first, second to third.
Of course, once you've used first ones, you're off and running.
You don't have to worry about that.
But the springing's perhaps just not quite what you might expect.
And it feels quite narrow across the box.
But it's a lovely, chunky shift.
Just as it should be for this analog car.
[SOUND] The fact that it's a bit of a challenge to use, it's all part of it.
The V600 shares the GT12's shortened final drive, which is very nice.
Because as a result, it feels nicely short-geared with costly stat ratios, which means you get to use the box a lot.
Having said that, there is so much torque to lean on.
You can almost ignore the Like treat as second as first, third as second, et cetera, et cetera.
To be honest, whether V12 or V8, this Vantage has long been one of my favorite cars to drive on a good bit of road.
It just feels the rest size The balance is absolutely perfect.
It's just a wonderful car, and this is absolutely no exception.
All the carbon fiber body work is lighter than ever, for a V12.
And yet it's also got more power, so what's not to like?
A delicious torque means it is incredible easy to steer to V600 from rear, straightening lines and unwinding a lot quickly once you pass an apex.
Through quicker bends it feels beautifully balanced.
Although, it's still best to be just a little bit patient getting the V12's heavier nose into the tight corners, but this [UNKNOWN] To be talked of steering, let's you know just how hard to Front tyres and that's one of the hallmarks of an analog car.
That it is fun and interactive at any speed, fast or slow.
Analog is all about feel whether it's through the brake [UNKNOWN] And Aston has always done some of the best carbon brakes for field.
But whether it's just about the richness of the experience, the connection between you and the car, and the car and the road, it's records as opposed to CDs or downloads.
It's film as opposed to digital images.
It's wool instead of nylon.
Now, of course, the more you think about this, the more I suppose.
It's a question of, well where does analog begin and end?
Somebody used to driving a 1920s Bentley would probably bemoan Synchromesh on a gear shift.
Then you got things like we have on this car, a Sports button, ESP, adaptive dampers.
I always like Passive setup in terms of suspension really pure analog.
Power assisted steering is another one where does it end, where do you draw the line in terms of analog and digital feel.
[NOISE] And disconnect.
It's a hard thing to be clear cut about, and certainly, I'm not about to say that every current or future car is, or will be devoid of feel, interactivity, and some analog characteristics.
McClaren 600 LT, the Ferrari 812 Super fast and 991 GT2RS were all wonderful, thrilling tactile cars.
But it definitely feels like this generation of car, one represented by the V600, one that included the 997 generation 911, the V8 BMW M3 Zonder the last manual Ferraris.
That might just have marked something of a watershed.
Whether they will also prove to be a high watermark only time will tell.
But I think this is a fitting tribute.
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