The hardcore Vantage GT12 loses its top in one-off, Q-made custom

Around since 2005, the Aston Martin Vantage will be phased out in 2017, when a completely redesigned, second-generation model is expected to debut on the company’s new aluminum platform. But, even though it’s more than a decade old, the current Vantage is by no means dated, a fact that’s been validated by countless special-edition and high-performance versions launched over the last couple of years. The most recent of them is the Vantage GT12, essentially a road-going version of the GT3 race car.

With the first-gen Vantage nearing the end of its life cycle, Aston Martin chopped the roof off the Vantage GT12 in order to create yet another special-edition model. But unlike other bespoke versions of the Vantage, this one is a one-off, tailor-made with commission undertaken by Q, Aston Martin’s customizing division.

"Aston Martin has a growing reputation of building ambitious commissions for customers, perhaps the best example being the spectacular CC100 Speedster Concept. We have also become world leaders in ultra-low volume projects with cars such as the One-77, Lagonda Taraf and Aston Martin Vulcan. The GT12 Roadster is the first project to combine all of those skill sets in one magnificent car. In just nine-months we took a customer’s dream and realized it, with a fully-formed, exactingly engineered and fully road-legal one-off. That is the essence of the Q by Aston Martin service," said David King, Aston Martin vice president and chief special operations officer.

Is the GT12 Roadster as spectacular as the coupe? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster.

What makes the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster special

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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Conceived and delivered within a nine-month period, the GT12 Roadster is heavily based on the GT12 coupe, yet it has a number of features that set it apart. Because it’s a convertible, some of the car’s carbon-fiber body panels have been modified according to the Vantage Roadster configuration. This is noticeable around back, where the disappearance of the C-pillars made way for revised rear fenders and a new trunk lid. More importantly, the Roadster doesn’t have the coupe’s big wing, which would have looked weird with a soft top and worse with the top folded into the trunk. The big spoiler and the menacing, race-inspired diffuser are still there though.

Aerodynamic changes aside, the GT12 Roadster also features bespoke paint trim. Being a product of the Q division, this is far from surprising. The convertible has a light grey paint on the upper body and a darker grey on the lower side, including the front splitter, side skirts, and lower rear bumper. Compared to the coupe, it lacks the bright color accents on the nose, splitter, skirts, mirror caps, and rear diffuser, which gives it a more understated appearance.

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the two-tone theme seen in the coupe has been carried over, but the customer opted for a unique finished. The center stack, center console, and upper door panels feature a silvery, dark grey finish through which you can see the carbon-fiber, while the dashboard, seats, and center elements of the door panels come in a dark, somewhat pale burgundy with white contrast stitching. It’s the kind of color combination you’d expect in a Q-made Aston Martin that has the potential of a race car, but it’s definitely unique and classy.

Under the hood, the GT12 Roadster is identical to the coupe. Power comes from the 5.9-liter V-12 rated at 600 PS, 27-PS more than the standard model, which uses a seven-speed Sportshift III paddle-shift transmission to spin the rear wheels. The magnesium inlet manifolds with revised geometry, the lightweight magnesium torque tube, and the full titanium exhaust system were also maintained. These not only increase performance, but help reduce overall weight compared to the standard model by around 220 pounds.

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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Performance figures aren’t available, but the convertible should be only a tad slower than the coupe, which needs around 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph on its way to a top speed of around 200 mph. Also, Aston Martin says that the GT12 Roadster has a unique suspension setup that allows it to share the same exceptional handling characteristics as the Vantage GT12 coupe.

No info on pricing, but there’s no need to worry about that, as Aston Martin isn’t planning to build more than just one GT12 Roadster.

Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The Vantage GT12 was launched in 2015 as a special-edition model with race-inspired features and increased performance. Inspired by the company’s GT3 race car, the GT12 is about 220 pounds lighter than the standard Vantage, features a more powerful engine, and has a track-ready body kit that adds significantly more downforce. Essentially a competitor to the Porsche 911 GT3, the GT12 is the ultimate Aston Martin Vantage and, arguably, the most hardcore vehicle to wear the nameplate until the second-generation model arrives by the end of the decade.

Read our full review on the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition here.

Press Release

Aston Martin today unveiled its most extreme roadster ever in the unique form of the one-off Vantage GT12 Roadster. A tailor made customer commission undertaken by Q by Aston Martin, the Vantage GT12 Roadster takes the original Vantage GT12 Coupe’s hardcore ethos and adds the visceral thrill of open-top driving, offering the driver an intensified sensation of exhilaration and the unfiltered fury of a 600PS V12 soundtrack.

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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Conceived and delivered within a nine-month period, the Vantage GT12 Roadster draws its origins from the Vantage GT12 Coupe, with a special 600PS version of the brand’s 6.0-litre normally aspirated V12 engine mated to a seven-speed Sportshift IIItm paddle-shift transmission. Technical highlights include magnesium inlet manifolds with revised geometry, a lightweight magnesium torque tube and a full titanium exhaust system.

The most visible differences are the significant number of new carbon-fibre body panels, while beneath the skin a unique suspension set-up defined by Aston Martin’s in-house dynamics experts, helping to ensure the Vantage GT12 Roadster shares the same exceptional handling characteristics as the Vantage GT12 Coupe. Naturally being a product of Q by Aston Martin, the Roadster also features bespoke paint and trim.

The Vantage GT12 Roadster is a significant landmark, for it is the first time a customer has been able to call upon the full scope of Aston Martin’s design and engineering capabilities as part of the Q by Aston Martin bespoke commission service. Initially offered as a means of providing fully personalised colour and trim combinations, the service has been continually expanded. With the incorporation of Aston Martin Advanced Operations - the team responsible for the original Vantage GT12 Coupe, along with low volume in-house projects such as the Aston Martin Vulcan, Lagonda Taraf and One-77 - customers can now commission highly ambitious full-scale design and engineering projects.

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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David King, Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, says of the Vantage GT12 Roadster: “Aston Martin has a growing reputation of building ambitious commissions for customers, perhaps the best example being the spectacular CC100 Speedster Concept. We have also become world leaders in ultra-low volume projects with cars such as the One-77, Lagonda Taraf and Aston Martin Vulcan, while the Vantage GT12 and Vantage GT8 show how far we can take our series production models.

“The GT12 Roadster is the first project to combine all of those skill sets in one magnificent car. In just nine-months we took a customer’s dream and realised it, with a fully-formed, exactingly engineered and fully road-legal one-off. That is the essence of the Q by Aston Martin service”.

Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and CEO, commented: “The Vantage GT12 Roadster is a hugely exciting project. Not just because it’s sensational to look at, but because it vividly demonstrates the expanded capabilities of Q by Aston Martin. By incorporating the exceptional engineering capabilities of Aston Martin Advanced Operations within the Q by Aston Martin bespoke commissioning service we have a truly formidable creative team.”

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