• 2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster

    Unique exterior design with speedster layout
  • Big front grille as seen on other Aston Martins
  • Carbon-fiber bodywork
  • Transparent flying buttresses
  • Rear end is similar to the Vantage
  • No windscreen
  • Visible carbon-fiber elements
  • Separate front compartments
  • Race-inspired interior with Alcantara
  • Race-spec seats

A V-12 Vantage in disguise; inspired by the iconic, Le Mans-winning DBR1

The 2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a limited-edition roadster developed by Aston Martin and its bespoke Q division. A tribute to the Le Mans-winning DBR1 of 1959, the 2021 V12 Speedster sports a traditional speedster body with no windscreen and roof and with a spine separating the driver and the passenger. Built on a custom architecture that combines elements from both the Vantage and the DBS Superleggera, the 2021 V12 Speedster is also a spiritual successor to the CC100 Speedster, a concept that Aston Martin launched in 2013 and built in just two examples. Built in only 88 units, the 2021 V12 Speedster costs almost $1 million. Find out what makes it special in the review below.

  • 2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    690
  • Torque @ RPM:
    555
  • Displacement:
    5.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.7/10

How is the Aston Martin V12 Speedster Different From the Vantage?

  • based on the Vantage
  • no windscreen
  • no roof
  • smaller engine hood
  • deep side skirts
  • flying buttresses
  • rear end almost identical to Vantage
  • race-inspired rear diffuser
  • relocated exhaust pipes
  • Boeing-inspired livery
  • Carbon-fiber body
2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Exterior
- image 890299
Big front grille as seen on other Aston Martins

Design-wise, the V12 Speedster is as authentic as speedsters get. It doesn’t have a windshield or a roof, it boasts a low stance with broad shoulders, and it features two flying buttresses behind the seats. It also sports a central spine that separates the driver and passenger compartments. It’s a 1950s race car with modern looks.

This layout makes it look unique in the layout, but a closer inspection reveals that the V12 Speedster is actually almost identical to the Vantage below the waist.

You might be tempted to believe that the front fascia is actually notably different, but that’s because Aston Martin made two small but effective changes. First, the frame of the grille is no longer a separate piece. Aston Martin integrated it into the body and extended the nose a bit more in front of the fascia. It also revised the diffuser by eliminating the center section, a feature we’ve seen on the old CC100 Speedster. Second, it replaced the Vantage’s wide hood with a smaller opening that no longer includes the top sections of the fenders. This way the hood no longer meets the headlamps, so it looks as if there are different, when in reality they’re sourced from the Vantage.

left right

But despite the similarities, we can’t ignore Aston Martin’s efforts to set the V12 Speedster apart. The roadster also features new, vertical vents on each side of the main grille, as well as additional louvers above the front wheels.

The profile is even closer to the production Vantage. Aston Martin brags about the Speedster’s muscular haunches, but they’re actually very similar to the Vantage. Only a couple of details set the V12 apart, minus the missing roof and windscreen of course. The side skirts are a bit more aggressive, while the the front fender strakes feature deeper scallops that transform into aggressive character lines that run on the doors. Of course, the flying buttresses behind the seats add even more drama to the sleek profile.

Move toward the back and you'll see the familiar Vantage layout with an integrated, duck-tail spoiler and thin taillights that run across the fascia and follow the shape of the upper edge.

The center fascia remains identical to the Vantage, but Aston Martin moved the badge lower. The bumper is a bit different though, now featuring a sportier diffuser and a new exhaust layout. While the Vantage features a pair of outlets at each corner, the V12 Speedster boasts a pair of pipes in the center.

left right

But unlike the Vantage, the V12 Speedster features carbon-fiber body. It also sports a conceptual F/A-18 livery designed in collaboration with Boeing and a custom Skyfall Silver paint. The grille vents and the exhaust pipes are finished in satin black.

Interior

  • unique interior layout
  • spartan yet modern
  • digital displays
  • flat-bottom steering wheel
  • race-spec seats
  • loads of carbon-fiber
  • aluminum trim
  • leather bag instead of glove box
  • storage space in the flying buttresses
  • not exactly practical
2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Interior
- image 890283
Separate front compartments

While the exterior bears some resemblance to the Vantage, the interior is decidedly unique. It doesn’t look like any other Aston Martin model in production and, more importantly, it successfully blends race-inspired and traditional features.

Arguably the coolest feature, at least at first glance, is the massive amount of visible carbon fiber.

The lightweight composite is literary everywhere. On the dashboard, on the steering, and even on the gearshift paddles behind it. You’ll also find some on the door panels, on the center console, and the seats. All carbon elements feature a satin finish, which makes it stand out even more.

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Interior
- image 890284
Race-inspired interior with Alcantara

The remaining surfaces are made from or covered in premium materials. There’s hand-crafted saddle leather on the door panels, center console and the said, while trim includes satin dark chrome and machined aluminum. Aston Martin also used 3D-printed rubber on some areas. The floor is covered in black carpet so things stay soft while you drive the V12 Speedster at the track.

While the interior is mostly black, there are some red accents on the seats, center console, and dashboard. The door loops are also red and feature Aston Martin lettering. Since I mentioned traditional details earlier, you can find out one the passenger-side dashboard.

Instead of the common glove box, the V12 Speedster is fitted with a removable leather bag.

Although it’s not of the fancy variety, it’s a feature borrowed from classic race cars. On the flipside, it doesn’t fit all that well with the modern layout of the interior, but I guess it’s a small compromise to make for a piece of racing history.

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Interior
- image 890291
Carbon-fiber bodywork

Speaking of storage space, there’s isn’t much in the V12 Speedster. If you have a passenger on the right seats, you might have trouble keeping a small bag in the cockpit. However, there’s storage space under the flying buttresses. It’s not much, but if you can fit helmets in there, you can also fit small bags.

But this isn’t the only thing that makes the V12 Speedster a very unpractical car. While you benefit from infinite headroom, there’s no windshield and no roof. This means that you’re exposed to wind, rain, and sunny heat. What’s more, driving a car like this in the rain will soak the the upholstery. It’s the kind of car you can enjoy for a limited amount of time depending on the weather.

Drivetrain

  • 5.2-liter V-8
  • twin-turbo
  • Similar to DBS
  • 690 horsepower
  • 555 pound-feet of torque
  • not the most powerful
  • 0 to 62 in 3.5 seconds
  • top speed at 186 mph
  • 8-speed transmission
  • limited-slip differential
  • carbon-ceramic brakes
  • adaptive dampers as standard
2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Exterior
- image 890294

The oily bits are of the same variety, a mix between components from existing Aston Martin cars. Specifically, the V12 Speedster rides on the company’s latest bonded aluminum architecture, but it borrows elements from two vehicles: the Vantage and the DBS Superleggera. Aston Martin claims it’s a unique setup, but specific details are scant.

As far as power goes, the V12 Speedster hides the familiar twin-turbo, 5.2-liter V-12 engine under the hood.

Already available in the DBS Superleggera and the DB11, this mill cranks out 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of twist.

Is this the most powerful incarnation of Aston’s V-12? Sadly, it isn’t. The Speedster is less powerful than the DBS Superleggera, which comes with 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Sure, 25 horses isn’t a big deal, but for some strange reason the Speedster falls behind the DBS by a whopping 109 pound-feet.

On the other hand, the V12 Speedster generates an extra 90 horsepower and 39 pound-feet of torque compared to the DB11 V12, powered by the same engine.The mill mates to the ZF eight-speed automatic that Aston Martin uses in every vehicle it produces right now. However, the gearbox was revised to handle the specific tune of the Speedster’s engine. It also mates to a limited-slip rear differential.

How Fast is the Aston Martin V12 Speedster?

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Exterior
- image 890292
Transparent flying buttresses

The V12 Speedster can hit 62 mph from a standing start in 3.5 seconds. That’s pretty quick for a modern roadster, but the Speedster isn’t the most powerful Aston Martin available, which is a bit disappointing. This title goes to the DBS Superleggera, which hits 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the speedster. The Vantage Roadster, which features a V-8 rated at 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet, is only two tenths slower at 3.7 seconds.

The V12 Speedster tops out at 186 mph, an impressive benchmark for a vehicle with no roof and windshield, both of which impact aerodynamics dramatically. Not surprisingly, it’s a bit slower than the Vantage, rated at 195 mph, and the DBS Superleggera, rated at 211 mph.

Does the Aston Martin V12 Speedster Have Special Suspension?

The suspension layout is similar to other Aston Martin models, so it includes an independent double wishbone setup in the front and a multi-link layout with coil springs in the rear. But the V12 Speedster comes with adaptive dampers as standard, which can be set up using the Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. Stopping power is also superior to other models in the lineup thanks to standard carbon-ceramic discs. These measure 16.1 inches in the front and 14.2 inches in the rear.

How Much Does the Aston Martin V12 Speedster Cost?

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Interior
- image 890290
Race-spec seats

The V12 Speedster is limited to only 88 units, and as you might have already guessed, it’s quite expensive. Pricing starts from £765,000 including VAT, which converts to around $1 million as of March 2020. Deliveries for the roadster are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Are There Other Cars Like the Aston Martin V12 Speedster?

McLaren Elva

The New McLaren Elva Is Faster Than the Senna, Lighter Than Any Other Modern Road-Going McLaren Exterior
- image 871053

Although it might seem like a tight niche, there are a couple if speedsters available out there. One of them is the McLaren Elva, which was also developed as a tribute to a race car from the 1960s. But unlike the V12 Speedster, the Elva isn’t based on an existing McLaren and it looks more like a race car rather than a more aggressive road car. But there are plenty of similarities, like the absence of a winscreen, the muscular haunches, and the flying buttresses behind the seats. The cabin is actually much simpler than the Speedster’s, with fewer premium maerials and devoid of many conventience features. It also doesn’t have a spine separating the driver and the passenger. Performance-wise, the Elva comes with a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine under the hood. The unit cranks out 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, notably more than the V12 Speedster. As a result, it’s also quicker, needing three seconds to hit 62 mph, while top speed is rated at more than 200 mph. Both the body and the chassis are made from carbon-fiber. Pricing for the Elva starts from $1.69 million, with production capped at 399 units.

Read our full review of the 2020 McLaren Elva

Ferrari Monza SP1/Ferrari Monza SP2

2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Exterior
- image 795882

The Monza SP1 and SP2 are a pair of limited-edition sports cars based on the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Just like the V12 Speedster and the Elva, they’re inspired by classic race cars — in this case the 750 Monza and 166 MM — and feature a similar design with no windscreen and flying buttresses behind the seats. The cars are very similar on the outside, but while the SP2 is a standard two-seater, the SP1 has just a driver’s seat, with the passenger section covered with a lid. That’s another feature taken from old-school race cars from the 1950s and 1960s. Both are powered by the naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 in the 812 Superfast, but upgraded to deliver 799 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. That’s 109 horsepower more than the Aston Martin. The Monza is obviously quicker, needing only three seconds to reach 62 mph from a standing start. Fewer than 500 are expected to be produced with prices exceeding $1.7 million a pop.

Read our full reviews of the Ferrari Monza SP1 and Ferrari Monza SP2

Conclusion

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster Exterior
- image 890293

The Aston Martin V12 Speedster is yet another example that proves the Britsh company has the ability to build exciting and unique limited-edition supercars. Sure, it has some shortcoming like being slower than the DBS and not very practical — it’s also a bit too similar to the Vantage — but it’s the kind of vehicle that enthusiasts will rush to buy. Despite the big price tag, all 88 units of the V12 Speedster will be sold out in no time. But as cool as this car is, if you have a choice, the McLaren Elva and the Ferrari Monza are better options. Not only they look closer to full-fledged race cars, but they’re also notably quicker and more powerful. They’re a bit more expensive though.

  • Leave it
    • The McLaren Elva is a better choice
    • Not very practical
    • Not as fast as it looks
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

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