Aston Martin is creating a run of 14 V12 Vantage V600s that are influenced by the original 1999 V600 Le Mans, which was the world’s most powerful car in production at the time.
Produced in seven coupé and seven convertible examples by Aston's Q commission department, the new cars are based on the previous-generation VH-based Vantage and use a 592bhp version of Aston’s naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12. The first car was commissioned by a single buyer, who then agreed to let Aston build a small run for the model.
Aston chief creative officer Marek Reichman said: “This is precisely why we created our ‘Q by Aston Martin - Commission’ service. Our customers can create truly bespoke sports cars by personally collaborating with myself and Aston Martin’s design team.”
The new Vantage V600’s body has been made using carbon fibre and features new side, strakes and a bulging bonnet — all are nods to the original V600. There’s also a darkened front grille to mimic a feature from the 1999 model, while the trend continues inside with lightweight seats and a carbon fibre centre console.
Each vehicle from the 2018 run comes with a seven-speed manual gearbox to make the car, according to Aston, “the ultimate analogue Vantage”. No performance figures have been provided, but the discontinued V12 version of the last Vantage was good for a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec and a top speed of 205mph.
An Aston spokesman told Autocar UK that prices will vary due to the customisation on offer, so the price is only being discussed on application. Expect a very hefty increase on the old V12 Vantage's £138,000 (Rs 1.2 crore) starting price, though.
Fittingly, the 2018 Vantage V600 almost shares identical claimed straight-line performance figures to its spiritual forebear. That car used a 600bhp twin-supercharged V8 engine and was said to be good for 60mph in 3.9sec and a 200mph top speed. Based on the Virage, the 1999 car was produced to celebrate 40 years since Aston’s 1959 outright win at Le Mans.
While its output fell short of the world's fastest ever supercars, such as the 627bhp McLaren F1, even back in 1999, the V600 Le Mans was the most potent car in production (the final F1 was built in 1998) at the time. A run of 40 V600s were produced before the close of the 20th century.