On 11 December 2007, as part of Aston Martin’s opening of their own design studio, the company unveiled a concept car based on the V8 Vantage. The car, known as the V12 Vantage RS, featured the AM11 V12 engine from the DBS and produced 510 bhp (380 kW; 517 PS) and 570 N⋅m (420 lb⋅ft) of torque. The power along with the kerb weight of 1,680 kg (3,704 lb) allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h).
Other additions include a new rear diffuser, a retractable rear-wing which can be raised or lowered and carbon-ceramic brakes. The boot-lid and vented bonnet are also made from carbon-fibre to help decrease the car’s weight. In early 2008, Aston Martin’s CEO confirmed production of the V12 Vantage RS for mid-2009.
Development prototypes of the V12 Vantage RS appeared in April 2008, before Aston Martin unveiled the production version simply called the V12 Vantage in 2009.
On the finale of the 13th series of Top Gear, presenter Jeremy Clarkson drove the car simply saying that “It’s wonderful, wonderful, wonderful”.
The V12 Vantage was confirmed for the United States market. The then CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez personally confirmed that USA homologation is underway. This was in response to the decision of expanding the production run beyond 1,000 units. According to the automaker, some subtle changes were necessary to the structure of the car in order for it to meet North and South American regulations. In addition to these enhancements, the company also announced that it would be adding a new Carbon Black version of the V12 Vantage exclusively for the American market.
On 24 August 2011, Aston Martin announced that they were developing a GT3 version of the V12 Vantage, to replace the Aston Martin DBRS9. The race car was expected to be delivered by early 2012.
Aston Martin unveiled a convertible version called the V12 Vantage Roadster in 2013. With a kerb weight of 1,760 kg (3,880 lb) the Roadster weighs 80 kg (176 lb) more due to chassis stiffening modifications, and because of the additional weight the Roadster accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, but retains the coupé’s top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h).
On 28 May 2013, Aston Martin announced the V12 Vantage S – a sportier version of the V12 Vantage that preceded it.
The V12 Vantage S produces 565 bhp (421 kW; 573 PS) at 6,750 rpm and 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft) at 5,750 rpm of torque from a revised 5,935 cc (5.9 L; 362.2 cu in) V12 engine called the AM28, which would be used as a base for future engines. The power is transferred to the rear wheels using a new 7-speed Sportshift III automated manual transmission, which weighs 25 kg (55 lb) less than the Sportshift II, with no option for a manual transmission.
With a total kerb weight of 1,665 kg (3,671 lb), the V12 Vantage S is lighter than the standard V12 Vantage and features new three-stage adaptive damping for the suspension system, new carbon-ceramic brakes, and a unique track-mode for improved track performance for the drivers who want to take their car to the track.
The V12 Vantage S is claimed to be able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), making it the fastest production Aston Martin at the time alongside the One-77.
The exhaust on the V12 Vantage S was developed from the company’s own One-77. Styling and aerodynamic changes include a carbon fibre front grille, black roof and rear grille, lightweight forged alloy wheels, and new finishes on the interior seats, doors and controls.
Aston Martin also launched a convertible version in 2014 called the V12 Vantage S Roadster. With a kerb weight of 1,745 kg (3,847 lb) the Roadster is 80 kg (176 lb) heavier than the coupé. Due to the added weight the Roadster accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.1 seconds before reaching a top speed of 201 mph (323 km/h).
In April 2016, the V12 Vantage S was announced to be produced with a 7-speed dog-leg manual transmission, unusual for its day and age. The shift pattern was engraved on the door sill. Only 100 were produced for the United States.