Aston Martin has revealed more details of its new V12 Speedster, the open cockpit celebration of the British marques racing heritage. Buyers will have the option to chose a bespoke specification for the Speedster, which has been inspired by the historic DBR1.
Just 88 examples of the new Aston Martin V12 Speedster are being built and it pays homage to the heritage of the legendary DBR1, but also to the stunning CC100 which was unveiled in 2013 to mark Aston Martin’s century of sports car excellence.
The DBR1 is, to date, the most successful racing machine constructed by Aston Martin, having triumphed in the 1959 staging of both the 24 hours of Le Mans and the 1,000 km of Nürburgring, also winning the latter in 1957 and 1958.
After its debut in 1956 the DBR1 recorded a string of famous victories, including at the Spa Sportscar Race (1957, Tony Brooks); the Goodwood Tourist Trophy (1958, Sir Stirling Moss, Tony Brookes; 1959, Sir Stirling Moss, Carrol Shelby, Jack Fairman); and the 1000 Km at the Nurburgring (1959, Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman) in the same year as that famous Le Mans triumph which culminated in Aston Martin taking the World Sportscar Championship.
Although a car made for competitive racing, the DBR1 was also a precursor for some of the marque’s most well-known heritage ‘DB’ road cars. It was styled in-house by a highly talented designer, Frank Feeley, and, working alongside Chief Racing Designer Ted Cutting, represents what is unquestionably his ‘finest hour’ – indeed the shape of the DBR1 remains one of the most beautiful and graceful of all time.
At the car’s heart from 1958 onwards lay a 2,992 cc straight six engine mated to a David Brown five-speed gearbox. It was capable of powering this c. 800 kg sports car to an estimated top speed in excess of 150 mph.
Produced as a pure racing model – not directly derived from a road car – just five examples of DBR1 were built: four used to such commanding effect by the Aston Martin Works’ team, and a single car for private use. With such a rich and important history it’s no surprise, then, that Aston Martin has choosen to create a dedicated optional DBR1 specification for it’s new V12 Speedster.
Featuring cleverly integrated custom elements reminiscent of the Le Mans winning race car, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 specification offers highlights such as the iconic Aston Martin Racing Green paint finish, Clubsport White pinstripe and roundels, a Satin Silver anodised grille with Clubsport lipstick graphic, Conker saddle leather and Viridian Green technical textile/Caithness leather. All these features hint at the period attributes that made DBR1 the undisputed icon it remains today.
Unique Aston Martin Racing Green driver and passenger helmets sit under transparent ‘windows’, while solid silver ‘wings’ badges glint beneath transparent enamel. The finely judged application of gloss carbon fibre, Caithness Green leather and satin silver brushed aluminium switchgear in the V12 Speedster’s open cabin underline the tasteful homage to a true motoring great.
Satin black diamond turned 21-inch centre lock wheels are a feature of this specialist specification, which each Aston Martin V12 Speedster spending more than 50 hours in the painting process alone at the brand’s advanced paint facility.
Outlining the rationale behind this V12 Speedster tribute specification, Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman said: “Emotion and exclusivity are at the heart of this car. A rare and exceptional Aston Martin, It has been engineered to offer a visceral driving experience that belies its elegant, artistic shape.
“Creating a bespoke specification that nods to the glory of the DBR1 has been a huge privilege for my team and I, and I very much look forward to seeing these cars being driven with the same enthusiasm that we have applied to their design.”
At the new car’s heart lies a high-performance variant of Aston Martin’s now iconic, 5.2-litre V12 Twin-Turbo engine, capable of generating an output of around 700 PS and 753 Nm. Offering a compelling breadth of performance, superb response and thrilling V12 soundtrack, the engine is mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission mounted towards the rear of the car.
This translates into a 0-62 mph time in the order of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph – no mean feat in a car devoid of roof or windscreen.
Orders are now being taken for the DBR1 custom V12 Speedsters, each being hand built at the company’s Gaydon headquarters, with deliveries expected to begin in mid 2021.