Old school, gentleman’s sports cars like the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S are becoming increasingly-rare birds.
This certainly isn’t surprising, as it’s rather a dated automotive formula; a big, thumping engine inside a gorgeously ordained hand-built coach is by necessity a recipe with a selective market. It goes without saying that everyone would buy one if they could, but the labor cost alone is more than most can afford.
Of course, there is some question of whether we’ll actually lose something if and when this formula all but disappears. To take a stab at answering this, Autocar has pitted the exquisite Aston Martin V12 Vantage S roadster against one of its peers: a Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet.
The merits of the Porsche 911 Turbo S cab go without saying; it’s fast, with a hefty amount of clinical precision and technical engineering. The dual-clutch PDK transmission makes the conventional automatic of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S look like a joke. But for all its advanced features, it doesn’t have the heart or character – nor the glamorous relationship with the James Bond franchise – that the Aston Martin has.
This is not to say that the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is by any means watered-down; it’s the leanest form of the most aggressive car in Aston’s lineup, and Aston has sort of a history in the realm of motorsports. But is that enough to enable it to conquer the Porsche 911 Turbo S in a side-by-side comparison?
You’ll have to watch to find out.