A more powerful Aston Martin Vantage is in the works.
A test mule wearing a vented bonnet, bigger front grille, and a chunky double exhaust has been snapped testing, suggesting the V12 Vantage is coming back.
Aston Martin has slotted a V12 engine into the Vantage body with its limited-run Speedster, so we know it’s technically possible, but the brand has always stopped short of confirming it’ll be a production reality.
Suggesting this is a V12 are the bonnet vents, which follow a boomerang pattern like those of the last V12 Vantage, and the fact we know Aston has the engine in its stable already.
In the DB11 AMR, the V12 engine makes 470kW of power and 700Nm of torque, while the special-edition Vantage Speedster ups that to 522kW and 752kW.
Currently, the Vantage is powered by a AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 with 375kW and 700Nm.
However, some outlets are reporting this could be something different entirely.
With ex-AMG boss Tobias Moers now at the helm of Aston Martin, ties have already deepened between the British brand and what was previously its arms-length engine donor.
Rather than an Aston Martin V12, there’s speculation the hotter Vantage could use the flat-plane crank V8 from the AMG GT Black Series.
The engine would have a vastly different character to the V12, and makes 537kW and 800Nm.
Regardless of what’s under the bonnet, the Vantage spied here is much tougher looking than the regular model.
This mule has pumped-up guards and a gaping front grille, backed by a racy looking splitter down back.
It takes things up a notch compared to even the F1 Edition, rounded out by a set of wheels with vanishingly slim spokes.
We’re expecting the Vantage to get a mid-life spruce in 2022, so it’s possible these changes are part of Aston Martin’s plans for a Vantage that can better hold its ground against the Porsche 911 until its all-electric successor lobs in 2025.
MORE: Everything Aston Martin Vantage