Aston Martin has squeezed the 6.0-litre V12 engine of its DBR9S racer into the body of a Vantage and come up with the RS, a 600bhp concept car that covers 0-62mph in four seconds. The word from Aston is that this car will make it onto production if there is sufficient demand.
Concept it may be, but Aston has taken the RS idea very seriously and stripped out as much weight as possible from the car. The bonnet and boot are now made of carbon fibre, while sound proofing has been pared back to the bare minimum. The result is the RS tipping the scales at a fraction more than 1,500kg, which is considerably less than the V8 Vantage, even though the V8 is a smaller, lighter engine.
Aston's engineers have positioned the V12 engine as far back in the car as possible, giving the RS near-perfect weight distribution. Other racing car influences include the carbon ceramic brakes, carbon-fibre front splitter to give better aerodynamics and stability at high speed, and a pop-up rear spoiler. There are also extra cooling vents in the bonnet to cope with the heat generated by the V12 engine.
Aston maintains that the RS is only a concept at the moment, but Aston boss Dr Ulrich Bez says the RS would be expensive as it would be a limited production model "if it were to go ahead".
Aston unveiled the Vantage RS as it showed of its new design centre at Gaydon and also took the chance to confirm that James Bond will be driving a DBS in the 22nd film in the Bond series. The film is due for release in November 2008 and Dr Bez says: "We are all very excited at the prospect of seeing the DBS on the big screen again."