Known for its modified Land Rovers and other prestige models, Kahn Design recently transitioned to the world of coachbuilt cars with its new range of Flying Huntsman models based on Land Rover Defender underpinnings. Now the British firm has something in the works for performance fans: a new grand tourer called the WB12 Vengeance.
The WB in the car’s name stands for “Wide Body” while the 12 represents the number of cylinders sitting under the hood. The engine is the 6.0-liter V-12 fitted to the current Aston Martin DB9, which the WB12 Vengeance is clearly based on.
Full details are yet to be released but according to Kahn Design CEO and founder Afzal Kahn, all the mechanical parts of the DB9 have been left untouched, which means peak output should remain capped at 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque.
“I’ve kept every aspect of the underlying car from the crash structures to airbags—mechanically it’s unaltered,” he said in a statement. “This is coachbuilding in its traditional sense; taking a tried and tested product and working solely on the aesthetic.”
In a radical departure from contemporary design conventions, the Vengeance favors volume and flowing curves over angular surfaces. The most arresting features are the widened rear fenders, emphasized by lines projected from the signature Aston hood, through the roof and along the length of the car. The visual mass of the rear is augmented by the staggered wheels, with an interesting combination of 16-spoke, 20-inch wheels up front and 18-spoke, 21-inch wheels at the rear.
Kahn has previously said the car’s styling has been influenced by the original Vanquish and offers the brutal look he considers the regular Aston Martin lineup to be lacking. The styling is also meant to invoke a sabretooth on the prowl.
The WB12 Vengeance has been in development for close to six years, and the body, made from lightweight aluminum, was crafted using traditional hammer-formed methods. Inside, the virtually useless 2+2 seating of the stock DB9 is said to have been replaced by just two seats, no doubt lined in Kahn's plush quilted leather.
Availability and pricing details are yet to be announced but we know production is due to start later this year. Numbers will be limited, with Kahn hinting that just 20 examples will be built. Each will be built by hand by Kahn’s chosen team of craftsmen and automotive experts, and each will carry an engraved plaque in the trunk bearing the names of every person who worked on the car.
The good news is that Aston Martin won't be quashing this project like it did with another coachbuilt version of its car, the Thunderbolt, by former Aston designer Henrik Fisker, as Kahn's latest creation has the full endorsement of the British sports car marque.