Enticed by the Rapide and the One-77, but looking for something with more bite than the sedan and less bank-robbing-to-pay-the-note than the supercar? Aston has your answer, finally available in the U.S.: the V12 Vantage. Officially announced for sale in the Americas today, the V12 Vantage will first launch in the form of the Carbon Black special edition later this year.
The Carbon Black V12 Vantage starts with the standard car's 510-horsepower, 420 pount-feet of torque, 6.0-liter V-12 engine to deliver the usual 190-mph top speed and 4.2-second 0-60 mph times. But then it gets its namesake black paint color, carbon fiber mesh-backed side strakes, 10-spoke alloy wheels, a bright-finish grille and front parking sensors. For the full details on the Carbon Black, check out our preview here.
So why the sudden change in direction after months of having no plans for U.S. sale? Demand, plain and simple. Early expectations for American buyers were low, but the noise made by people with cash in hand convinced Aston to make the leap into studying feasibility of homologating the car for the U.S. The study has led to a "series of engineering refinements" to "satisfy the specific requirements of the American market," likely meaning slightly revised engine tuning and catalytic converter units, and possibly modifications to the crash structures of the car. No specific details on the changes are out yet, but we'll find out what's new and get you the info as soon as we can.
Orders are open now, with deliveries coming some time during the fourth quarter of 2010. Pricing will be confirmed in the next few weeks.