Next year Aston Martin celebrates its centenary and to mark the milestone the automaker will be launching a new model, one that’s both forward looking yet still hints at the past.

That new model has been spied testing in prototype form for over a year and is now just a few months away from its official reveal.

An almost undisguised prototype was spotted recently testing at the Nürburgring and on some of the German race track’s surrounding roads, and we’ve managed to get our hands on some footage shown here in our exclusive spy video.

Aston Martin’s new model, which will serve as the marque’s flagship now that the One-77 supercar is officially sold out and sales of the DBS are wrapping up, has been one of the worst kept secrets of the year.  

A concept version dubbed the AM 310 was quietly rolled out at the recent 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy, and then a completed car bearing the “Vanquish” name on its trunk was spotted just outside Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England.

Aston Martin's AM 310 concept

Aston Martin's AM 310 concept

The decision to call it a Vanquish is fitting considering the new car is being launched as part of Aston Martin’s centenary celebrations, though at the same time it is also thoroughly modern, featuring the aggressive new look that will appear on the automaker’s future models--just like the previous Vanquish.

These include a number of elements borrowed from the One-77 supercar. The side profile gains a new character line, and there appears to be more deeply recessed depressions in the door panel, slightly sharper creases over the rear fenders, and new side skirts to match the lower, more aggressive front spoiler and rear trunk lid lip. The rear end looks to be a bit wider and taller than the current DBS and more closely resembles the design on the One-77. It also gets the limited-edition supercar’s boomerang style tail lights as well as a unique spoiler integrated into the rear deck.

While the outside gets some changes, Aston Martin is still relying on its capable, though aging, VH platform underneath. Powertrain upgrades are still unknown, though there's a good chance Aston will simply continue with its current 6.0-liter V-12 engine uprated to somewhere around the 550-horsepower mark.

2010 Aston Martin One-77

2010 Aston Martin One-77

If so, that would amount to a 40-horsepower gain over the DBS’ output. Rather than tackle its competition with outright power, Aston Martin will be focusing on lightweight construction for its new Vanquish.

Using techniques learned from the construction of the carbon fiber-infused One-77, the car could potentially get under the 3,300-pound mark, making it around 10 percent lighter than the DBS.

Stay tuned for the car’s official world debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.