Affluent car buyers ordering bespoke creations is not a new phenomenon. But the practice has scaled new heights of late with many wealthy customers forcing carmakers stretch the limits of how much they’d oblige in a customization programme. The recently revealed, massive 6.36-metre-long Audi A8 L Extended and the 458 MM Speciale are examples of such one-off projects where carmakers have gone that extra mile to accommodate customisaton requests. The latest in this flurry of one-offs is a convertible version of the Aston Martin GT12. The GT12 being the the most, track-focused variant in the Vantage range, Aston Martin isn’t bluffing when it says this is the most extreme roadster it has ever produced.
While chopping the roof off and meddling with chassis dynamics in such an extreme car would prove an unwise move, Aston Martin’s Q division had no choice but to do it when a high profile customer commissioned it. Moreover, Gaydon sees such one-offs as an opportunity to showcase the abilities of the craftsmen and engineers at Q. “The Vantage GT12 Roadster is a hugely exciting project. Not just because it’s sensational to look at, but because it vividly demonstrates the expanded capabilities of Q by Aston Martin,” says Aston head honcho Dr Andy Palmer.
The custom-built roadster shares all of its mechanical bits with the GT12 coupé, with the additional thrill of open-top motoring. This means it uses the same 5.9-litre V12 as the fixed roof GT12 that makes 592bhp, which is 27 horses more than the Vantage S’s 565bhp. The seven-speed paddleshift gearbox is also the same as the GT12 coupé’s, hurtling the roadster from 0-100kph in 3.7 seconds, which is two-tenths of a second slower than the coupé’s.
No price has been announced, but it’s not hard to imagine that the customer who commissioned it would have paid significantly more than the coupe’s £250,000 (Dh1.2 million) price tag. So, now if you don’t like what you see at your local Aston Martin dealership, you know what to do.