Vantage V12 Tuning

"Gaining the unfair adVantage"

V12 Vantage Tuning

Aston Martin have turned out another stunning car in the form of the Vantage.

The question is how can Vantage tuning improve the standard car.

We know there is a question of "why in the world would you want to be tuning a v12 Vantage".

We should note that this car was originally tested at 600bhp and then power was lowered to 510bhp for reasons of sensibleness and economy! The chassis is easily able to cope with more, power so it almost seems rude not to try and improve the Vantange.

It would be very nice to see if it is possible to sensibly make the car hit 0-60 in sub 4 seconds vs. the 4.1 claimed.

When you spend this much money on a car you do don't want to ruin it or break the engine. It is also worth noting that there is very little room under the bonnet, since they have shoe-horned the V12 into it, and it is a very tight fit.

We have heard of companies offering a supercharger kit for the V8 Vantage which takes it from circa 380bhp to a claimed 500bhp. It's costly though, and they don't offer much of a guarantee surely the power gains on the V12 will be even better.

Just in case your V12 Vantage isn't powerful enough for you there are plenty of tuning options open to you.

One thing about the Vantage V12 is that Aston have really paid attention to the handling abilities of this car. It is not uncommon to hear that a supercar with massively powerful engine can't put the power down on to the ground, and the traction control is not up to handling the power.

Interestingly, when one of our members was at Aston Martin he was told by one of the their more knowledgeable engineers, "that when they were first testing this car all the test drivers were coming out of the test drive shaking their heads saying that the car was crazy quick and there was way too much power for the average driver. They then decided to measure the bhp the car was producing and found it was putting out close to a 1000. They couldn't figure out what was going on until they discovered the V12 they had put in the car was not the production engine, but was one out of one of the race cars. It just goes to show at heart the guys that do this are just boys at heart!!"

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This shows really what a great chassis and suspension setup the V12 Vantage has.

So what we really need are some simple mods to make the most of the car and extract a little more power.

First up TorqueCars would say drive it round for a while in it's standard form and then when you get the mods done it will feel like a new car all over again. Wait 6 months or so before modding the car, plan your mods carefully and do your research.

We would recommend a sports exhaust to replace the standard one with custom headers. Also adding a performance catalyst can add another 15-25bhp to these engines alone.

Next up get a tune/remap done. This will push up the power a bit more, depending on how aggressively you go you could approach a target power figure of 560bhp.

V12 Vantage Tuning

The retail price for a suitable exhaust will be in the region of £1500 ($2600) but when combined with a tune/remap you will fully start to realise the potential of these engines.

More complex mods include reboring the engine, bigger valves, gas flowed head, lightening balancing the engine and adding stronger parts.

A proper gas flowed and ported head will cost you the earth on a 48-valve head mind! This should also include some fast road cams. Camshafts with a longer duration and more lift will allow more air into the cylinder and give you more power.

The downside being you normally gain the power higher in the rev range (depending on the duration) and lose it further down. Due to this I'd recommend something mild if the car is used daily. As for where to buy and prices, no idea but again it won't be cheap. Your local cam specialist may offer a re-profile of your existing cams.

As for modifying the actual head the results depend on how good the head is in the first place, and how good the company carrying out the job is. Gas flowing is the only way to go really. Firstly the head will be tested on a machine to see how well it flows air in and out, and then after the work with the valves fitted and at various stages of opening.

The inlet and exhaust ports will then be smoothed and finished off, any excess material removed, matched to the manifolds, smoothing the edges of the valve seats, perhaps enlarging the valves etc etc. Basically the idea is to get air in and exhaust gas out more quickly. Add to that more fuel and you have more power.

Nitrous kits are relatively simple to plug in and give a big boost but somehow it just doesn't seem right to put nitrous on such an already perfect car.

To discuss all aspects of Aston Martin tuning and modifications join us in our forum where we have a dedicated supercar section.

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