The (claimed) 600 bhp 5.9 litre engine (later known to be about 580) featured in the V12 Vantage RS concept was especially developed by Prodrive. It benefited directly from race development and featured a dry sump lubrication system, tuned length exhaust manifolds, forged pistons and steel con-rods, revised lift and duration camshafts and modified cylinder heads. Peak power of 580 bhp was achieved at 6250 rpm and peak torque of 690 Nm at 5000 rpm.
In addition to the engine, V12 Vantage RS was comprehensively re-engineered to cope with such a huge power output and extreme performance. Weight saving was been a priority and the 1600 kg RS was almost the same as the V8 giving a phenomenal power to weight ratio of 375 bhp per tonne. Both the heavily vented bonnet and boot lid were, like the DBS, made from carbon fibre which was also found in great quantity all around the car both inside and out. For the first time on an Aston, there was a supposed deployable spoiler that rose automatically at high speeds to increase rear down force. In fact, we now know that this was totally non functional. Also, as with the DBS, the RS had motor sport-inspired carbon ceramic brake discs.
Quoting Dr Bez from his speech at the launch “We will listen with interest to feedback on this concept and, as ever, if there is sufficient demand then we will seriously consider a low volume production run in the near future with a price that will reflect the exclusivity of the car.” The RS was claimed to reach 200 mph and 0-60 in 4 seconds making it the (equal) fastest road going AM of all time. If you are to believe all that you read on the AMOC forum, within a day of announcement, there had been a monumental and unprecedented surge of interest at dealers worldwide. AM were looking into two possible options for the production car, either a very stripped out track-day special or something significantly more civilised. The outcome of this decision was seen at the Geneva Salon 2009 – the more civilised V12 Vantage won the day. The stripped out version, as previewed by the RS didn’t actually appear until the Vantage GT12 in 2015.
During Autumn 2009 and through to Summer 2010, the V12 Vantage RS Concept was on display at the BMIHT Museum, Gaydon. By that time, the wheels have been replaced by those fitted to the sports pack V8 Vantage and the dummy pop-up spoiler has been removed. More recently, AML have sold off the car and it is now part of a private collection and has been re-united with the original wheels.