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15.11.2015
The Aston Martin Vantage GT12 is the result of “a growing frustration at seeing other brands’ GT3 cars so well represented at track days”. This, then, is the most hardcore, track-focused variant of the Aston Martin Vantage, which, in V12 S form, is already hardly a shabby track car in itself. The GT12 – which was to be called GT3 until Porsche became unnecessarily uppity about the name – takes the V12 S as a base and makes it even more extreme.
The changes run pretty deep to justify that cost, though, and they’re inspired by Aston’s own GT3 race cars. Do so and you’re looking at a car that is an impressive 100kg lighter than standard, at 1565kg at the kerb. It, along with a new splitter and rear diffuser, makes sufficient downforce that the top speed drops from the 205mph of the V12 Vantage S to 185mph. What isn’t carbonfibre is Alcantara, both of which I rather like, and even though it might seem a bit incongruous to retain the stereo and satellite navigation, we must remember that this is a track car, not a racing car. So too, likely as not, is the single-clutch, seven-speed robotised manual gearbox, which, although having a new torque tube and being recalibrated for faster shifts, could prove to be less sophisticated than the best dual-clutch automatics. Leave both settings in their easy modes and the GT12 retains much of the charm that makes the V12 S so special. What it’s like when it gets to a blistering race track is a verdict that will have to wait for another day, but on good UK roads – by which I mean, generally, quite bad roads – it’s an extremely well-sorted car.
The ride in Normal gives sufficient body control for sensible driving, but flicking through to Sport adds a spot of extra composure.
Trail the exceptional brakes into a corner and the nose stays firmly planted, and there’s fine mid-corner balance. Disable the electronics and it feels like there’s abundant opportunity to light up the rear tyres (something we’ll explore more on track later, rather than on the road in the middle of Warwickshire), but the throttle response and the noise, should you want, are truly spectacular.
The short of it is that the steering tells you precisely what you want to know, and very little that you don’t want to hear, about what’s going on with the front wheels.
Grand touring version of McLaren's mightily impressive 570S Sports Series model lives up to high expectations on UK roads.
Tonight Autocar will reveal the winners of three ground-breaking new awards designed to honour the highest-achieving individuals in the automotive sphere and the industry’s finest contemporary products and processes. The first of the new awards is the Issigonis Trophy, which invokes the name of the legendary car designer Sir Alec Issigonis and will go to the individual who has contributed most to the health, excellence and world competitiveness of the UK motor industry. The Sturmey Award is named after Autocar's founding editor, Henry Sturmey, and will recognise innovation and achievement. Finally, to mark the fact that Autocar’s road test process is far more thorough than any competitor’s, manufacturers whose cars achieve a five-star road test verdict will in future receive a trophy commemorating the fact.
Autocar brand editor Chas Hallett said: “The aim of Autocar Stars is to celebrate the current and future success of the British car industry. The awards will be presented at a new Autocar Stars event held at the Hurlingham Club in south west London this evening. Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week.
The exterior body features a modern and robust look, with body side moldings, a flexible roof mounted aerial, and some 16 inch steel wheels. This entry was posted in Van Leasing Deals and tagged Chassis Cab, van leasing, Vauxhall, Vauxhall Movano. It’s called F12tdf to reference the old Tour de France road race, which Ferraris won quite a few times, but only ‘F12tdf’ in name and not actually ‘F12 Tour de France’. Anyway, the F12tdf it is, and it gets lots more power than an F12, and, thankfully, plenty of other modifications to go with it. Ferrari suggests the 799 tdfs that will roll away from Maranello will be just as extreme, providing a front-engined Ferrari V12 with hitherto unmatched levels of agility. Another method is to reduce weight, so the F12tdf is 110kg lighter than the F12, thanks to the removal of much of the interior (Alcantara and carbonfibre replaces leather and aluminium), and the replacement of much of the aluminium bits on the outside with carbonfibre.
But the easiest way to introduce agility to a car is simply to fit it with massive front tyres.
Hilarious but perilously unstable is the short of it, which meant Ferrari couldn’t just leave it like that. And where a modern fighter uses electronic control systems to make it flyable, Ferrari uses active rear steering to make the F12tdf driveable again.


The ZF rear steer system, which weighs around 5kg, can add up to a degree of toe in or out thanks to electromechanical actuators acting on a toe link, and almost always turns in the same direction as the fronts (except at manoeuvring speeds), is used to put stability back in.
In effect, that lengthens rather than shortens the wheelbase again, but semantics aside, the aerospace analogy isn’t unfounded. The aerodynamics are improved – the car’s a little longer as a result, while the rear track is wider because of the active toe changes.
The price, if you’ve been invited to buy an F12tdf – and you’ll own at least five other Ferraris and be known by the company ‘very well’ if you have – ?339,000.
Ferrari admits that its special V12 models aren’t simple to jump into and drive quickly – they’re not like the standard mid-engined V8s – and the F12tdf takes some learning before you feel completely comfortable with it on a circuit. The F12tdf retains the F12’s two-turn lock-to-lock steering rack, but because of the wider front tyres and stiffer suspension, it feels more connected and responsive than a regular F12. At the top end of the rev range the response is on occasion too sharp – even Ferrari’s test drivers think as much – but such is the significance of the 'tdf' name and the programme that the engineers and marketers want the F12tdf to feel like there’s some racing car in it. It’s on a circuit, though, nearer the car’s limits, where the idiosyncrasies of the F12tdf’s handling, and the response of the engine, come further into consideration. With more familiarity, you learn to anticipate the F12tdf’s characteristics, drive with lighter, more fingertippy touches and smaller inputs, and then it becomes a deeply rewarding thing. And I’d want more than the few laps we were allowed to know whether it was more rewarding than a thoroughly well-sorted and conventionally set-up car. Besides, thinking about it, I wonder: would I have an F12tdf over a Lamborghini Aventador SV, a car we like deeply? First made available in 1970, Plum Crazy’s one of the more infamous Dodge muscle car colours. This isn’t the first time Dodge has resurrected the shade, initially bringing it back into brochures for the Charger in 2007 and the Challenger in 2010 alongside various other ‘heritage’ colours. Neither the Dodge Challenger nor the Charger are sold officially in the UK, though more than a few imported cars have made it to these shores. These are the latest pictures of next year’s Range Rover Sport SVR testing at the Nurburgring. The car looks to have received minor exterior detail changes comprised of slightly enlarged intake vents, suggesting a more potent engine is under the bonnet.
This supports speculation that the 567bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine of the 200mph F-Type SVR will be used, increasing the SVR’s peak output by 25bhp compared with the current model. Land Rover has so far remained tight-lipped about the car, but insiders are suggesting that its updated model could arrive in early 2017 along with the rest of the facelifted Sport range, one year before the next-generation Cayenne is launched. No hybrid then?,give it the Tesla treatment maybe?,would certainly overcome the weight problem. First and foremost, if you can't give an opinion an unbiased opinion,then don't,secondly,i thought this type of reply had been understood as not acceptable. If you think that Autocar is biased and yourself a model of objectivity why don't you read something else where you will feel more comfortable ? I'm wondering if JLR will stay long term with supercharges for the character or be forced the turbo root at some point.
It’s so unshabby, in fact, that we placed it in the top three in our Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest two years ago.Matt PriorRoad test editorThe throttle response and the noise, should you want, are truly spectacular.
Think of it as Aston Martin’s answer to a Ferrari 458 Speciale, only it’s yet more exclusive and yet more expensive.
The body alone is 20kg lighter, which isn’t bad going given that it now includes a wing the size of a picnic table on the bootlid. No complaints from us; there’s barely a circuit in the world where you’d hit more than that in a road car anyway.
Substitute leather and foam, and whatever they cover, with a single layer of carbonfibre and you have the makings of a cabin that feels the part – especially when it’s finished this impeccably. It’s the sort of car best started away from neighbouring bedrooms very early in the morning; the noise, unadulterated by turbochargers, is pure and aggressive. There are three-stage adjustable dampers, which go from Normal, through Sport and to Track. By no means is it a cosseting GT car like a DB9 – there’s too much road noise for that – but the underlying firmness never degrades into discomfort, while the steering is smooth, positive and, for the most part, uncorrupted by cambers or surface imperfections. Track mode is too firm for British roads, but the variations between modes aren’t miles apart, and that’s exactly as it should be.


Despite having a large-capacity V12 up front, the GT12 doesn’t feel particularly nose-heavy. On the way out of a bend, it’s the traction control, rather than the throttle, that dictates how quickly you’ll enter the next straight. This is a high point of the V12 Vantage S – superior in weight, feel and speed to, say, a Ferrari F12’s rack – and it absolutely remains that way here.
It’s raucous and loud when you want it to be yet acceptable company when you don’t, while at all times it’s honest. And by celebrating the British car industry we are, of course, recognising global achievements and world-class design, engineering and manufacturing, which has been a hallmark of all of our success in the past decade.
It really doesn’t feel like it needs more nor, at least without significant modification, should it be given it. Ferrari’s special 12-cylinder car programme has in the past provided us with the 599 GTO, of which 599 were made.
There are several ways you can make a car feel more agile, and Ferrari has done all of them. At the start of the development process, Ferrari did just that - fitting 315-section F12 rear wheels to the front, and then even slick tyres to the front, to see what the result was like. And here its marketing men rather like to use an aerospace analogy: in the same way that a modern fighter jet is designed to be inherently unstable so that it’s incredibly agile, so too was the F12tdf. They call the system a ‘virtual short wheelbase’, or ‘passo corto virtuale’ to be precise, although it’s not strictly accurate in either language; it’s the wider front tyres, 285 section rather than 255s, that increase the agility and make the car feel like it’s shorter. Gear ratios are 5-6% shorter, enough to reduce the 0-62mph time to 2.9sec, and spring rates are stiffer, by 20% – a difference you’ll feel ‘within a metre’.
Yes, you do notice the firmness of the ride and the fact that if you flick the dampers to ‘bumpy road’ mode there’s seemingly less of a difference than in a standard Ferrari.
Quite a few racing drivers would be delighted to find their race cars had a powertrain as strong and responsive as this. You have to settle the nose on approach to a bend, probably trail the brakes slightly to reduce understeer, which in turn can unsettle the rear, and then you drive through nicely under power, applying just the amount you want in order to adjust the attitude of the car. Partly that’s because there’s not really any understeer to drive around in the first place. The cabin, the noise, the performance, the responses right up to the limit are all exceptional. It’s being made available for a limited run of 2016 model year Dodge Challenger and Dodge Chargers, with production beginning in November 2015.
It’s built up something of a following among American muscle aficionados, cars with original Plum Crazy paintwork becoming particularly sought after by collectors.
The Plum Crazy paint will also be made available for the wild 700bhp SRT Hellcat versions of both cars, with the four-door Charger Hellcat claimed to be the world’s fastest saloon car. They'll have to invent a new category above the current Sports SUV top 5 for this baby, since no. This is the lowest, widest Vantage ever, then, some 50mm wider than standard and fitted with lightweight carbonfibre bumpers, front wings, bonnet and, optionally, roof. Separately, there’s a Sport mode for the powertrain that sharpens the throttle and gearshifts and makes more noise, more often.
These are settings that feel honed by drivers and engineers who haven’t been told to make exaggerated differences between modes just so customers can feel them more easily. Yes, it feels less agile than, say, a 458 Speciale or a 911 GT3, but given where the engine is and the size of it, that’s no surprise whatsoever.
It gives the sort of feedback for which I’d rightly be laughed out of the office for calling something such as ‘granular’, but it is supremely informative and natural in feel. It’s unusual these days to find an automated gearbox that responds more smoothly if you lift the throttle mid-shift. But here we are: the Ferrari F12tdf, a special version of the F12, limited in production but unlimited in ambition. It’s better if you’re flat out, which, on the road, you rarely will be. Still, it genuinely doesn’t seem to matter that much in a car such as this.



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