This month, another displaced Geneva Auto Show debutante emerged shyly from the virtual margins of the industry: the Aston Martin V12 Speedster. If you look closely, you may notice a certain fundamental automotive accessory is missing on the limited-production model.
You may also notice that the Speedster is remarkably beautiful, both as a contemporary collectible and as a historical referent for the heyday of competitive driving. Other windshield-less models have come along in the past few years; McLaren’s Ultimate Series model, the Elva, springs to mind.
Like the Elva, the Speedster boasts dramatic cowlings for its two seats. Both are contemporary supercar homages to the era when windshields were liabilities on cars designed for competitive driving.
But the V12 Speedster is also Aston’s prototypical future anachronism, a hint of an era to come when the 12-cylinder engine is an unfamiliar sight and sound; that day is well on the way, when one considers that the fundamental drivetrain transition to emerge in this decade might be EV to hydrogen, not ICE to EV.
Right now, though, the Aston Speedster is a sports-driver’s wet dream, a 5.2L V12-driven beauty with 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, enough to take it to 186 MPH. If you take a million dollars down to your local Aston Martin dealership, they might sell you one of the 88 examples that are slated for production. Or, to be precise, $950,000.