Earlier this year, Aston Martin released a bunch of images showing an early Valkyrie prototype undergoing on-road testing. It served as a handy reminder that the mad, 1000bhp+ hypercar is indeed road legal, and now, Aston has done the same with its V12 Speedster.
Again, it’s a worthwhile effort - just like the Valkyrie, this roofless, £765,000 creation is rather visually arresting when pictured on a country road in the British midlands. Even with a matte finish, it sticks out.
What you’re looking at here is the first V12 Speedster prototype, piloted by a test driver - rather sensibly - wearing a helmet. Given the aviation influence in the Speedster’s design, we’d have preferred goggles, but we’ll let that one slide.
Although it bears some visual similarities with the DBS Superleggera, it isn’t merely an open cockpit version of Aston’s super GT. Instead, it sits on a bespoke platform derived from both the DBS and the Vantage.
It’s powered by the Superleggera’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, although it’s slightly less potent here, producing 690bhp and 555lb ft. Still, whether this is driven with a helmet or without (for the full face-rearranging experience), that output will no doubt feel more than sufficient.
There has been a glut of these kinds of cars emerging recently, but Aston’s is set to be the most exclusive. Only 88 V12 Speedsters will be built, compared to 149 examples of the McLaren Elva (cut down from 249, originally 399) and 499 combined for the Ferrari SP1 and SP2.
Lamborghini recently teased its own entry to the open cockpit hypercar niche, although it’s not clear if that car will go into production.