I’ve driven a lot of cars in my life. I won’t go into what I’ve specifically driven, but it’s been a bit of everything, really. You see; I like to understand what drives people towards particular cars, and what motivates them to spend so much money on what is essentially an inanimate object that you sit in to get from A to B. Being a car lover myself, I understand that it’s not as simple as that, but when we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s getting pretty serious. I’ve heard countless say “Why buy that Lamborghini when you can do *insert mods here* to my *insert JDM import here*?”, which makes sense, but there’s saying it, and actually driving a supercar to truly understand why the premium coin is quite often justified.
Out of all the cars I’ve driven, only one has left me feeling like something’s missing in my life, and that’s the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. I don’t really know how I earned such trust, but I had the privilege of owning one for a few hours on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Fittingly enough; I made my way to a nearby winery to admire the Aston in its natural habitat. This would have to have been one of the finest afternoons of my life, and an experience I’m not to forget.
The philosophy behind the British supercar marque’s grand tourer was simple; pull the naturally-aspirated, 565bhp 6.0 V12 out of the DBS and squeeze it into the much smaller (and lighter) Vantage body. A naturally aspirated motor is a welcome change alongside the buffet of turbo and supercharged cars on the supercar market, and oh. my. god. THE SOUND. With a deep rumble on idle, a satisfying conversation of gargles and pops on overrun, and a cold-start to awaken the dead; it’s a symphony of automotive orgasms thrown in with a pack of (very) angry lions. Try and imagine that, and get back to me.
Sitting in the cockpit of this beast was unlike any other car I’ve ever driven. Everything was soft. The seats felt more like first class airline seats as opposed to the interior of a car, and even the tiniest details, down to every individual hand-stitched bolster, was exquisite. The piano black finishing throughout the interior in combination with the red stitching gave a sense of a high-end luxury car with the aggression of a high performance sports car (that pretty much sums up what this car is in all honesty).
It was had to grasp the concept that behind the plush, opulent, leather and alcantara-clad interior; there was this rumbling, gargling V12 powerhouse on the other side of the firewall. It was an unlikely romance of raw power and unrivaled beauty – Beauty and the Beast, anybody?
Let’s take it outside, now – stunning, right? This car is the definition of less means more. No excessive or dramatic bodywork – Aston Martin instead favoring smooth lines, an elegant roofline, rounded surfaces all round, and a rather subtle ducktail spoiler to finish it off. It really is an ode to Aston Martin’s heritage, and preserves the iconic grille grape and elegant design of generations gone by. The car’s paint is also coated with quite possibly one of the finest paint protection products on the market – Nova Pro. Six layers of it! It was applied by our friends at Partners in Grime, too (if you’re looking for paint protection of this standard, PiG will hook you up if you mention us).
The Vantage, unlike the DB9 (now DB11), features a shorter wheelbase in comparison, and weighs less, too. This serves not as a cosmetic choice, but a functional one. As goes with any sports car – the shorter wheelbase makes the car more agile through the corners, and makes for a very fun ride. The chassis balance has been regarded as exceptional by many, and I would have to whole-heartedly agree with them on this one.
Aston Martin like to pay attention to the small things. They always have, and (I hope) they always will. Things such as keys are a big deal to them. None of this keyless technology you see on many new cars today – they kept the excitement of igniting the experience yourself with what would have to be the most gorgeous key I’ve ever seen – a sapphire which is inserted into the car’s dash, which actually serves a purpose in a car, and doesn’t simply sit in your pocket for the duration of its life. It’s called an ECU, or Emotional Control Unit. Sounds like I need one of these because driving the car was a pretty emotional experience in itself.
Other small things they like to preserve are as simple as an in-dash analogue clock (another heritage-inspired cue) and a functional handbrake. Driving this car doesn’t make you feel as if you’ve been propelled into the space age of driving assists and electronic everything, it’s still a car at the end of the day, and I’m glad that at least one high-end manufacturer remembers this and preserves the heritage of traditional motoring.
I’m left with only one question after spending a mere four hours with this machine – do I really need a house? All that I know is that an Aston Martin is definitely sitting at the top of my dream car bucket list, and I’m personally rating my experience with the V12 Vantage S higher than my experience with a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640-4. It was remarkably smooth to drive despite the performance the car boasts, and feels more comfortable than my lounge suite at home. I also feel transported to a different world when I hop inside the Vantage, and feel as though I’m in a traditional sports car. Placing the marque’s most potent motor in its smallest car was definitely, definitely a good call, and I sincerely hope that the genius behind that idea received a raise. Although I highly doubt I’ll ever have the capital to afford such a machine; I can at least go to sleep at night knowing that I’ve at least experienced such a car even for a few hours. It’s left me questioning my life choices, and that’s more than any motivational video on YouTube has done, anyway.
ABOUT THE MODEL
Brianna is one of the latest additions to The Slowlife Girls. She’s elegant, classy, and loves her exotic cars. When we surprised her with an Aston Martin, she felt right at home in her red dress! This isn’t her first rodeo, though – Bri’s been in the modelling game for around three years now, and has done a large variety of shoots! This was her first car shoot with us, and we’re delighted with her elegance complimenting the Aston like a duck to water. Brianna doesn’t just model, though. She’s also a makeup artist! She’s been inundated with more jobs behind the camera recently, and we couldn’t be happier to know that The Slowlife Girls have some help looking good for our shoots.
Cars are somewhat of a fresh interest to Bri – modeling is actually what got her into them in the first place. She’s got a love for muscle cars and exotics, and shot with classic cars well before stepping into our world! She’s got her eyes set on something JDM at the moment, but we’re told to hold off on the details for now as she’s trying to surprise us…
You can catch Bri alongside our Slowlife Girls at events from here on in, so don’t forget to come say hi to her when you see her! She’s also available to shoot through us, so if you’re wanting Brianna Lee to shoot with your car; get in touch with us, and we’ll make it happen.
Model | Brianna Lee
Photographer | Rapture Media