There were these rumors going around recently that Aston Martin is planning to let go of manual gearboxes altogether. For the uninitiated, yes, Aston Martin offers a 7-speed manual option on the Vantage. But, before the manuals are completely dead, Aston Martin invited a very, very few privileged individuals recently to have a go in the greatest naturally-aspirated V12 manual car the company ever built — the Victor. A very few hand-picked invitees because the Victor is a bespoke, one-off, built in September 2020.
Photos: Top Gear
So, what is it? Well, the Victor started its life as a Vulcan — a track-only hypercar, which in turn was carved out from the One-77. The side exhausts and the entire lower part on the side of the car, are from the Vulcan. Do the taillights and the wheels remind you of something else? Well, they are from Valkyrie. The headlights pay homage to the original V8 Vantage. Indeed, Victor is a love child who underwent surgery to get a 6-speed manual gearbox.
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) May 26, 2021
The original 7.3L V12 engine in the One-77 started its life as a Ford 3.0L V6 Duratec. Cosworth took two of ’em, bolted together and did some changes; the resulting V12 pumped out 559 kW (760 metric hp) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque. For Victor, Cosworth managed to extract 623 kW (847 metric hp) and 831 Nm (613 lb-ft).
We don’t know who the Bond the owner is. But it doesn’t matter because Victor is truly a special car who might see different garages in his lifetime.
Sources: Top Gear, Mr. JWW, Aston Martin