If you're bemoaning the notion that the Bugatti Chiron is simply too commonplace, Aston Martin may offer the slice of exclusivity you seek. The 2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster has a starting price of $950,000, and even if you had that kind of cash on hand, only 88 examples of this roofless and windscreen-free beast will be made.
Normally, this sort of madness is reserved for auto show concepts, but the Speedster serves as a showcase for the Q by Aston Martin bespoke customization service. Yes, Q, as in Bond, James Bond, though it's unlikely Aston would willingly install any combination of rockets, lasers or ejection seats. On second thought, maybe the ejection seats are a possibility, as the V12 Speedster previewed here (shown in concept form as something a customer could order) takes inspiration from the F/A-18 fighter jet.
In spirit, the V12 Speedster has echoes of the vintage DBR1 and other race cars from the 1950s, minus the exaggerated pontoon fenders — though even the DBR1 had a windscreen. That means at the very least you'll want goggles if the Speedster ever leaves its subterranean vault. Helmets painted to match the vehicle would certainly look fetching, though.
In more substantive topics, the Speedster is estimated to produce 690 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 engine. An eight-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Aston Martin expects it to reach 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph. The fact that those figures don't thrill us is a byproduct of the horsepower wars, but we're certain it'll seem far more exciting with an open cockpit.
The chassis takes cues from other Aston Martins, with a bonded aluminum (pronounced al-loo-MIN-ee-um) structure. It's wrapped, however, in a body that is almost completely made from carbon-fiber composites. Center-lock wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes round out the rest of the enticements.