There's a lot of cool metal racing at the
Nurburgring 24 Hours this weekend - a pair of 500bhp Lexus LF-As, gas-powered VW Sciroccos - but this is surely the coolest of the bunch.
This is the Aston Martin V12 Vantage racer, which will tackle the Green Hell on May 23-24 in the capable hands of Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston's chief exec.
In case you're not up to speed on the road-going V12 Vantage,
here's how it works: essentially, Aston has wedged the massive 510bhp,
6.0-litre V12 from the DBS into the petite frame of the V8 Vantage.
Add some bigger gills, vents and splitters and you've got a dinky two-seat coupe capable of hitting 62mph in a scant 4.2 seconds. General Clarkson has driven the road-going V12 Vantage in the new issue of Top Gear magazine - out today - and, well, we won't give away too much, but suffice to say he likes it.
And the racing version? Aston says the track-prepped V12 Vantage has received only ‘minor modifications' to compete in the endurance race. The British team will be aiming to keep up their record of a four consecutive finishes in the Nurburgring 24 Hours in the V8 Vantage N24.
"For me, this race is still the ultimate endurance challenge for any car," says Dr Bez. "It is right that we subject our new V12 Vantage to this extraordinary test."
Top Gear will be at the ’Ring for the big race - well, those of us who weren't invited to Monaco (cue massive infighting). We'll bring you all the news from behind the scenes next week...