Heeding the call of Aston Martin faithful here in America, the British automaker has had a change of heart and mind about the fate of its most coveted Vantage variant. Originally intended only for the European and Asian theatres, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage now will be available in both North and South America starting in the fall, where it will join the existing V8 Vantage coupe and convertible models currently on sale.

At its launch in 2009, Aston Martin claimed it anticipated insufficient demand in those two key markets for a car its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez calls "the ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range." However, unprecedented response for an Ameri-spec version of this stunning GT with its 510-horsepower/6.0-liter V12 engine led to a serious rethink -- and subsequent structural engineering study -- to see if the car could be modified to meet our more stringent crash requirements.

Using the latest computer-assisted modeling software, it took less than six months to accomplish the necessary revamp of the Vantage's aluminum-intensive VH Modular architecture. A new front substructure configuration was created that fully complies with all safety specs without impacting the vehicle's exhilarating performance -- including its ability to run 0-60 mph in less than 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph.

Carbon Black brings an ultra-exclusive edge

In addition to regular production models, the V12 Vantage also will be offered here in the limited-edition Carbon Black model. Outside, the aluminum bodywork on this even-more-desirable iteration is finished in bespoke Carbon Black metallic paint set off by a bright-finish grille, carbon-fiber side strakes, and gloss-black 10-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels. The cabin is covered in Obsidian Black leather with silver contrast stitching and features extensive piano black accents plus a standard 700-watt Aston Martin premium audio system that is optional in all other Vantage models.

Orders are currently being taken for the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage, with deliveries slated to commence sometime during the fourth quarter. Pricing has yet to be finalized, but is expected to start in the $180,000-$200,000 range with the limited-edition Carbon Black model commanding at least a modest premium.

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