22. Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Back in the early 2000s, Aston Martin introduced the Vantage, an entry-level model with a V8 engine to compete with Porsche 911. Wearing the signature Aston design, with more than enough power from its 4.3-liter V8, the Vantage proved to be popular. It was high in demand, especially considering that Aston Martin was, and still is, a limited-production manufacturer. The success of the Vantage inspired the Aston Martin engineers to think further. They wondered if they could take the regular V8 Vantage and install the mighty V12 engine from the top-of-the-line DBS model. There was only one way to find out and soon, many prototypes roamed around Aston’s headquarters. They were surprised how good the new car turned out to be.
The V12 engine with 510 HP transformed the nature of this compact sports car and turned it into a British muscle car with fantastic road manners. The real output was closer to 600 HP, which meant that the acceleration was brutal, as well as the top speed. Also, the big V12 didn’t affect the weight distribution or balance. In an era of robotized automatic transmissions, the V12 Vantage was offered with a six and later a seven-speed manual, which understandably proved to be the enthusiast’s choice.