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Shoehorning a big engine into a small car isn't anything unique ' we Americans have been doing it for some time in our 'muscle cars'. But when said big engine is a hand-built 510-horse 5.9-liter V-12, and the car is a relatively small and very gentlemanly wedge like Aston Martin's Vantage, things get very interesting, very quick. All of those horses are good for sprints to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.1 seconds. While you're rowing your way through the six manually selected gears (the only available gearbox) up to hugely fun speeds, you'll be glad the massive carbon ceramic Brembo brakes are there to count on. There is no fancy adaptive suspension here, but there are Pirelli's gummy Corsa rubber to ensure a proper hold on the road. When switched into Track mode, the V12 Vantage's traction and stability control programs allow for even more silliness. Of course, what's an Aston without a beautiful physique and high-quality passenger compartment? Electronically adjustable leather-wrapped carbon fiber bucket seats coddle passengers' backsides and beautifully laid aluminum and carbon fiber trim pieces tickle their artistic fancy. One standard amenity in particular, Bang & Olufsen's 1000-watt sound system, will likely be the most underused by owners. You can thank the V-12 for that.