Top Gear pitted the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S against the Porsche 911 R, and the winner is… Chris Harris.
Although both cars have close links to racing machines, they’re not actually manufactured with track-bending performance in mind.
Porsche has the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS, so it doesn’t need another track-munching automobile. Aston Martin, on the other hand, offers the GT 8 and the G12 – so, again, another circuit-dedicated machine in its lineup doesn’t make much sense.
What are these cars then? Unsurprisingly, they’re aimed at purists and, thus, tuned to offer the best driving experience. Sure, they still resemble their race-dedicated counterparts, offering raw, back-to-basics experiences, but the emphasis isn’t put on lap times, but driver involvement.
Performance figures are not important in this case; Harris doesn’t even mention them. For the record, the Aston’s 5.9-litre V12 develops a staggering 565bhp and 457 lb-ft (619 Nm) of torque – 65 hp and 119 lb-ft (161 Nm) more than the 911 R. But it’s also softer and heavier and this means the Porsche manages to edge it out.