Sweet. Glory. Hallelujah.
Despite the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S being a true enthusiast supercar, since its debut, it has only been offered with one gearbox, a Sportshift automatic. Not anymore. The Gaydon, UK-based carmaker has just announced that V12 Vantage S buyers can now opt for a new seven-speed manual transmission at no extra cost for model year 2017. Wait? A seven-speed? You betcha and it features a "classic dog-leg first gear position."
This configuration ensures the gears used most frequently are located in a double 'H' pattern like that of a conventional six-speed manual. Aston Martin also points out the new seven-speed manual features something called AMSHIFT, a system which uses clutch, gear position and propshaft sensors, along with finely-tuned programming of the V12, to mimic the heel-and-toe downshifts technique. The tech also offers the capability of full-throttle upshifts for maximum smoothness and minimal interruption while accelerating. Drivers can use AMSHIFT in every driving mode, but Aston Martin specifically points out that it’s most effective in Sport.
Regardless of which gearbox buyers choose, the V12 Vantage S will sprint from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 205 mph. Other new options for 2017 include a Sport-Plus Pack, basically a combo of new interior and exterior colors that can be applied to the front grille, side sills, mirror caps and rear diffuser blades. There’s also ten-spoke graphite finish lightweight alloy wheels. Black or grey upholstery lines the interior. As for the V8 Vantage, both coupe and roadster versions have been consolidated into versions of the V8 Vantage S. Aside from that, they remain mechanically unchanged.
Regardless of engine choice, all Vantages will now come with a new infotainment system that incorporates Apple CarPlay. Any downsides to all of this? Yeah, in the US only 100 manual-equipped V12 Vantage S examples will be on offer. Pricing hasn't been announced, but deliveries are set to begin later this year.