Compared to the 911 R, the Vantage V12 S is actually underrated.
When Porsche announced that it would build a limited edition version of the GT3 RS with a manual transmission, we knew it would likely be one of the most anticipated cars of the year. Deliveries haven't even started for the 911 R and someone is already trying to flip theirs for $1.25 million. The base price of the 911 R is $184,900, but because all 991 units have already been sold you'll be lucky to find one for less than double that price. There is no telling how high the prices will go on the 911 R.
It seems that people have gone a bit wild about the 911 R, and honestly, we have too. We love the idea of Porsche going back to the old-school philosophy of a simple manual transmission and a naturally aspirated engine. However, if the going rate to get into a 911 R will be nearing the seven-figure range, we would probably look elsewhere. Luckily another manufacturer has just released a car that is similar in spirit. The 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is cut from the same cloth as the 911 R. It too is a naturally aspirated, manual sports car from a company that is on the move towards turbochargers. The similarities don't stop there either.
The V12 Vantage S costs just under $200,000 ($199,995), and will be built in extremely limited numbers (just 100 units in the US). Like the 911 R, all of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S examples are already sold. However, we haven't heard quite as much buzz about how much this car will appreciate. We can only assume that the limited edition Aston Martin will also go up in value, but we don't think it will reach the $1 million mark like the 911 R already has. Early 911 R customers were reportedly offered paint-to-sample, which could make those cars worth even more. Although the 911 R is impressive with 500 hp and 338 lb-ft of torque, the Aston Martin might be even more of a stunner in the power department.
The V12 Vantage S has twice as many cylinders as the 911 and more horsepower (565). It also has a unique dog-leg seven-speed manual transmission. However, the 3,021 lbs Porsche can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds compared to the heavier (3,670 lbs) Aston's 3.9 seconds. However, one thing that people may not consider about the Aston Martin is that it may actually preview what sports car the company has in store for the future. Porsche has clearly set a course with its future GT models that already feature nothing but PDK transmissions. Aston Martin, on the other hand, has claimed that it wants to be the last company to offer the manual.
Obviously the 911 R and Vantage V12 S are both seriously hyped-up cars. Both are already sold out, and both represent a quick detour back to the "golden age" of how sports cars used to be. However, we think that Aston Martin has made a greater commitment to continue offering manual cars that have driving purity. Porsche may occasionally come out with a gem like the 911 R, but it will likely be another low-production model that collectors will buy, and flip, for an insane profit. Hopefully Aston Martins will be driven a bit more, and stay within the limits of reason when it comes to appreciation.