Aston Martin V12 Vantage S gets dog-leg manual

Old-school gearbox arrangement comes with modern auto-blip and flat-shift technology

If you’re yet to be convinced by the styling and specifications of the new Aston Martin DB11, you can at least continue to enjoy one of the firm’s old-school 6-litre V12s – now with a manual gearbox.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S now has a manual option, and one with a hint of motorsport cool thanks to a dog-leg first gear layout.

The cause for this is that the new manual transmission has seven ratios, ensuring the top six – those used most frequently – remain in the traditional ‘H’ pattern that most drivers will be used to.

‘Technology drives us forward, but we understand the importance of tradition,’ explains Ian Minards, Director of Product Development at Aston Martin. ‘The true purist will always hanker for the tactility and connection offered by a manual transmission, so it has been a real pleasure to offer just that in our fastest and most focused model.’

Technology comes in the form of a system Aston Martin calls AMSHIFT, ostensibly an auto-blip feature when changing down the gearbox – like that found on Minis, Nissan 370Zs and various Porsches.

The system also facilitates full-throttle upshifts. It also – purists will be pleased to hear – appears to be driver-selectable, though it’s available in any of the car’s driving modes. It’s at its best, Aston Martin says, in Sport mode, thanks to the fruitier exhaust note.

The V12 Vantage S’s automated Sportshift III transmission remains available, and Aston Martin quotes identical performance figures for both: 3.9sec to 62mph, and a 205mph top speed. Best of all perhaps is that the new manual is a no-cost option.

Other changes for the V12 Vantage S’s latest model revision include a new Sport-Plus Pack, which includes a range of new exterior colours, with contrasting accents, ten-spoke graphite finish alloy wheels, and black or grey interior upholstery with contrasting stripes and stitching.

Meanwhile, V8 Vantage models have disappeared… but since the V8 Vantage S remains available, few will mind. It too gets exterior tweaks and a range of option packs. All new Vantage models get a new AMi III infotainment system.

Deliveries begin in the third quarter of this year. The V12 Vantage range starts at £138,000.

Recommended

Mercedes AMG GT review
Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster - 2021 tracking
Mercedes AMG GT coupe

Mercedes AMG GT review

The engine dominates what is a captivating and distinctive performance car awash with character.
19 Jan 2021
Honda NSX review
Honda NSX front
Honda NSX coupe

Honda NSX review

The NSX melds technology and tactility to impressive effect, but still lacks the ultimate emotional appeal of the best supercars
11 Jan 2021
Best Italian cars - Italy’s 10 greatest automotive hits
Best italian cars
Supercars

Best Italian cars - Italy’s 10 greatest automotive hits

When Italian car manufacturers get it right passion, character and style flows through their creations. Here are our 10 favourite Italian cars
21 Dec 2020
Lamborghini SC20 speedster revealed – getting in on the act
Lamborghini SC20 speedster front
Lamborghini

Lamborghini SC20 speedster revealed – getting in on the act

Speedsters seem to be of the moment, now Lamborghini’s entered the fray with its one-off SC20
16 Dec 2020

Most Popular

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon
Audi RS7 vs M8 Comp GC - cornering
BMW

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon

BMW's grandest of M8 Competition Gran Coupes takes on our impressive fast-fleet Audi RS7
16 Jan 2021
'Traction control, ABS, airbags, lights, – one press of a button and they're all off. We're better off without them'
Richard Porter opinion
Opinion

'Traction control, ABS, airbags, lights, – one press of a button and they're all off. We're better off without them'

The Common Sense Car offers a glimmer of hope for British sports car lovers
19 Jan 2021
Limited-run Jaguar F-type Reims Edition revealed
Jaguar F-type Reims Edition
Jaguar F-Type

Limited-run Jaguar F-type Reims Edition revealed

Jaguar’s new limited-run F-type Reims Edition references past motorsport triumph
18 Jan 2021