The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is dead. Long live the V12 Vantage S. 565 horsepower. 205 MPH. Sexy sex sex sex on the outside. But no manual trans on the inside.
Last week I waxed poetic about the sheer wonder that is the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, which takes their biggest engine and puts it in their smallest car. I'm not counting the Cygnet here because, well, that thing is barely a car.
The connection between man and machine that the V12 Vantage has is unlike anything else I've driven. And as I was driving it, Aston announced that it was the end-of-the-line for their factory built hot rod.
But today, they've announced that they'll still make it, kind of. The new V12 Vantage S has the 565 horsepower V12 from the new Vanquish, which means that this has 55 more horsepower than the outgoing car.
It also marks the debut of a new transmission from Aston: A seven-speed Sportshift III. Sport shift denotes Aston's sequential gearboxes, which means that there is no manual trans option. This trans has a lot of cool tech held within and is 55 pounds lighter than the six-speed manual it replaces.
Sure, it can shift quicker than the manual, and I am a fan of a good paddle shift transmission, but it makes the V12 Vantage feel just a little less special. It's most unique trait is now gone.
Other than that, there is three stage active damping, new steering, and a new exhaust.
Thank God it still looks like the lovechild of Brad Pitt, Kate Upton, and probably two or three other supermodel-type folks.
I'm still on board with this car, I just wish I could get the manual. And great, now I sound like one of those whiners who hate progress.