For one hundred years Aston Martin has provided car collectors and James Bond with an assortment of performance automobiles. Now as part of its centenary celebrations, the bespoke company from the UK has gone ahead and increased its Vantage’s advantage with the new 565 hp V12 Vantage S.
Ignore the seductive yellow/black visuals for a minute, let’s focus on the important business at hand. The key bits of the already fantastic Vantage reside not in the open but under that beautifully proportioned skin. Replacing the outgoing V12 Vantage, the new Vantage S not only gets a letter added to its name but a marked improvement in horsepower, top speed and torque.
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Starting with an improved 6.0 liter V12 the new S now lays down power to the tune of 565 horsepower (573 PS), an increase of 11 percent from the outgoing model. Torque figures, necessary for proper tackling of Scotland’s Ben Nevis, have also increased. Twisting of the rear axle is upped from 570 Nm (420 lb.ft) to a very healthy 620 Nm (457 lb.ft ). Aston reports the new AM28 powerplant is designed to not only go very quickly but also improve on low and mid-range power, thus enhancing the driving experience and improving the Vantage’s already impressive power curve.
“Learning from our successes on the track feeds the development of this type of car and I’m proud to launch such an exciting sports car in this, our centenary year,” says Aston Martin’s Dr. Ulrich Bez. In translation, this means that track derived trickery like CNC milled combustion chambers, where the gas and the pistons and the explosions happen, plus the incorporation of hollow camshafts, make the car go faster.
These magically delicious figures all add up to what is now Aston Martin’s fastest going road car. At 205 mph (330 km/h), the Vantage S is at its top speed, but some might say this “restrained figure” could easily be surpassed if the limiting leash was removed. With this new figure in hand, owners of the outgoing V12 and their 190 mph (305 km/h) top speed will find themselves hard pressed to catch the new S.
But a raspy V12 attack dog without a properly paired gearbox is nothing but a yappy junkyard mutt, which is why Aston Martin sought to improve the new Vantage's transmission. One significant factor that differentiates the S from many of its competitors is a rear mounted gearbox. Aston’s Sportshift III AMT 6-speed gearbox, borrowed from the company’s race division, with enhancements, is not only 25 kilograms (55 lbs) lighter, but thanks to its rearward location helps balance out the Vantage S with a 48:52 weight ratio. Shifts in under 70 milliseconds are standard.
Inside the new V12’s mechanical DNA, Aston Martin has implanted a new steering system, new suspension bits and a very angry exhaust system. To manage lateral weight transfers and overall stability, the S has adopted 3-stage adaptive damping. This new suspension system, a first for the Vantage family, allows the driver to tailor the ride to the situation. Normal, Sport and Track mode, like other manufacturer’s suspension offerings, affects suspension rates and lateral rolling, depending on the level of performance or comfort required.
The new steering set-up and its quicker 15:1 ratio, collaborates directly with the adaptive damping system to provide appropriate feedback as needed. And that bitey noise coming out the back end is courtesy of Aston Martin’s One-77 hypercar. This new system for exhausting spent gasses is not only angrier than the previous V12, but also smaller and lighter than its older brethren. The "Sport mode" setting, different from damping Sport mode, allows drivers to adjust throttle response and shift speeds as performance scenarios change. Even the aural notes emanating from the exhaust system are revised, making the experience more even more delicious under extreme driving scenarios.
But more importantly, does the Vantage's golden-yellow-black coloring make it faster or perform better? Unlikely. Regardless of color, the newly restyled V12 Vantage S does cut an exceptionally dynamic and aggressive figure, even at rest. This visual impact is even further enhanced when placed in dramatic pose against a monochromatic industrial backdrop or against the rolling hills of my Scottish homeland.
To support these stunning visuals, Aston Martin has also infused the new V12 S with a bevy of special weight saving items and aesthetic revisions. Carbon fiber again makes an appearance as the savior of weight and enhancer of sharp looks. For the S that means a new carbon fiber grille, inspired by the recent CC100 Speedster Concept, that's tasked with optimizing airflow to the big V12 laying under the hood, making it functional as well as pretty.
Lightweight forged alloy 10-spoke wheels shod with serious rubber, plus new carbon ceramic brakes, and the addition of a “track-mode” setting with delayed anti-lock braking technology finishes out the performance part of the S package.
Inside the S, new sport and carbon fiber seating awaits, where either Alcantara or two leather offerings are optional. Can’t get enough of that carbon fiber? Then how about the optional carbon fibered interior pack, where door pulls and other surface areas are replaced by the black fibrous material.
Although the new V12 Vantage S is now fastest of the bunch, and lighter than its predecessor, the S is likely to still be hefty for a baby. No weight or performance details are available, but given the predecessors 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, it can be assumed the V12 S will easily break the 4.0 second mark.
Aston Martin shows off the new C12 Vantage S in the following video.
Source: Aston Martin