Automotive

Aston Martin heeds purists' calls, gives V12 Vantage S a dogleg manual gearbox

Aston Martin heeds purists' ca...
Aston Martin has catered to the purists with a manual V12 Vantage S
Aston Martin has catered to the purists with a manual V12 Vantage S
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Aston Martin is offering a seven-speed gearbox on its V12 Vantage S
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Aston Martin is offering a seven-speed gearbox on its V12 Vantage S
The Vantage will still hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds
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The Vantage will still hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds
AMSHIFT will automatically rev match on downshifts
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AMSHIFT will automatically rev match on downshifts
Aston has fitted the 2017 Vantage with an updated infotainment system
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Aston has fitted the 2017 Vantage with an updated infotainment system
The V12 Vantage remains one of the world's most beauftiful cars
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The V12 Vantage remains one of the world's most beauftiful cars
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says the manual Vantage isn't a once off
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Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says the manual Vantage isn't a once off
A new exterior package brings some extra contrast body coloring to the Vantage's already slick body
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A new exterior package brings some extra contrast body coloring to the Vantage's already slick body
The V12 Vantage S still tops out at 330 km/h (205 mph)
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The V12 Vantage S still tops out at 330 km/h (205 mph)
Aston Martin has catered to the purists with a manual V12 Vantage S
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Aston Martin has catered to the purists with a manual V12 Vantage S
You can still have the V12 Vantage with an automatic
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You can still have the V12 Vantage with an automatic
Aston Martin isn't afraid to show what its baby sports car can do
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Aston Martin isn't afraid to show what its baby sports car can do
The V12 engine still produces 565 hp in the manual version
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The V12 engine still produces 565 hp in the manual version
It might look at home on the racetrack, but Aston Martins have always done their best work as long haul grand tourers
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It might look at home on the racetrack, but Aston Martins have always done their best work as long haul grand tourers
The Vantage's new wheels are very similar to the DB11's
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The Vantage's new wheels are very similar to the DB11's
With a big, burly V12 over the nose, you're never likely to be wanting for power in the Vantage
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With a big, burly V12 over the nose, you're never likely to be wanting for power in the Vantage
We think the Vantage looks fantastic in its new two-tone paintjob, but some people will prefer a more traditional finish
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We think the Vantage looks fantastic in its new two-tone paintjob, but some people will prefer a more traditional finish
Aston Martin has used some of the world's best scenery to back up its drop-dead gorgeous design
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Aston Martin has used some of the world's best scenery to back up its drop-dead gorgeous design
The Vantage has been around for a while now, but its design still looks fresh
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The Vantage has been around for a while now, but its design still looks fresh
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage's manual gearbox features a dogleg layout
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The Aston Martin V12 Vantage's manual gearbox features a dogleg layout
By putting second and third gears inline with each other, the Vantage's dogleg gearbox allows you to make the most common shift quickly
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By putting second and third gears inline with each other, the Vantage's dogleg gearbox allows you to make the most common shift quickly
The V12 Vantage's vented bonnet carries over, but the new paintjob is exclusive to 2017 model year cars
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The V12 Vantage's vented bonnet carries over, but the new paintjob is exclusive to 2017 model year cars
Aston Martin's V12 Vantage S can be had with an automatic or a manual gearbox
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Aston Martin's V12 Vantage S can be had with an automatic or a manual gearbox
The Vantage still looks fresh, even when you put it next to the new DB11
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The Vantage still looks fresh, even when you put it next to the new DB11
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer suggests we can expect more manual cars from the brand in the future
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Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer suggests we can expect more manual cars from the brand in the future
The Vantage interior has been refreshed with Apple CarPlay
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The Vantage interior has been refreshed with Apple CarPlay
There are more option packs available on the updated Vantage, but we think the best way to go is keep the spec simple
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There are more option packs available on the updated Vantage, but we think the best way to go is keep the spec simple
The V12 Vantage S on the move
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The V12 Vantage S on the move
Aston Martin is chasing the purist dollar with its manual V12 Vantage
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Aston Martin is chasing the purist dollar with its manual V12 Vantage
Aston Martin has joined Porsche in offering a manual gearbox on its high-end sports car
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Aston Martin has joined Porsche in offering a manual gearbox on its high-end sports car
The V12 Vantage S hasn't gained any power over the current version
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The V12 Vantage S hasn't gained any power over the current version
Aston Martin's changes are limited to paintwork and the manual gearbox on the V12 Vantage S
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Aston Martin's changes are limited to paintwork and the manual gearbox on the V12 Vantage S
Choosing the manual gearbox on the V12 Vantage S is a no cost option
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Choosing the manual gearbox on the V12 Vantage S is a no cost option
V12 Vantage S deliveries kick off in the third quarter of this year
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V12 Vantage S deliveries kick off in the third quarter of this year
View gallery - 33 images

Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and McLaren might have given up on manual supercars, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few purists out there clinging gamely to a three-pedal setup. Aston Martin has joined Porsche in offering a high-end performance stick shift with the new V12 Vantage S, which lets you control a sonorous V12 motor with a dogleg, seven-speed manual transmission.

That's right, not only has Aston brought back the manual, it's followed in the footsteps of the Mercedes 190E Cosworth and E30 BMW M3 by putting first gear in the bottom left corner of the gate. Rather than forcing drivers to make the crucial second-to-third gear shift diagonally across the gate, dogleg boxes put second and third inline, because you're more likely to be shifting between those gears on a winding road or track. After all, how often do you need to change back into first gear on the move?

You can still have the V12 Vantage with an automatic
You can still have the V12 Vantage with an automatic

It might not be on the bleeding edge like your average dual-clutch transmission, but the Vantage gearbox does still have some tricks up its sleeve under the umbrella of AMSHIFT. Taking information from the propshaft, gear position and clutch position, the switchable system will automatically blip the throttle on downshifts for perfect rev matching every time, as well as executing smooth full throttle upshifts for seamless, uninterrupted acceleration.

Far from treating this car as a swansong for the stick shift, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, suggests the manual Vantage won't be a once off. "We're all enthusiasts here at Aston Martin. Building cars that offer something exceptional is what we do. Technology drives us forward, but we understand the importance of tradition.

"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. At a time when manual transmissions have almost entirely disappeared in high performance cars, this makes the manual V12 Vantage S a very special car indeed"

The V12 Vantage remains one of the world's most beauftiful cars
The V12 Vantage remains one of the world's most beauftiful cars

Thanks to its clever AMSHIFT tech, the manual V12 Vantage hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in the same 3.9 seconds as its automatic counterpart, and will stretch to the same 330 km/h (205 mph) top speed. Power from the 6.0-liter V12 is unchanged at 421 kW (565 hp), and peak torque is still pegged at 620 Nm (457 lb-ft).

As well as adding the stick-shift option, Aston Martin has used the 2017 model year update to offer up a new Sport-Plus styling package. Speccing the new package brings no-cost contrast paintwork on the outside along with ten-spoke light alloy wheels, while the interior is tarted up with contrast stitching and stripes.

The update also brings the Vantage interior up to date with the latest AMi 3 infotainment system, finally giving buyers access to the same Apple CarPlay functionality you get on ultra-exclusive cars like the VW Passat, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata.

Deliveries are scheduled to start during the third quarter of 2016. As it did with the new DB11, Aston Martin has supplied some downright gorgeous press shots for its new Vantage, so check out the gallery to see one of the world's most beautiful cars against a backdrop of stunning countryside.

Source: Aston Martin

View gallery - 33 images
1 comment
ripshin
"... finally giving buyers access to the same Apple CarPlay functionality you get on ultra-exclusive cars like the VW Passat, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata." Haha. Well done Scott. Perfectly packaged commentary communicated in succinct sarcasm. Love it. rip