Under the leadership of ex-Nissan engineer and current CEO Andy Palmer, Aston Martin has promised to offer a manual gearbox on models whenever possible.
With that being said, the former automatic transmission only Aston Martin V12 Vantage S will now be available with a seven-speed manual, featuring a classic dogleg first gear.
The 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S remains relatively unchanged compared to the 2016 version – the only major addition to the model is the aforementioned seven-speed manual gearbox. The dogleg first gear, which is accessed by shifting the gear lever to the left and down, is a tribute to classic Aston Martin race cars.
Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 911 Carrera, which also offer a seven-speed manual gearbox, the shift pattern is different in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. In the Corvette and the 911, the seventh gear gets its own row after the traditional six gear pattern, but in the V12 Vantage S, after the dogleg first gear, the second gear sits on top of the third – fourth above fifth, and then sixth above seventh.
It will take some time getting used to.
In International markets, the seven-speed manual will be offered as a no-cost option alongside the aging and jerky, AMT single-clutch automated transmission. In the U.S., the manual gearbox will be offered as a special edition, but with total production limited to just 100 copies. The manual transmission comes with a rev-matching system known as AMSHIFT, which delivers digitally assisted, heel-and-toe downshifts. It also allows no-lift, full-throttle upshifting for maximum acceleration.
With 2016 being the final year for the current generation Vantage, the manual transmission equipped V12 Vantage S should be considered the sports car’s final “hurrah” before it is replaced next year.
Aside from the addition of the manual transmission, the rest of the mechanical hardware carries over from 2016.
The 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is still powered by the 565 horsepower 6.0 L naturally-aspirated V12 engine. When equipped with the seven-speed manual transmission, it will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Maximum velocity is achieved at 205 mph.
Like the rest of the Vantage models, the V12 Vantage S receives minor visual tweaks to improve airflow at high speeds. Inside, it will receive the new and improved AMi III infotainment and navigation system. With improved graphics, it will be compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
Deliveries of the manual equipped 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S start this fall, with a $188,795 base price.
If you have dreamed of owning an Aston Martin, now is your chance to get one before all 100 U.S. bound copies are spoken for. And I don’t sense that will take very long . . .
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.