Refreshed 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S now with manual transmission
The refreshed 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S has been revealed with a manual transmission in an by Aston Martin to woo enthusiast drivers.
THE 2017 ASTON MARTIN V12 VANTAGE is being released with a manual transmission because Aston Martin said it wants to champion “classic tradition and total driver involvement”. And it’s a series production item, meaning it’s not a limited-edition gimmick.
Director of Product Development, Ian Minards said: “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”.
In a nod to the past, the seven-speed manual transmission has been constructed with a “classic dog-leg first gear position”. And there’s method to this, in that it allows the most used gears (all of them except first) to be located in a ‘double H’ pattern for ease of shifting.
The new manual transmission also features AMSHIFT. This system, which the driver can select, or not, is designed to tweak clutch, gear position and propshaft sensors, to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts; the act of blipping the throttle while braking and changing gear.
Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “Broadening the scope of the V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission option is an indication of our desire to offer the keenest drivers a more analogue and immersive machine to enjoy. I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the manual gearbox remains an integral part of our product plans and will do for many years to come.”
17MY also marks other changes to the Vantage range, with the V8 models now consolidated into Coupe and Roadster versions of the V8 Vantage S. They are mechanically unchanged, although there are some minor detail changes to the exterior and interior. One change to be implemented across all current model lines is the new AMi III infotainment system. This includes a new integrated Satellite Navigation system that offers significant improvements over the outgoing AMi II technology. Key areas of improvement are the integrated graphics, quicker and easier address input, reduced loading times, updatable maps, graphical itinerary planning, advanced traffic information, enhanced map graphics and a greater range of voice guidance options. AMi III also incorporates Apple CarPlay to enable the integration of iPhone functions into the built-in display.
First deliveries of the manual V12 Vantage S are scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2016. There’s no word yet on when we can expect to see the 2017 models available in Australia, but our best guess would be early in 2017.