The 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Will Offer a 7-Speed Manual
With a dog-leg first gear!
Aston Martin head honcho Andy Palmer has said he wants the British brand to be the final carmaker to offer a manual transmission, but that apparently isn't stopping him from making sure the V12 Vantage gets some three-pedaled love too. An anonymous source sent this photo to The Drive, which seems to indicate that at least for North America, there will be a 100-unit limited run of the 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S equipped with a seven-speed manual gearbox. Not just any manual either, but one with an honest-to-Bond dog-leg first gear -- see the leaked photo below for proof.
You're probably thinking, "This is too good to be true! A high-end super sports car that you actually need to know how to drive to drive?"
Although we aren't able to verify the source of the image, we did reach Aston Martin spokesman Matthew Clark, who when asked if the V12 Vantage S was really about to get a limited run of dog-leg seven-speed manual models said: "I wouldn't deny it."
The dog-leg first gear is a real nod to enthusiasts. With first gear off to the side and down, the setup makes it easier to perform that all-too-common second-to-third shift in a simple north-south motion.
There are already rumors Aston will build a stripped-out version of the V8 Vantage with a seven-speed manual, calling it the Vantage GT8. It seems that Aston is doing all it can to keep the Vantage fresh, no bad thing given that it's been around since 2005 (the Vantage S came out in 2011) and the new DB11 is casting quite a big, beautiful shadow these days. When the current Vantage eventually dies off, its replacement is likely to receive the DB11's new 5.2-liter V-12.
As it stands now, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is available as either a coupe or convertible, complete with a 6.0-liter V-12 making 565 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. While it's hardly the newest engine on the car market today, on our drive of the Vantage S Roadster in 2014, we said the V-12 "feels awake at last."
Check back soon for full details on the limited-run, manual 2017 Aston Martin V-12 Vantage S, as we expect an official announcement very soon.
Update: Aston Martin confirmed that the new seven-speed manual will also have an automatic rev-matching feature. It is a no-cost option, though buyers can still also buy an automatic transmission if they prefer. In addition, the 2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S coupe and convertible receive an updated infotainment system with improved navigation software and Apple CarPlay functionality.