Aston Martin may have introduced a brand-new platform with the DB11, which replaced the DB9 for the 2017 model year, but the old vertical/horizontal (VH) architecture won’t be retired anytime soon. Currently used for the Vantage, Rapide, and Vanquish, the VH platform will live on until each of the three models receive their next-generation replacements. This should happen by the end of the decade, but the Brits are keen on keeping the existing models relatively fresh before sending them into retirement. The first to get a new update is the V12 Vantage S.

Having injected a bit of exclusivity into the Vantage range with the limited-edition, track-oriented GT12, Aston Martin is now giving the V12 Vantage S an option that sports car enthusiasts have been asking for ever since the S-badged model was launched back in 2013. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the range-topping grand tourer gained a manual transmission. The three-pedal version will hit dealerships for the 2017 model year and will be joined by a raft of exterior and interior changes brought by the new Sport-Plus package.

"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 so for many years to come," said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.

It would be interesting to find out why we had to wait more than three years for a manual V12 Vantage S to arrive, but I guess it’s better late than ever.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.

Exterior

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior
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Buyers that do want something new from the 2017 model will be happy to know that the British firm is offering a new Sport-Plus Pack option for the V12 Vantage S

Design-wise, the V12 Vantage S carries over unchanged for the 2017 model year. You get the same familiar grand tourer body with aerodynamic improvements such as the big front splitter, beefy side skirts and wheel arches, and sporty diffuser, as well as the carbon-fiber components that make it lighter than any other Vantage except for the GT12. And, while Aston Martin already debuted a new styling language with the DB11, the Vantage’s timeless design penned by Henrik Fisker in the early 2000s is by no means outdated.

Buyers that do want something new from the 2017 model will be happy to know that the British firm is offering a new Sport-Plus Pack option for the V12 Vantage S. The bundle includes a choice of five body paints with accent colors on the front grille, side sills, rear diffuser blade, and mirror caps. This is a welcomed addition to the usual black or white options offered until now. The press photos show that one of the accent colors is yellow, which means customers can obtain several attractive combinations with using the 30+ exterior hues available for this model. A set of ten-spoke, Graphite finish alloy wheels is also on the table.

Interior

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Interior
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The interior also carries over unchanged with its no-nonsense, yet luxurious design. Nearly every surface is wrapped in high-quality leather, while the steering wheel comes in Alcantara. The latter can also be optionally ordered for the seats, which come in "Sports" or "Light Weight" bucket-style designs. Color combinations are essentially infinite with 31 main hues and 16 secondary shades to choose from. Add in the fact that Aston Martin offers 20 different contrast stitching colors, including copper, orange, ivory, and even pink, and you have one of the most customizable car interiors out there.

There's black or grey upholstery with stripes and accent color stitching that comes with the new Sport-Plus Pack

Still, there a few new features to consider. First up, there’s black or grey upholstery with stripes and accent color stitching that comes with the new Sport-Plus Pack. Second, the 2017 V12 Vantage S gets the company’s new AMi III infotainment system. It includes a new integrated Satellite Navigation system with significant improvements such as better graphics, quicker and easier address input, reduced loading times, updatable maps, advanced traffic information, and a greater range of voice guidance options.

Like most modern infotainment systems, the AMi III also incorporates Apple CarPlay to enable the integration of iPhone functions into the built-in display.

Drivetrain

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Drivetrain
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As the name suggests, the V12 Vantage S gets its juice from a V-12 powerplant. The massive 5.9-liter, naturally aspirated mill pumps out 565 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, a figure that’s unchanged compared to the 2016 model. The big news here, however, is the new manual transmission, a first for the V12 Vantage S since its introduction in 2013. Previously restricted to the seven-speed Sportshift III automatic gearbox, the grand tourer can now be had with a seven-speed manual offered as a no-cost options.

The massive 5.9-liter, naturally aspirated mill pumps out 565 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque

The new row-your-own box features a classic dog-leg first gear position that ensures the gears used most frequently are located in a double H pattern like that of a conventional six-speed manual. The unit also uses AMSHIFT, a driver selectable system that uses clutch, gear position and propshaft sensors to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts. It also provides full-throttle upshifts for minimal interruption in acceleration.

Usable in all driving modes, AMSHIFT is especially effective in "Sport," which delivers sharper throttle response and a louder exhaust note. Performance-wise, the manual model is as quick as the automatic versions, needing 3.9 seconds to hit 62 mph up to a top speed of 205 mph. Now that’s really cool given that most dual-clutch automatics are usually quicker than normal cog swappers.

Prices

Pricing for the 2017 model year is not yet available, but expect a small premium over the previous model, which retailed from $187,820.

Competition

Jaguar F-Type SVR

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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A traditional competitor for Aston Martin in the last decades, Jaguar sells its very own sporty grand tourer in the form of the F-Type SVR. But, while it has a two-seat configuration compared to the Vantage’s 2+2 layout and the range-topping model uses a V-8 instead of a V-12, the SVR wins when it comes to performance figures. Although it delivers only 10 extra horsepower (575 horses) compared to the Aston, Jaguar’s supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 cranks out an impressive 516 pound-feet of torque. As a result, charging from 0 to 60 mph takes only 3.5 seconds, which is nearly a half-second quicker. Top speed, on the other hand, is slightly inferior at 200 mph. But, despite being quicker, the F-Type SVR is less of a driver’s car with Jaguar not offering it with a manual transmission. The eight-speed automatic is the only option and a disappointing scenario to some gearheads. The SVR retails from $128,800, making it a more affordable proposition to the V12 Vantage S.

Find out more about the Jaguar F-Type SVR here.

Porsche 911 Turbo

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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The V12 Vantage S and the 911 Turbo have very little in common aside from their 2+2 configurations, but both vehicles compete in the luxury sports car market. Unlike the Vantage, the Porsche has a turbocharged, flat-six engine mounted in the rear. Updated for the 2017 model year, the 911 Turbo has 540 horsepower at its disposal. Although it has 25 less ponies, the 911 is significantly quicker than the V12 Vantage S, being able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in as low as 2.8 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed is rated at "only" 198 mph. Opt for the Turbo S model and power increases to 580 horsepower, while 0-to-60 drops to 2.8 ticks. For this model, top speed is estimated at 205 mph, on par with the Aston Martin. Pricing starts from $159,200 for the 911 Turbo and $188,100 for the 911 Turbo S.

Read more about the Porsche 911 Turbo here.

Conclusion

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior
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The V12 Vantage S might be only three years old as of 2016, but it is based on a grand tourer that’s been around for more than a decade. Most cars tend to become a bit long in the tooth at this age, but the Vantage isn’t one of them. The V12 S is as gorgeous as it has ever been thanks to Fisker’s well-proportioned and timeless design, and the naturally aspirated V-12 gives it that classic grand tourer appeal only a handful of automakers can deliver nowadays. Although it’s only a few years from getting a replacement, the V12 Vantage continues to be an exciting vehicle that goes as good as it looks. The new manual transmission only makes it that much better.

  • Leave it
    • A little slow compared to the competition
    • Significantly more expensive than the F-Type SVR

Press Release

Underlining its commitment to building exceptional sports cars that appeal to the most discerning enthusiasts, Aston Martin has ushered in its 17MY range by offering the sensational V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission.

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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True icons of pure performance blessed with exceptional agility, each V12 Vantage S transmission option delivers its own unique character and dynamic emphasis; the manual unashamedly championing classic tradition and total driver engagement, while the Sportshift™ III transmission offers a more contemporary driving experience. Both exude the unrivaled sporting qualities for which the V12 Vantage S is renowned.

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”.

The seven-speed manual transmission features a classic dog-leg first gear position; an echo from the past that will be welcomed by driving enthusiasts. This dog-leg configuration also ensures the gears used most frequently are located in a double ‘H‘ pattern like that of a conventional 6-speed manual.

The new manual transmission also features AMSHIFT. The system, which is driver selectable uses clutch, gear position and propshaft sensors, together with finely-tuned programming of the engine management, to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts; the act of blipping the throttle while braking and changing gear. AMSHIFT also offers the capability of full-throttle upshifts for maximum smoothness and minimal interruption in acceleration.

AMSHIFT can be used in all driving modes, but is especially effective in Sport, with the sharper throttle response and louder exhaust note really emphasising the downshift throttle blip for maximum excitement.

Offered as a no-cost option*, the manual V12 Vantage S is a series production model. Customers simply have to make the choice between manual and Sportshift™ III transmission when ordering their car. Both versions are otherwise mechanically identical, sharing the same chassis and brake packages and powered by the same 6.0-litre V12 engine.

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior
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Though their style of delivery are different, whether manual or Sportshift™ III, potent performance is guaranteed with the V12 Vantage S accelerating from a standstill to 62mph in 3.9sec and both can reach 205mph.

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."

A new Sport-Plus Pack option includes a raft of exterior and interior changes. Foremost amongst these is a choice of five body colours, which can be combined with no-cost optional accent colours applied to the front grille lipstick, side sills, mirror caps and rear diffuser blades. Ten-spoke graphite finish lightweight alloy wheels complete the Sport-Plus Pack’s exterior changes, while a choice of black or grey upholstery with stripes and contrast stitching offered in a range of accent colours create a suitably dramatic interior theme.

17MY also marks other important changes to the Vantage range, with the V8 models now consolidated into Coupe and Roadster versions of the V8 Vantage S. Mechanically unchanged, the timelessly stylish V8 Vantage S receives a range of small detail changes to the exterior and interior. Together with five new option packs offering broad scope for personalisation and even greater value the V8 Vantage S is a compelling and competitive entry point to the Aston Martin range.

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.

In addition to the new AMi III Infotainment and Satellite Navigation System upgrade, both 17MY Rapide S and Vanquish model lines are offered with a range of new option packs. Carefully created to simplify the specification process, these option packs continue to offer added value and a huge range of exterior and interior colour, trim and detailing combinations.

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S High Resolution Exterior
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First deliveries of the manual V12 Vantage S are scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2016.

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