Ensuring driver involvement remains a key part of the Aston Martin experience, the British boutique sportscar maker has just announced its 2017 V12 Vantage S will be available with a new seven-speed manual transmission.
The manual variant will be offered alongside the existing Sportshift III automatic as a no-cost option, with all other technical specifications remaining the same between the two.
Aston Martin hasn’t made any announcement regarding engine specifications, with both manual and automatic variants capable of dashing from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds (the same as the previous automatic) it appears engine specifications will remain unchanged.
That means a 6.0 litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine pumping out 421kW of power and 620Nm of torque.
The new manual transmission is laid out with a dogleg first gear - a throwback to manuals of yore, with the most used second to sixth gear slots residing in a more traditional double-H gate.
The manual also features AMSHIFT, a first for Aston Martin, monitoring clutch, gear position, and propshaft inputs and delivering finely-tuned throttle blips for downshifts, designed to imitate heel-toe driving. If you’d rather do the dance yourself the system can be deactivated.
“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,” Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said.
“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.”
Also available on the V12 Vantage S, a new Sport Plus Pack option which offers a choice of five exterior colours which can be matched to a no-cost contrasting grille, sill and mirror set, ten-spoke graphite-finish alloy wheels, and a choice of black or grey interior with contrasting stripes.
Aston Martin’s AMi infotainment system has also been upgraded to a third-generation system offering improved graphics, faster loading times, easier address entry, traffic information, updateable maps, and Apple CarPlay integration.
At the same time, the V8 Vantage S will be brought into line with the V12’s technology and appearance upgrades, but soldiers on without any mechanical changes.
The first deliveries of the new Vantage S range are set to begin during the third quarter of 2016.
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