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Aston Martin reveals the V12 Vantage S

More power, less weight – we like! Paddle shift gearbox? Hmmmm...

Aston Martin really are on a roll at the moment. With the new Vanquish getting masses of praise world over, the new Rapide S doing the same and the CC100 concept wowing crowds at the Nurburgring 24hr race, it seems as if the British supercar maker can do no wrong.

One of the most successful of their recent models has been the V12 Vantage. The potent combination of putting their most powerful 510 bhp engine in the smallest chassis, tied to a manual gearbox won the hearts of enthusiasts everywhere and all 1000 have now been sold. The strictly limited roadster version was also launched, adding open air thrills to the intoxicating combination.

But now the Vanquish has a new, more powerful engine, so the V12 Vantage was slightly overshadowed. Not any more – as Aston Martin have today revealed the V12 Vantage S. With a lighter body, more power and (sigh) a paddle shift gearbox this aims to be as close to the V12 Vantage GT3 race car as you can get, and the most exciting Aston road car ever.

Visually the V12 Vantage S gets new lightweight wheels in the style of the GT3 racer, plus an optional black paint section of the roof, but the main visual difference is a grille similar to that on the CC100 concept, losing the aluminium vanes and replacing them with a carbon fibre surround and dark titanium mesh. Though really, there was very little you could do to the regular V12 Vantage to make it look better so we’re happy they didn’t mess it up for the sake of change!

Powering the V12 S is the 6.0 litre V12 engine from the new AM310 Vanquish producing 565 bhp and 457 lb/ft of torque, increases of 55 bhp and 37 lb/ft over the V12 Vantage. Combined with a lower weight of 1665 kg the V12 S manages 0 – 62 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph, making it the fastest series production Aston Martin ever (the One-77 was faster, but that was strictly limited run).

The V12 S gets three stage adaptive dampers by Bilstein, with Normal, Sport and YTrack modes available. The sad news for manual gearbox fans is that the six speed manual has been dropped in favour of the seven speed automated manual paddle shift Sportshift III gearbox. Apparently an automatic ‘box was essential for sales in China and North America and gives a more ‘motorsport feel’ according to the V12 S program manager.

Production numbers and pricing are yet to be announced, but expect the V12 Vantage S to cost a fair amount more than the £136,000 of the V12 Vantage when deliveries start at the end of the year. Our best guess would be around £150,000.

Images courtesy of Aston Martin

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more