Putting its money where its mouth is, Aston Martin announced today that for the 2017 model year the range topping V12 Vantage S will be available with a dogleg seven-speed manual gearbox. You read that right – a dogleg seven-speed.
Ian Minards, Aston Martin’s Director of Product Development said the reasons for going back to basics are simple. “We’re all enthusiasts here at Aston Martin. Building cars that offer something exceptional is what we do. Technology drives us forward,” Minards said, “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 dogleg shift patterns puts the six most used gears in a double-H orientation and leaves first gear in the lower left position on the shifter. The new gearbox includes a downshift rev-matching function that the company calls AMSHIFT, and the same system will help make for smooth full-throttle upshifts, which would otherwise be impossible for any driver. We do love technology and hopefully AMSHIFT is switchable for those of us who prefer to match our own revs.
The 2017 V12 Vantage S will be available in both coupe and roadster form, and performance of this British supercar remains formidable with a top speed of 330 km/h and a zero to 100 km/h time of a ridiculous 3.9 seconds. Production is limited to just one hundred units for North America, so get your order in today.
We think a V12 Vantage S Roadster with a manual gearbox will be a brilliant combination. For a sense of the car’s performance and appeal, enjoy our last video review of that car here.
Other changes for Aston Martin’s 2017 model year includes the consolidation of V8 Vantage range into a single model, the V8 Vantage GTS, which will be available in Sport or Lux specifications, in both coupe and roadster models. Six-speed manual and the Sportshift II seven-speed single clutch automated manual transmissions remain available. While we enjoyed the pleasurable analog Vantage GT in Germany and flat out on the Autobahn, the GTS sounds like we’ll thoroughly enjoy it.
Also for 2017, all Aston Martin models receive the AMi III infotainment system, which is said to be faster and easier to use than before. iPhone users (like me) will enjoy Apple Car Play integration in the new AMi III system and if you haven’t experienced it, you’re missing out. Apple Car Play brings the best of your iPhone and highly integrates it into the car’s infotainment system, so you have a simple, familiar, Apple-like interface with your phone’s maps, navigation, text messages by voice, music, and podcasts, among other features.
While Aston Martin is gearing up for a new era starting with the all new DB11, 2017 looks like an exciting year for the rest of the Aston range.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda Limited.