This is Aston Martin at its pure and raw best. Until now the V12 Vantage S was only offered with a sluggish seven-speed automated manual. Now Aston has deconstructed the robotised gearbox into a seven-speed manual.
CEO Andy Palmer’s team of engineers considered ways to improve the stick shift, which is possibly why the V12 Vantage S has seven forward gears rather than the usual six. That’s right, they literally went one better.
As a sendoff for the Vantage, Aston Martin has gone truly old-school with this manual and given it a dogleg first gear. That means that first gear is all the way to the left and back, out of the way of the other gears. That puts the gears you use most on the road and track in straight lines from each other, making your shifts faster.
The theory is that by keeping seven gears the manual will accelerate as quickly as the (still available) paddle-shift Vantage S, plus as you’ll spend the majority of your time in gears two to seven, it’s logical to place those in the easiest to access positions.
Aston will import just 100 of the $199,995 V12 Vantage S to America, and they’ve already sold every one of them.