The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is the fastest-accelerating series production car the firm has ever built

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage has been confirmed as the fastest accelerating series production Aston ever. With a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec and a top speed of 205mph, only the Aston Martin One-77 is faster.

The car, which will commence deliveries at the end of the year, is priced at £138,000 - a modest increase over the standard V12 Vantage's £136,085 price tag.

Among the changes are a revised look that incorporates features such as the front grille from the CC100 concept, a more powerful V12 engine with 565bhp, a seven-speed automated manual gearbox in place of the previous six-speed manual, adaptive dampers and a lower kerb weight.

Aston Martin’s product development chief, Ian Minards, said the changes “broaden the appeal of the V12 Vantage” and offer “more performance and more excitement” but also greater usability.

“I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like the V12 Vantage after driving it,” said Minards, “so we were already in a good place. But the fact that it was so focused meant it wasn’t for all tastes to begin with. We’ve responded to that by making the V12 Vantage S, a car with broadened appeal.”

The key to its greater breadth of ability is the addition of three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track. Selecting one of these modes alters the firmness of the dampers, throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, exhaust note and steering assistance.

In Normal mode, Minards said, the V12 Vantage S becomes more usable and refined than the V8 Vantage S. In Sport mode, its dynamic attributes closely match the outgoing V12 Vantage’s. In Track mode, the performance of the V12 Vantage S goes beyond that of the V12 Vantage to create the hardest and fastest regular Aston yet made.

At the heart of the uprated Vantage is the latest, fifth-generation evolution of Aston Martin’s normally aspirated 5.9-litre V12, codenamed AM28. The main development for the AM28 over the fourth-generation AM11 unit used in the latest Vanquish, DB9 and Rapide S is a new Bosch engine-management system. 

The power of the V12 Vantage S’s engine matches the 565bhp of the Vanquish, a 55bhp increase over the V12 Vantage. Torque is also increased to 457lb ft at 5750rpm, a 37lb ft gain. Low-rev torque is up by 52lb ft to 376lb ft at 1000rpm, the result of which is a flattened and fattened torque curve.

The V12 is mated to a seven-speed automated manual transmission, which has been taken from the V8 Vantage and given a longer final drive ratio to allow for the higher top speed. It is controlled by paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

The adoption of this Sportshift III transmission, as Aston calls it, means the end for the six-speed manual in the V12 Vantage. Minards said the car needed to have two pedals instead of three “to make a business case” for it. Autos are far more popular in China and North America, the likely two biggest markets for the V12 Vantage S.

The Graziano-supplied seven-speed automated ’box is also 25kg lighter than the six-speed manual, and Minards said it was “better able to exploit” the engine’s potential than the old transmission, with “motorsport shift speeds”.

Economy and CO2 figures are expected to improve over the V12 Vantage’s thanks to engine improvements, reduced weight and the new gearbox. Kerb weight is 1665kg, 15kg less than the V12 Vantage in standard specification (25kg has been taken out with the gearbox swap, but 10kg has been added elsewhere). 

Bilstein supplies the three-stage adaptive damping technology. Its appearance on the V12 Vantage S marks the first time that adaptive dampers have been used on the Vantage. The spring rates are taken from the Vanquish.

Being able to select from Normal, Sport and Track modes means that “you don’t have to compromise low-speed refinement for high-speed ability”, said Minards.

The Servotronic steering system, with two levels of assistance, is another Vantage first. The two levels of assistance are linked to the adaptive dampers. Sport and Track modes add extra weight and a precision feel. “Having the two levels of feel makes it better and easier to drive in more situations,” said Minards.

Other developments include Brembo-supplied carbon-ceramic brakes adapted from the One-77’s, a Continental-supplied two-stage Dynamic Stability Control system that can be fully switched off and a smaller, lighter exhaust.

New 10-spoke lightweight alloy wheels can be added to save another 3.3kg, and they can be specified with standard P Zero Corsa dry-weather tyres or P Zero all-weather rubber as a no-cost option. Minards described the sum of all these changes as “altering the entire chassis recipe” of the V12 Vantage.

The most notable feature of the revised look, penned by Aston design director Marek Reichman, is the adoption of a new front grille. Inspired by the CC100 concept that appeared at the Nürburgring 24 Hours earlier this month, the new grille loses the distinctive aluminium vanes in favour of a carbonfibre frame with a dark background mesh that can be made out of carbonfibre or titanium. The grille is also wider to improve cooling.

Other design elements include more pronounced side strakes fashioned from carbonfibre, an optional exterior graphics pack that paints the roof and bootlid black, and a revised rear bumper that visually widens the car at the rear. The distinctive carbonfibre bonnet vents remain.

The interior has also been overhauled. “When you step inside, there is instantly a message that this is a special car,” said Reichman. Higher-quality carbonfibre, Alcantara and leather are among the materials featured. Lightweight sports seats can also be added to an interior that has special ‘S’ accents running throughout to reflect the car’s name.

 

Our Verdict

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The Aston Martin Vantage has an abundance of soul, and decent ability with it

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Comments
21

TS7

29 May 2013

Nice. But NOT in yellow thanks.

29 May 2013

Whats going on with the fender gap here?  The normal V12 vantage doesn't have that hideous gap.  It looks like Aston raised this car up on the springs...what on earth are they thinking?  Get that thing LOWERED!

 

29 May 2013

Aston has just ruined an otherwise brilliant car. To favour a clunky and obsolete robotised 'box over a decent manual one is a crime. And that's before we get to the gaudy cosmetics and frankly irrelevant top speed. AML clearly did not learn from the 2001 Vanquish; many owners sent their automated 'box cars back to get the manual retro-fitted.

TBC

29 May 2013

One wonders quite where this leaves the Vanquish?

29 May 2013

TBC wrote:

One wonders quite where this leaves the Vanquish?

Indeed and that rather pricey One-77 - aka DB9 on steroids - thingy, although that was only a limited production model. Nevertheless, One-77 was/is meant to be the ultimate Aston and the owners who each paid the equivalent of Mozambique's annual GDP to buy one might be a trifle miffed that a humble Vantage is faster than their pride and joy.

29 May 2013

Overdrive wrote:

TBC wrote:

One wonders quite where this leaves the Vanquish?

Indeed and that rather pricey One-77 - aka DB9 on steroids - thingy, although that was only a limited production model. Nevertheless, One-77 was/is meant to be the ultimate Aston and the owners who each paid the equivalent of Mozambique's annual GDP to buy one might be a trifle miffed that a humble Vantage is faster than their pride and joy.

The One-77 still has 185bhp on the Vantage, and is lighter. It's still the ultimate Aston by a significant margin. The headline for this article comes from the One-77's claimed top speed of 200mph, but in tests it's proven good for 220mph.

On topic, sounds like the V12 Vantage finally has the performance to be somewhat competitive. The power and weight figures are roughly on a par with a Gallardo Superleggera, and not too far from Ferrari's 458 (which tips the scales at around 1600kg in the real world). With that said, performance is increasingly less important as even cars of this level are fast as all hell and crack 200mph, let alone monsters like the Aventador and million-£ers like the Huayra and the big three hybrid hypercars. It's now more important than ever to focus on subjectives like experience and image, and the Aston's always delivered that very well indeed.

(In my opinion, at least.)

29 May 2013

TBC wrote:

One wonders quite where this leaves the Vanquish?

I think it replaces it

 

Autocar wrote:

with prices sure to eclipse the £136,085 of the V12 Vantage that it replaces

 

29 May 2013

Im bored of Aston Martin. They have just become heated up left-overs. Either they dont have enought money to make something new, or they have no ideas. Either way, I am bored of them. The new Vanquish has lost all the elegance of the DBS, now its a car for rappers. The Rapide S, has a face only a mother could love, and now this, a V12 Vantage S, with the engine from a Vanquish, and a design ruined with holes in the bonnet and swollen bumpers. The quicker Mercedes make a deal with Aston the quicker they can make something new. And get rid of Marek Reichmann. Hes leeching off designs from the DB9, which is basically a design coming off the DB7. 

Zazu

21 June 2013

Zazu25 wrote:

Im bored of Aston Martin...The quicker Mercedes make a deal with Aston the quicker they can make something new. 

What a load of tosh. You seem to be going on style alone and reckon that MB would sort all of Aston's so-called problems. Show me one MB car that looks as nice as any current AM. In most sensible people's opinions there are none. MB, along with BMW, are in a design hole and have been for a while. Almost all of their cars are bloated and entirely without elegance. Technically outstanding but artistically dreadful.

You and some others are 'bored' with Aston. Porsche however always seems to get a pass, despite pedalling the same, far inferior, design language for 50 years. I agree that we could be doing with a little bit more differentiation between models but the current range, in the opinion of many, is probably the best looking of any car maker. Alas, as is the British way, they don't have the development budget enjoyed by their competition but my God they do well with the relative peanuts they have at their disposal.

29 May 2013

The manual gearbox was THE reason to love this car. It suited it so well and was a joy to use.

Why, why, why take that joy away?

The justifications of being better able to exploit the engine's potential and 'motorsport shift speeds are just nonsense.

So sad.

End.

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