V12 Vantage S
V12 Vantage S

V12 Vantage S

(2013 - 2018) 2014MY, 2015MY, 2016MY, 2017MY, 2018MY

Since 2009, the most overtly sporting Aston was the V12 Vantage; a combination of the most powerful V12 engine squeezed into the smallest, lightest body. Enthusiasts worldwide were hugely disappointed when in April 2013, AML announced the V12 Vantage was about to be discontinued. The disappointment did not last long however as a new version of the V12 Vantage, the extreme, lightweight V12 Vantage S, the most ferocious Aston Martin had yet produced was announced in the wee small hours of the  29th May 2013.

V12 Vantage S

The V12 Vantage S was so extreme for the time, it is the quickest series production Aston Martin ever with a top speed on 205 mph, and a 0-60 time of only 3.5 seconds. Perhaps the biggest change from the regular V12 Vantage was the adoption of a new 7-speed Sportshift III gearbox fitted as standard with near-seamless gearchanges at high engine speeds. This maximises the performance potential of the engine when compared to the previous conventional 6-speed manual gearshift. When first launched and for the first three years of production, a conventional manual gearbox was not available for the V12 Vantage S whatsoever.

The ‘S’ also introduces 3-stage Adaptive Damping (normal, sport and track) and Servotronic Steering to extract the maximum amount of the potential performance in the widest range of situations. The AM28 engine has a power increase of 55 bhp from 510 bhp to 565 bhp, matching the new Vanquish. Of greater real-world significance is the immediate increase in torque when pulling away from only 1000 rpm where an additional 70 Nm available versus the outgoing V12 Vantage. A new and advanced Bosch engine management system (unique to the ‘S’) controls AM28 alongside the debut of Dual Variable Camshaft Timing and knock-sensing – all improving efficiency and engine capability. This makes the car considerably quicker both when accelerating from stand-still and through the gears. Special attention has been paid to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency to both aid cooling and increase vital downforce.

The exterior styling largely follows on from the previous car but features a new look Carbon Fibre front grille with vertical spars of the CC100 Concept Car, engineered to maximise airflow cooling and aerodynamic balance. The ‘S’ can also be specified with new optional 10 spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels although the standard wheel remains the 10-spoke design from the previous V12 Vantage, both with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.

A new graphics pack allow for three separate areas of the V12 Vantage S (‘lipstick’ around the front grille, roof panel and tailgate panel/lamp infill) to be painted in a contrast colour of either silver or black. The ‘S’ could also be fitted with an exterior carbon pack (side strakes, mirror cars and rear lamp infill), interior carbon pack, black side window surrounds and has black headlamp bezels as standard. A small but easy to spot addition specific to the ‘S’ is an optional additional ‘V12’ badge that sits alongside the side repeater.

A year after being announced, the coupe was also joined in the range by the V12 Vantage Roadster S during the summer of 2014.

Then, three years after being first announced, the V12 Vantage S was eventually offered with a seven-speed conventional manual gearbox. 

The seven-speed manual transmission features a classic dog-leg first gear position; an echo from the past that will be welcomed by driving enthusiasts. This dog-leg configuration also ensures the gears used most frequently are located in a double ‘H‘ pattern like that of a conventional 6-speed manual. 

The new manual transmission also featured AMSHIFT. The system, which is driver selectable uses clutch, gear position and propshaft sensors, together with finely-tuned programming of the engine management, to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts; the act of blipping the throttle while braking and changing gear. AMSHIFT also offers the capability of full-throttle upshifts for maximum smoothness and minimal interruption in acceleration.

AMSHIFT can be used in all driving modes, but is especially effective in Sport, with the sharper throttle response and louder exhaust note really emphasising the downshift throttle blip for maximum excitement.

V12 Vantage S Performance Pack

The optional V12 S Performance Pack delivers a potential power upgrade of up to 30bhp. Magnesium manifolds coupled with a full length titanium exhaust produce increased performance with a spectacular soundtrack. The all-new carbon fibre diffuser blade completes this pack by giving the V12 Vantage S an even sportier look.

The all new titanium exhaust system downstream of the manifolds incorpotares within the system is a new design muffler developed using technology from the Aston Martin GT12, with improved gas flow which has been optimised to work in synergy with the new magnesium inlet manifolds to achieve maximum torque and power output improvements. Overall, the titanium exhaust system is almost 14 kg lighter than the standard steel V12 S system.

The V12S performance pack also includes brand new cast magnesium inlet manifolds. The new design inlet manifold has enhanced airflow routing through internal fencing that increases air speed via a Venturi effect to provide more air to the inlet chamber as well as more evenly distributing air across the cylinder heads. As a result, there is improved response and power distribution through the engine speed range. Replacing the standard aluminium manifolds with lightweight magnesium also saves 1.6 kg.

Also included in the V12S performance pack is a brand new carbon fibre lower rear diffuser. The vertical vanes help to manage the transition of airflow as it exits from underneath a car, and smooths flow around the new titanium muffler, reducing drag and turbulence. The full visual quality carbon fibre completes the look and links back to Aston Martin’s GT products.

The Aston Martin Performance Pack was initially  only available for V12 Vantage S models with the Sportshift III transmission but it is now available for the dog-leg manual too.