Published on April 6th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Manual Gearboxes Still Alive & Kicking at Aston Martin… At Least For Now
The genocide of the good old manual gearbox has been happening for years. It started with the more plain segments, before hitting performance cars and right up to the exotics. But there is hope, at least from Aston Martin. Their V12 Vantage S for year 2017 comes with a manual seven-speed transmission.
Director of Product Development, Ian Minards said: “We’re all enthusiasts here at Aston Martin. Building cars that offer something exceptional is what we do. Technology drives us forward, 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 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 features a driver-selectable AMSHIFT. What it does is mimic heel-and-toe downshifts. 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.
Offered as a no-cost option, the V12 Vantage S can also choose the Sportshift™ III auto transmission when ordering their car. Both versions are otherwise mechanically identical, sharing the same chassis and brake packages and powered by the same 6.0-litre V12 engine. Strangely though, the company claims that the century sprint takes the same time using either gearboxes – 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Maximum speed is 330 km/h.
As for being an updated model, the MY 2017 model features a consolidated Coupe Coupe and Roadster versions of the V8 Vantage S. Together with five new option packs offering broad scope for personalisation and even greater value the V8 Vantage S is a competitive entry point to the Aston Martin range.
A new Sport-Plus Pack option includes a choice of five body colours, which can be combined with no-cost optional accent colours applied to the front grille lipstick, side sills, mirror caps and rear diffuser blades. Also included is the ten-spoke graphite finish lightweight alloy.
One change to be implemented across all current model lines is the new AMi III infotainment system that includes a new integrated sat-nav system, integrated graphics, quicker and easier address input, reduced loading times, updatable maps, graphical itinerary planning and advanced traffic information. AMi III also incorporates Apple CarPlay.