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Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Review

The Aston Martin Vantage series initially started with a V8 engine with manual or semi-automatic gearbox options. In 2009 the range expanded to include the V12 Vantage, which was then replaced in 2013 with the V12 Vantage S, taking the two-seat coupe from a fast rear-wheel drive sports car to a mind-bending V12 supercar.

Producing 422kW of power and a mammoth 620Nm of torque, the 5.9-litre V12 engine under the bonnet propels the car from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds, sending torque through a semi-automatic seven-speed gearbox.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S’s heritage is undisputed, with the manufacturer choosing to stick with the front-engine, rear-wheel drive combination, effectively pushing all-wheel drive to the side in favour of outright rear-drive performance.

From the outside, the Vantage still strikes a gorgeous line in traffic, with this colour combination turning heads on many occasions. The sleek Aston Martin lines have been emulated by many manufacturers, but never perfected in the way that Aston Martin has done.

The seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox can change gears in just 70ms, making for a vicious swap between gears under full throttle. The experience is further enhanced with blips on downshifts and the ability to skip gears where required — unlike a conventional semi gearbox.

Another aspect that’s unlike a normal gearbox is the often-clunky nature of gear shifts. Sure, much like any semi-automatic gearbox, if you lift off the throttle prior to an upshift the process is made easier. But, it’s an automatic gearbox; it should be able to change gears smoothly and without driver intervention.

This aside, the gearbox does a magic job of wrangling the power and torque on offer from that stunning V12 engine. Under full throttle, gearshifts are nothing short of savage. The gearbox will manually disconnect a gear and select the next gear in a quick, but harsh fashion. It’s reminiscent of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante with the way it rips through cogs in its Corsa mode.

Published: Monday, November 30, 2015

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