Aston Martin V12 Vantage Loses A Pedal, Refuses To Die

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
aston martin v12 vantage loses a pedal refuses to die

D espite a wistful tribute to one of the most outrageous sports cars on the planet, Jeremy Clarkson was wrong. We will see another car like the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. But something is missing.

The V12 Vantage S gets a 50 horsepower bump and a 37 lb-ft boost in torque. Final power figures are 565 ponies and 475 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is now 205 mph while 60 mph comes up in 4 seconds. A 7-speed automated manual is the sole gearbox option – unfortunately, the three-pedal gearbox goes bye-bye.

In a way, Clarkson was right. The lack of a manual gearbox means the end of an era – as far as I know, there are no more V12 powered sports cars available with a real manual gearbox. But in the grand scheme of things, I am ok with it. It’s a small price to pay. When every supercar is employing some kind of hybrid system or turbocharged engine, we have a real, honest to goodness naturally aspirated V12 crammed into Aston’s smallest bodyshell. My guerrilla antics with the V8 Vantage means that I’ll probably never drive one of these, barring a sudden Powerball win or the kind of marriage that necessitates a pre-nup. But I’m glad that it exists.

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6 of 22 comments
  • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on May 29, 2013

    The end of V12s with a proper manual gearbox....truly a dark day in the world of car enthusiasts. I wonder if there's any chance Ferrari, Aston, or Lamborghini would fit one as part of their customization program for someone who came bearing a big enough check.

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    • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on May 29, 2013

      @cubista: there is no non-s version of the v12 vantage. I realize there are other enthusiast models out there, but to me a long hood short deck car with a normally aspirated V12 up front is the ultimate road going GT sports car (ok straight six gets a close second). turbos, 4 cylinders, v8s, awd, mid engines, they are certainly fun and have their place, but they're not the same. That such a classic configuration is no longer able to be ordered or purchased new from any dealer with 3 pedals, is, I think, a very sad sign of the times and what the future holds. It is truly the end of an era for the car.

  • Kyree Kyree on May 29, 2013

    Obviously, the fact that this is happening means that these manual-transmissioned high-dollar cars are losing propositions for their respective automakers. It may be that Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin all go the automated-manual route (given their fashion-statement-making clientele) but plebeian cars like the Mustang, Corvette, GTI, 500 and MX-5 "Miata" have high take-rates when it comes to manual transmissions, and I don't think that they will jettison them for a very long time, if at all.

  • NMGOM NMGOM on May 29, 2013

    As I sadly watched Jeremy's video, it occurred to me that the "War on Speed" is not the fundamental problem. It is a "War on Competence". Not only do 75% of drivers work with distraction, but the car makers are doing their level best to automate the driving process so that real competence would not be necessary. And, of course, that generates more permission for distracted incompetent driving.... -------------------

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