Would you have yourself a manual gearbox in a 563 hp, 620 Nm 12-cylinder guzzler? Apparently, some enthusiasts do. Aston Martin is now offering the Vantage S with a seven-speed manual transmission that aids in throttle blipping, so you won’t have to get all caught up heel-and-toeing through the corners.
Offered as a no-cost option in Europe, the manual Vantage S features the good old dog-leg configuration. This means the shifter gate’s layout is optimised to ensure that the most frequently used gears are located in a double ‘H’ pattern, making it appear much that of a conventional six-speeder.
The magic takes place through an intelligent software mapping called AMSHIFT. Through clever computing, the system mimics the technique of heel-and-toe downshift. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how or if you’ve never heard of the term, but if you drive this car, everyone will think you’re a seasoned racer. AMSHIFT is most efficient when Sports mode is activated, and it’s also when you realise the true lyrics of a national anthem.
Underneath the hood is the same 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine. Aston Martin claims that the manual transmission performs just as quickly as the automatic transmission; it sprints from 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and maxes out at 330km/h. It’s mechanically identical as well, which means you get the same brakes, chassis tuning and suspension as the automatic variant.
First deliveries of the Vantage S manual will begin in the third quarter of 2016 for both European and US markets, but the latter will only be getting it as a special edition model with a limited run of 100 units.