If you didn’t have enough reasons to love Aston Martin here’s another – well seven to be exact. For the 2017MY, Aston Martin have given the ageing V12 Vantage S a breath of fresh air in the form a new 7-speed manual gearbox. Yes, a proper old school manual with a gear stick and a clutch pedal in this day and age. Shock and horror.

Previously, the V12 Vantage S was only available with Aston’s Sportshift III 7-speed single-clutch transmission. The addition of a ‘proper’ manual shows Aston are well aware that some people out there still value manual gearboxes. A contrast to most other high-end performance car brands who shifting away from manuals in favour of faster and more efficient paddle-shift gearboxes.

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The 7-speed transmission features a dog-leg configuration which allows for the gears used the most to be in an ‘H’ pattern. The transmission also features a new AMSHIFT system that will automatically blip the throttle on downshifts and allows for full throttle upshifts. These sorts of systems are becoming the norm in modern manual cars, the Porsche Cayman GT4 and Nissan 370Z also have similar systems.

Aston has also given the 6.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12 a tweak here and there brining power to 573hp/kW, up from 565hp/421kW. Torque remains unchanged at 620NM. 0-100 km/h is still done in 3.7 seconds and it tops out at 325 km/h.

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The the V12 Vantage S, along with the rest of Vantage range, also gets Aston’s new AMi III infotainment system. This brings a more modern interface and features replacing the old and clunky systems. Aston promises faster loading times, quicker and easier inputs, integrated and enhanced graphics, updatable maps, and Apple CarPlay.

Despite being on the market for over a decade now the Vantage still remains one of the most desirable sports GTs and this new 7-speed manual option will undoubtedly add to its charm and appeal. This also signals good news from Aston, with CEO Andy Palmer reiterating”the manual gearbox remains an integral part of our product plans and will do for many years to come”.

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Interestingly, earlier this same week spy shots of the upcoming Aston Martin GT8 surfaced online. Essentially, it’s a V8-powered version of the bonkers GT12 car. Interesting times ahead for Aston. Just goes to show they don’t need a fictional spy to make them exciting.

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