The Civilized Beast -- Aston Martin's New V12 Vantage S
For a hundred years, Aston Martin has provided the Global Church of Velocity Worshippers with elegantly-crafted objects of veneration.  The latest of these is the new 205 mph, 565 hp V12 Vantage S, statistics that make it sound like some half-mad rocket sled ready to spin out of control at the twitch of the throttle.  But it is, in fact, as fluid and composed as Bond in a tuxedo.  Even so, a quantum of caution is advisable because like Bond, he... and this car is definitely a 'he'... may well be glad to see you, but that is in fact a gun in his pocket.

On sale next year with a price expected to be in the $200,000 range, the new car replaces the outgoing V12 Vantage in markets around the world and, with the exception of the One-77 hypercar, arrives as the fastest road-going Aston Martin yet offered.

"The new V12 Vantage S is, simply, pure Aston Martin. It is extreme in its nature yet truly timeless in its design language," says Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer DrUlrich Bez.  "The new V12 Vantage S is our most extreme Vantage to date – engineered to bring race car performance and technology to the open road.  It is our most powerful engine in a beautifully tailored suit. It is elegant, yet brutal, and it is at the same time easy to control. It has everything that sums up Aston Martin: power, beauty and soul!"
Race car technology runs right through the DNA of the V12 Vantage S, including the new Sportshift III AMT (automated manual transmission), a major development of the automated manual gearbox that appears in the current V8 Vantage S.  Designed and engineered to exploit the full sporting potential of the V12 engine, the new Sportshift III hydraulically actuated automated manual transmission operated by racing-style paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

The debut of three-stage adaptive damping – another 'first' for the Vantage family – allows the driver to more precisely tailor the car's dynamic character. 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Track' modes provide a broad swath of dynamic performance that can be tuned to better suit the driver's requirements. The system also governs the level of power steering assistance offered.
Working alongside the extended adaptive damping system is a 'Sport' mode, controlled via a button on the center console that alters throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, and exhaust note to, once again, tune the character of the car to the driver's requirements.

A whole new exhaust system – derived from that of the One-77 hypercar, no less – is lighter, smaller and, crucially, even more preaches to the choir in a more persuasive voice than ever before.
The ZF Servotronic power assisted steering is new, too. With a quicker 15:1 ratio, it is linked to the adaptive damping button and offers two-mode steering assistance designed to best match the 'Sport' or 'Normal' settings generated by the Adaptive Damping System.

Visual cues that this car is something new include a grille that does away with the famous aluminum vanes – replacing them with a new carbon fiber arrangement that also includes sporty black carbon fiber or titanium silver mesh. Created to maximize airflow to the V12 engine, the new grille is inspired by that of the remarkable new CC100 Speedster Concept, nicknamed DBR100, which debuted at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring earlier this month and signals a new era of Aston Martin design language.
Other clues that single out the car as new include the debut of new lightweight forged alloy ten-spoke wheels, and a subtle yet distinctive exterior graphics pack that includes black painted roof and part-painted boot panel.

The new V12 Vantage S of course retains the same compact proportions and muscular stance as its predecessor, while features such as the pronounced hood vents and flared wheel arches underscore its sporting abilities.
Inside, as out, the new car has been styled to reflect its powerful nature. New-style Sport seating, revised stitching and welt detailing, two leather grade options – Luxmill and semi-aniline – plus the possibility to include Alcantara, present V12 Vantage S buyers with an exciting array of trim choices.

The optional Carbon Fiber Interior Pack, which adds the material to the car's fascia and door pulls, plus the availability for the first time in a V12 Vantage S of black pedals, further enhances personalization options for those in search of a truly bespoke sports car.
The iconic ejection seat is sadly lacking from the lengthy list of technical features and options, but, like all Aston Martins these days, the ignition key is genuinely unique, what the company calls an 'Emotion Control Unit.'  It's a slab of crystal and metal about the size and twice the heft of a Zippo lighter that, when inserted into the dashboard, glows red, indicating that this most civilized of beasts is ready to be... awakened.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S specification

• Two-seat, two-door coupe body style
• Extruded bonded aluminum VH body structure aluminum, magnesium alloy, composite and steel body
• Extruded aluminum door side-impact beams
• Halogen projector headlamps (main beam)
• High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam)
• Black headlamp bezels
• LED rear lamps
• Clear rear lamps with a black border
• Carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser

• AM28 all-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48 valve, 5,935cc, V12
• Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
• Fully catalyzed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
• Max power: 565 hp (573 PS) at 6,750 rpm
• Max torque: 457 lb ft (620 Nm) at 5,750 rpm
• Acceleration (estimated): 0-60mph in TBC seconds
• Max speed (estimated): 205 mph (330 km/h)

• Rear mid-mounted 'Sportshift™ llI' seven-speed automated manual transmission with electronic shift-by-wire control system
• Alloy torque tube with carbon fiber propeller shaft
• Limited-slip differential
• Final drive ratio 3.7:1

Wheels & tires
• 19-inch, 10-spoke forged alloy, diamond-turned and Graphite-painted wheels
• Front wheel: 9J x 19"
• Rear wheel: 11J x 19"
• Front tire: Pirelli P Zero Corsa 255 / 35 ZR19
• Rear tire: Pirelli P Zero Corsa 295 / 30 ZR19
• Tire repair kit


• Rack and pinion, power-assisted steering
• 2.6 turns lock-to-lock
• Column tilt and reach adjustment


• Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
• Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
• Black painted brake calipers
• Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with track mode
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
• Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
• Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
• Traction control (TC)

• Three Stage Adaptive Damping System (ADS) - Normal, Sport and Track modes
• Front: Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers
• Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs and monotube dampers


• Full-grain leather interior
• Piano Black facia trim, centre stack and door pulls
• Alcantara-trimmed sports steering wheel with black airbag ring
• Electrically adjustable Sports seats with side airbags
• Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
• Dual-stage driver/passenger front airbags
• Carbon fiber front grille
• Titanium side strake mesh
• Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
• Heated rear screen
• Automatic temperature control
• Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
• Trip computer
• Cruise control
• Bluetooth® telephone preparation
• Satellite navigation system
• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener
• Front & rear parking sensors
• Reversing camera
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Alarm (with volumetric and tilt sensor) and immobilizer
• Remote-control central door locking and boot release
• Glass ECU
• Glass switches
• LED map-reading lights
• 700W Aston Martin premium audio system with six-CD auto changer
• Satellite radio
• Integrated Apple iPod® connector1
• USB connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Player (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility


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