Aston Martin is celebrating turning 100 in style. Not only has it released a stunning concept car in the form of the open-top CC100 and made history by being the first company to field a hydrogen powered racing car in an international race, it has now unveiled the most powerful series production car in its history – the V12 Vantage S.
We were surprised when Aston unveiled the standard V12 Vantage. Shoehorning the massive 6.0-litre V12 from the larger DB9 into such a small car seemed like a recipe for disaster. And, yes, while that car is something of a handful, it appealed to enthusiasts, who loved its bare-knuckle driving experience.
Now they’ve upped the ante. The V12 Vantage S boasts 565bhp – 55bhp more than before. To channel this power to the rear wheels, Aston has thrown out the manual gearbox, instead offering just their paddle-shift automated manual, called Sportshift III.
The car has now been programmed with three separate driving modes – Normal, Sport and Track – which alter suspension stiffness, throttle response and the responses of the on-board electronic safety aids to suit the driver’s mood.
Official performance figures have yet to be confirmed, but Aston Martin will say that V12 Vantage S can reach a top speed of 205mph.
The tweaks aren’t limited to the engine. The bodywork has also been suitably jazzed up to mark the Vantage S out as the range-topper.
The front grille design is new; lifted from the CC100 concept, and the Vantage also wears new side strakes, fashioned from carbon-fibre.
Completing the exterior makeover is a new graphics pack which includes a roof and boot panel finished in black.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: “The new V12 Vantage S is, simply, pure Aston Martin. It is extreme in its nature yet truly timeless in its design language.
“Learning from our successes on the track feeds the development of this type of car and I’m proud to launch such an exciting sports car in this, our centenary year.”
Like the look of the Aston Martin Vantage? Find your own used example in our classifieds