Review Of Aston Martin V12 Vantage S - Essentially a replacement for the V12 vantage and thanks to a top speed of 205mph and a time of 3.9 seconds, the V12 S is the fastest car bar the 177 that Aston has ever made. Power is up 55bhp to 565bhp. While it only comes with an automated manual gearbox, it has three stage adaptive dampers, tweak styling and variable assistant steering. The step up from the Vanquish Volante which I drove yesterday to this the V12 Vantage S is pretty significant. The Vanquish is much bigger it's much heavier it prefers to be hoaxed around the corners. Whereas this car absolutely begs you to chuck it around and get on the power earlier and earlier. The steering - it's variable ratio for the first time so takes a little bit of getting used to but when you do there's loads of feedback and it weighs up really nicely in the corners. The dampers - they're adaptive as well, three stages, you've got normal, sport and track. They're really nicely judged especially on these smooth US roads of course. And there's a much broader breadth of ability than you get with something like the vanquish.
My only gripe, well it has to be with this gearbox, it's the latest version of the seven-speed sportshift which is an automated manual as opposed to the traditional torque converter auto you get in the vanquish. On downshifts well it blips through those in the blink of an eye but it's in auto mode in upshifts that it can be a bit jerky. However, if you do a little lift of the throttle, just as you upshift, when you can smooth it out. Now, that might be seen as a bad thing but for me I think it actually adds another dimension of involvement with the car and means you have to learn how to drive it. When you do the rewards are pretty amazing. With around 200 kilograms less than the Vanquish to haul around with the same 565bhp V12 engine as you might imagine performance with this thing is absolutely savage.
If I hit the sport button here everything sharpens up and as you can hear the V12 engine and the exhaust noise behind my head gets a lot more vocal. And even if you have the DSG system in its intermediate track mode you need to be right on it to catch this car at all times because with all that power rear-wheel drive and a short wheelbase it can be a bit of a handful at times. Make no mistake this is by quite some margin the best car that Aston Martin makes. So, does the 138,000 grand Aston V12 Vantage S keep it up to pace with its rivals. Absolutely and not only that this is by far the best car that Aston currently makes. OK so the gearbox isn't perfect and for the same money you can go faster with something like say the 911 Turbo. But nothing has the character and tactility of this car. Proof, if you needed it, that Aston is still very much at the top of its game. Thanks for read Review Of Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.