For the 2017 model year, Aston will produce the V12 Vantage S with a seven-speed manual transmission.
Well, it's about time. Just like how the Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe became the V12 Vantage coupe, a similar treatment is now being done to the company's smallest droptop. And thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, a smattering of details and photos of this, the V12 Vantage Roadster, have leaked out early.
Back in February, Aston Martin announced a revision to its entry-level model – the V8 Vantage – for European markets, and subsequently revealed it to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Of course, we knew it would only be a matter of time until the updated Vantage would find its way Stateside, and that time has now come.
It is hard to believe, but the gorgeous Aston Martin V8 Vantage is pushing seven years on the market. In that time, the British automaker has worked hard to keep its sporty coupe relevant and current. Along those lines, and in a move expected to be embraced by enthusiasts worldwide, the 2012 model is on the receiving end of yet another comprehensive update (its last was in 2008).
Aston Martin showed off a few photos of the production version of the V12 Zagato last month, and then a video recently. If you're one of the no-more-than 150 customers who manages to take one home, then here are detailed views of what you can expect. The rear end is particularly striking, even with a wing that's the least stylized object on the entire car.
Few outfits have benefited from the kind of success that Aston Martin Racing has enjoyed. The team has emerged as an absolutely dominant force in the numerous GT classes of endurance racing around the world. But Aston's success arguably went to its head a little, prompting AMR to abandon its GT racing program to privateers as the team itself attempted to step up to the top-tier LMP1 class with the AMR-One.
Aston Martin has had the V8 Vantage on the market since 2005, making it seven years old this year. That's a fairly long life-cycle for any car, but that doesn't mean Gaydon hasn't tried its best to keep it current, releasing the most comprehensive update since the refresh it received in 2008.
It's amazing what a company like Aston Martin can do with what essentially amounts to two product families. Discounting the Toyota-built Cygnet and the exclusive One-77, the company's entire line-up is based around either the Vantage or the DB9. While the latter has also spawned the Virage, the DBS and the Rapide, Aston has also done a lot with the former. There's the V8 Vantage, the Vantage S, the V12 Vantage and even the exotic V12 Zagato – not to mention countless racing versions.
It seems to us like Aston Martin never tires of rolling out ever hotter renditions of its Vantage sports coupe. As if the original V8 Vantage weren't enticing enough, Aston then shoehorned a V12 under the hood. Zagato then rebodied what we already thought was one of the shapeliest beasts on the market. And the improvements just keep on rumbling in. But then there's the racing versions. Oh, the racing versions!