Teasers are usually a thing we tolerate more than we enjoy--they do give us hints of what's to come, but they also ruin the surprise. In this case, however, we've been intrigued by the possibility and, now, enticed by the reality: the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.
A new AM28 6.0-litre V-12 engine powers the 421 kilowatt V12 Vantage S, enabling a top speed of 330km/h. 0-100km/h times haven't been released yet, but something below four seconds is likely a safe estimate. Torque is up from the standard V12 Vantage's 569 Newton metres as well, to 619 Newton metres of torque in the S. Perhaps more importantly, measured torque at 1,000 rpm is up from 439 Newton metres to 509 Newton metres.
Some of the updates that improve the AM28's performance include hollow cam shafts and CNC machined combustion chambers.
All V12 Vantage S models get the Sportshift III automated manual transaxle (AMT). Updated from the version in the V8 Vantage S, the V12 Vantage S's gearbox provides quick, affirmative paddle shifts while saving 25kg over the six-speed manual gearbox.
Completely new to the Vantage range is the three-stage adaptive damping system. With "Normal," "Sport," and "Track" modes, the system can range from relatively plush to firm and agile at the press of a button. Throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, and exhaust note are also controlled by these modes.
The exhaust system itself is derived from that of the One-77 hypercar, saving weight and space compared to the previous V12 Vantage exhaust.
Electronically-controlled hydraulic power steering (via a ZF-sourced Servotronic system) also joins the party, with a 15:1 steering ratio. The electronically-controlled steering is also tuned to match each of the three adaptive damping settings.
The exterior of the V12 Vantage S is mostly familiar, and that's mostly fantastic, as the standard V12 Vantage, and the Vantage family, for that matter, are quite comely. Sharpening the look for the V12 Vantage S is accomplished with black carbon fibre or titanium silver mesh accents, a new grille insert inspired by the gorgeous CC100 Speedster Concept, alloy ten-spoke wheels, and a subtle graphics package including a black painted roof and partially painted trunk panel.
Inside, the new V12 Vantage S gets revised Sport seats, with a choice of Luxmill or semi-aniline leathers, optional Alcantara upholstery, and an optional Carbon Fibre Interior Pack. The carbon pack adds carbon fibre trim elements to the door pulls, dash, and black pedals.
As Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin put it, "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!"