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First Drive: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S [Video]


I’m a massive fan of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. That car is a wild mash-up of littlest Aston meeting the automaker’s largest engine, and it’s paired with a manual gearbox to boot. Now though, the automaker has come to market with a new version of the car. It’s called the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, and it boasts more power, a higher top speed, and can run from 0-60 miles per hour in under four seconds.

There’s a problem though… the manual gearbox is gone. Is this actually a problem though? I trekked to the Palm Beach International Raceway to find out.

[Disclaimer: Aston Martin flew me to Florida and put me up in a classically gorgeous hotel. Food and drinks were had the evening before driving the V12 Vantage S. On the flight home, a fat guy next to me kept touching my leg… that was a long flight.]

  • Scandinavian Flick ★

    Given my love affair for Aston Martins, and my irrational jealousy of you getting to drive this thing, coupled with me not wanting to look up "giant veiny dildo" while at work to give you something to hold onto, I'll just settle for pretending this is what you were driving…

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/in1TD0c.jpg&quot; width="550">

    • MVEilenstein

      I'd like to see anyone hit 145 in an SSR.

      • Scandinavian Flick ★

        An SSR might… But the HHR would probably take a while. I can only imagine how scary it would be at that speed…

        My HHR can't go one forty five,
        I blew the tranny and now it won't drive.
        I take taxis I ride in the back,
        I tell my story and the drivers talk smack.

        • MVEilenstein

          I wish I could edit that comment.

    • I want to be your co-worker!

  • MVEilenstein

    From every angle, what a glorious beast of a car.

  • Watching a video review for an Aston Martin Vantage is as relevant to me as reading a want ad for an astronaut neurosurgeon.

    • I Think Not

      Agreed. I watched only for the aurally sexual sound of the V12, left disappointed.

      • mic wasn't cooperating, apologies.

        • I Think Not

          Bummer — that's the best thing about a V12 (since the same power can be had much cheaper by using a same-displacement V8).

          The one opportunity I've had to drive a V12 was several years ago, back when BMW and the Susan Komen foundation were still doing their charity drive thing. I was able to talk my way into the dealership-to-dealership drive at the end of the day, and I snagged the keys to a 760Li, thinking it would be the ultimate distance cruiser (the dealership to which we were driving was over 100mi away).

          This was before BMW started putting turbos on everything, and the big V12 somehow managed to make it its 440-odd horsepowers in a relaxed fashion. It was so smooth in every way that it never felt fast. When you pinned the throttle, it pushed you gently but firmly into your seat and held you there until you lifted.

          But it didn't make any exciting noises, only audible near redline. The V12 was installed, I suspect, to make the kind of smooth, effortless power that another brand, now owned by BMW, used to state as "adequate" because bragging about numbers is so… common.

      • Yes, most guys like aural sex.

    • you'd still read that ad though…

  • I was recently reading a fantastic review of the Riva Tritone Special in a boat magazine.

    The author created an incredible image of the hard-chined Riva slicing across the mirror-flat lake, the spray from the wake mixing with the summer haze to seem like the boat was being chased by mist, while the warble of that marinized Cadillac V8 rang out over the water with a sound more akin to an announcement from on high than a mere engine.

    Then I suddenly realised that I'm impoverished, for which I thank the heavens.

    If I could afford any of this stuff reading reviews would become a chore. Fantasy beats the hell out of reality.

  • You're in Palm Beach, Florida, in my backyard, driving fancy cars, drinking fancy drinks, eating fancy food and staying in fancy hotels and this olelongrooffan does get a phone call? I can see where I rate in the Hooniverse approval system. 🙂

    It does sound like a fun time though.

  • skitter

    I was also disappointed by the loss of engine noise in the video, but otherwise I really liked the way it was put together.