Every year car manufacturers spend millions of dollars looking toward the future, seeking to replace old analogue controls with digital replicas, and make driving easier. Lucky for us, nobody told Aston Martin as they remain steadfast in the old ways that made their cars great. Their latest tribute to the old way of doing things is the V12 Vantage S, the only new car you can buy with a V12 mated to a manual gearbox. Matt Farah’s latest One Take shares this incredible car with us as he explains how this car makes driving an event.
The V12 Vantage S is a very special car for so many reasons. Instead of having a normal gear pattern for its 7-speed manual gearbox, it uses the dogleg pattern found in old race cars. This pattern favors spirited driving as you can shift from second to third in a straight line and then four to fifth, since first gear is on its own separate area. This new pattern of transmission means you need to learn how to drive this car all over again, it takes time even for an experienced driver like Matt. It really makes you think about what you’re going to do next and enhances the driving experience.
The V12 Vantage S may not be the fastest or most advanced sports car that commands a $200,000 price tag, but this timeless car will last for much longer than its rivals. Aston Martin uses real buttons for the interior of this car instead of screens. It’s amazing that we live in an age when buttons are an unconventional interior piece that represents a genuine cost in the production of this car. The engine is a massive 6.0 liter V12 that does not use any sort of forced induction as it hurls you down the road with its 565 horse power salute to a bygone era when massive engines and more cylinders were king. This car is an instant classic and I suspect that when we are much older it will command an astronomical price tag at Pebble Beach or any other gathering people wealthy enough to drive $30 million Ferrari’s.
Maybe Aston Martin got lucky that their aging platform, and inadequate technology budget is finally old school cool. However, a car this incredible is not built by a company that’s stuck in the past but rather one who understand what made it great and wants to make sure we never forget.