In a world of dull, irritating constraints and political correctness it’s comforting to know that there are still some things that retain an inspirational sense of insane extremity, designed to tear the backside out of life.
Aston Martin specialise in excitement of the James Bond variety, combining thrills with thoroughbreds, refinement with racing and classic style.
The company may have a German as its CEO but it is quintessentially British and its cars come fully loaded with high-end luxury and ultimate prestige.
Cars such as the DB9 and the new Vanquish offer an exclusive lifestyle synonymous with gentlemanly conduct, sophistication and power.
All high-brow stuff where pristine image is all important, but now there’s a new Aston on the block and it couldn’t give a monkey about prim and proper.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is designed to blow away the cobwebs of boredom with a raw adrenalin rush.
It doesn’t seem right to describe an Aston Martin as yobbish but this aggressive, upper-class wild child has traded in politeness for brutish performance.
The Vantage was always my least favourite Aston.
Ok, they look great but I was always left disappointed by the performance of the automated manual Sportshift gearbox, which was jerky and unsuitable for all but those who wanted to drive a racing car on ordinary roads and kidded themselves that a lumpy gearbox was integral to the experience.
Not for me I’m afraid, and I could never understand why Aston put this car up against the Porsche 911 which has one of, if not the best gearbox out there with its superb PDK system.
But this new Vantage, which replaces the outgoing V12, has changed my opinion, because the latest seven-speed Sportshift III automated manual is a gigantic improvement, to the point that compared to its predecessor, it’s almost faultless.
In fact, after you have driven this car for a while and got used to its nuances you can guarantee smooth shifts by lifting your foot off the accelerator momentarily as you change gear.
The whole Vantage S package is awesome, from the way it looks with those black bonnet vents to the luxurious but ultra-sporty interior and that magnificent V12 which makes an amazing noise.
Once inside you feel like you are in a racing car, apart from the luxurious leather and carbon trim, and that is no coincidence because this car carries the DNA of Aston’s GT3 racers.
The adrenalin starts to flow as soon as you fire up that 6.0-litre V12 which has a stonking 565bhp and torque of 620nm.
It will blast you from 0-100kmh in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 330kmh which makes this the fastest series production car built by Aston Martin in their 100-year history, apart from the One-77 supercar, and you can’t buy one of those because they are all sold.
The acceleration has to be experienced because it will make you laugh out loud – it’s awesome and it has the handling to match.
Driven in sport or track mode using the paddle shifts is truly entertaining.
It is comfortable to drive and the interior is typical Aston with lots of leather, glass switches and carbon.
It retains Aston’s family values of style and quality but essentially the V12 Vantage S is about relentless power, tapping into the marque’s rich vein of motorsport success.
It is a bit overpriced but it has real charisma and it’s irresistible.
Why Buy It
Aston Martin – Specifications
Manufacturer : Aston Martin
Production : 2013 onwards
Class : Luxury sports car
Body style : Two-seater
Layout : Rear-wheel drive
Engine : 6-litre V12
Output : 565bhp
Torque : 620nm
0-100km : 3.9 seconds
Transmission : 7-speed automatic
with paddle shifts.
Kerb weight : 1,665kg
Top speed : 330kmh
Price : Dh850,062
Rating out of 10: 9
Here is the official advert for the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
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