2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Review

V12 Vantage

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2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Overview

Not content with developing one of the more powerful and agile sports coupes sold in the U.S., the folks at Aston Martin have, for the 2015 model year, introduced the V12 Vantage S Roadster convertible. Thus this outrageous track star can be delivered in a sunshine-soaking convertible version as well as the Coupe edition, which enters its second year of production. Meanwhile, added carbon fiber interior and exterior accent upgrades also join the Roadster edition in debuting for 2015.

Both the 2015 V12 Vantage S Coupe and Roadster variants are described by reviewers as a result of stuffing the largest powerplant in the Aston Martin arsenal into its smallest frame. After all, this downsized street rod seats only a pair of dedicated speed freaks and carries merely 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space… at least in the Coupe… for your Aston-Martin-accessorized luggage. Of course, the Roadster’s cargo-carrying capacity is even smaller, thus taking this little drop-top anywhere exotic might mean mailing your luggage ahead.

Anyhow, both 2015 V12 Vantage S versions are praised for their combination of high-end cabin ambiance, aggressive good looks, nimble handling attributes and potent powertrains—not necessarily in that order. And, although there will doubtless be those who lament the passing of the standard 6-speed manual transmission, the 7-speed auto-manual shifter that now represents the sole gearbox offering is touted to be considerably lighter than the old stick-shift, thus helping this 2-seater achieve a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds (Roadster) and a 201-mph top speed.

Perhaps a marginally more comprehensive examination of the mechanics of this screamer is in order. Loosely based on the nifty V8 Vantage, the V12 Vantage S variants again pack a 565-hp V12 engine that mates with the recently introduced 7-speed auto-manual transmission and its accompanying steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for 457 lb-ft of torque. That’s a hefty 11 added ponies and 37 more lb-ft of torque over the original V12 Vantage. Further investigation finds that the CNC machined combustion chambers and hollow camshafts, along with the aforementioned auto-manual transmission, allow higher performance along with significant weight savings and more fuel-efficient operation.

In any case, an optional driver-selectable Sport setting offers modulations to throttle response and shift points, even to the exhaust note, for even wider smiles on the open road. Of course the 3-stage suspension damping feature (Normal, Sport and Track) also returns in the Coupe and stars in the introductory Roadster. This state-of-the-art suspension system also flaunts driver-selectable tweaks to power steering response along with ride settings in keeping with the driving mood of the moment.

All this being said, it should be noted that more than one reviewer has noted that the auto-manual transmission, introduced on the 2014 V12 Vantage Coupe, is prone to some wince-inducing thumps in changing gears and that said harsh shifting in combination with the sport-oriented ride may be a bit further off-putting for a drive to the mountains or to the shore. Spending a day at the track, though, or cruising the road less travelled? Well, that’s a whole other ballgame, with those authoritative gear changes and the uncompromising agility encouraging your competitive nature to become abruptly aroused.

Bells, whistles and adornments, you ask? Starting with 19-inch painted alloy wheels, both 2015 V12 Vantage S variations also offer standard performance tires, heated power-adjustable mirrors and, in the Roadster, a convertible top that can be raised and lowered in 14 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Inside, look for leather upholstery, heated, power-adjustable sport seats (with memory) and full power accessories to complement telescoping tilt-wheel steering and cruise control. A remote garage door opener, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, meantime, complement liberal applications of leather, alloy and carbon fiber cabin accents. Techno-goodies include a standard 160-watt stereo with a 6-CD player and auxiliary iPod input, GPS navigation and, of course, Bluetooth hands-free technology.

Finally, standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted airbags, self-leveling high-intensity-discharge headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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V12 Vantage

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