2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Review

Photography and video by ©2017 Toni Avery

Sometimes a car can make you feel a certain way. Whether you’re looking at it, sitting in it or driving it, a car can have that effect on you. In the case of this certain car, I’ve only been so excited to receive a press car once before this. But the result of driving this one left an even bigger impression on me. I’m still coming off the high of my weekend loan writing this exactly one week later. This car has done something to me.

The V12 Vantage S is powered by a 6.0 L naturally-aspirated V12 producing 568 HP @6650 RPM and 564 lb-ft of torque @ 5500 RPM (thanks to the Sport-Plus Pack, optional) mated to a 7-speed dogleg manual transmission going from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with stopping power provided by ventilated Carbon Ceramic disc brakes.

I’m driving back from Irvine in my one-of-twenty-four manual V12 Vantage S’ and the traffic couldn’t be worse. Well, it always could, but it’s pretty bad. And for the first time in my life I don’t care. I don’t care at all because I’m in a very rare manual V12 Vantage S and I’m the second loan this car has ever had. All I can think about is how good my day of driving is going to be away from all this traffic.

It’s rare enough that an OEM still produces a car that you’ll actually want to drive with a manual transmission…but to have one with a manual, a V12 and something you’d consider living in just to own; now that’s extremely rare.

Think all you want that the Vantage is just a nice looking GT car with the option of rowing your own gears, but it’s so much more than that. To date, I have yet to drive a manual car with so much power and torque to get me out of almost any gear. I couldn’t get over how quick the car was even accelerating out of third from about 2-3000 RPM, all 564 lb-ft of torque almost seems available all the time.

Sunday was dedicated to driving. I went just about everywhere. Mount Baldy, Carbon Canyon, and GMR and I drove till it was dark, and even after it was dark….and four tanks of gas later I still can’t get enough of this car.

The entire day was spent with all traction control systems off. Thanks to my time at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, I was confident in my skills and the cars abilities to leave that off. It made for a more connected driving experience. The car is so good and completely controllable even without all the aids on. There might have been a few times where I slid through a corner or two and without any issue, the car and I worked together to maintain it, and come back straight.

The steering at a stop feels fairly heavy, but once you get going it’s easy to maneuver. It’s a very responsive steering system with any input you give it responds with no delay and as precise as you want it to. Once the car was in Sport mode (don’t turn it off!) it livens up and sounds so good. This also deactivates the exhaust flaps. Playing with the suspension modes made a difference too. Comfort really absorbs all the road imperfections and makes for a more GT ride quality, while Sport provides a more stiffer and firmer ride making it my preferred choice.

The transmission is really complementary to the car. Throws are short and each gear clicks into place. The dogleg setup takes some getting used to, but it’s a rewarding transmission that I couldn’t imagine not having with this car.

The chassis really doesn’t flex or complain when you throw it into a corner too hard and it’s got so much front grip that it never pushed through a corner, no matter the speed. The car does everything you want it to and nothing you don’t. It’s one of the most refined sports cars I’ve ever driven.

The exterior features a Vantage V12 S badge (optional), yellow brake calipers (optional), black meshes (optional), Carbon side strakes (optional), black side window surround (optional), full length Satin Cuprum Carbon fascia (optional), all finished in Jet Black, sitting on lightweight wheels.

The Vantage is one of the most stunningly designed cars on the road today. It’s curvy in all the right places, has a low-slung hood, wide hips, a perfect profile and just the right mix of aggressive and sexy. It’s one of the more understated sports cars on the market, because it’s not flashy. It’s just the right amount of “look at me” with a heavy dose of classic beauty.

Inside the Vantage is a Pure Black Alcantara interior with headrest embroidery (optional), gear shift surround in carbon fiber (optional), glass switches (optional) and yellow accents.

When you’re inside the V12 Vantage you feel as though you’ve stepped inside of a high-fashion designers studio. Every little thing inside the car is beautiful to the touch and the eye. There is no shortage of attention to detail here and the yellow accents throughout help to breakup the black interior. Even something as simple as the key is so elegantly thought out. I used the stereo a couple times, but kept it off for the duration of driving. It’s a nice system, but the exhaust and engine noise is a better sound system than any you can option.

To date, I can easily say I have never had so much respect and appreciation for a press car, with nothing significant to pick on or anything that I would change. In every driving situation, the car felt like it was made for whatever I was doing. It more than kept up on the mountain roads, cruised along on the highway and never complained in traffic. If I could give it higher than a five out of five, I would. It’s hands down the best press car I’ve ever had.

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S:

Base Price: $196,295

Options:

Fit V12 Vantage S badge, Brake calipers – yellow, 

Headrest Embroidery – Aston Martin Wings, Gear Shift surround carbon,

Black meshes, Sport-Plus pack, Black side window surround, Front parking sensors,

Black pedals, Rear environment material – leather, Carbon side strakes,

Glass switches, Facia – full length satin cuprum carbon

Gass guzzler: $3,700

Destination Charge: $3,086

Total Price: $224,051

Fuel Economy: 10 City, 16 Highway, 12 Combined 

 GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S an overall rating of (out of 5 total):

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