The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is one of our favorite cars currently on sale, but it's seven-speed automated manual gearbox doesn't live up to the rest of the car's greatness. Aston Martin has a solution now that's perhaps more glorious than your wildest dreams: A seven-speed dogleg (!!!) manual gearbox. (Update: The car is real. Aston just confirmed it!)
The Drive on the car's existence via a rendering of a shift pattern and a door plaque it apparently received from a "mysterious source." When asked about the veracity of this rumor, representatives from Aston Martin didn't deny it, making it all but official.
Details will probably arrive shortly, but it seems Aston created a manual out of the seven-speed SpeedShift III automated manual currently available in the V12 Vantage S. The original V12 Vantage was available with a manual, but currently, only the V8 Vantage has an optional stick.
Yesterday it was reported that Aston would build a hardcore, 911 GT3 RS-rivialing version of the V8 Vantage, and it would use a seven-speed stick. We have it on good authority that the so-called "Vantage GT8" won't arrive for some time, if ever, but Aston should announce the manual transmission V12 Vantage S soon.
The renderings on The Drive reveal that the manual V12 Vantage S will be limited to 100 units, just like the track-focused Vantage GT12.
It's not exactly a secret that Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer is a big proponent of manual gearboxes, so a V12 Vantage with a stick makes a lot of sense. The fact that the current Vantage is set to be replaced in a few years could also explain why Aston would go to the trouble of building such a special version.
All in all, this car sounds just about perfect. A 565 horsepower, rear-wheel-drive throwback of a thing that we desperately want to drive. An official announcement should come soon, so watch this space for more info.