Aston Martin announced the Vantage lineup will receive a number of upgrades that will make its most affordable family member even more appealing. While the base Vantage V8 models have been dropped leaving only the hotter V8 S versions of the Coupe and Roadster, they -- as do all 2017 Astons -- boast the latest infotainment systems with navigation and Apple CarPlay along with five new option packages that permit additional personalization. But the big news involves a new 7-speed manual transmission that joins the existing 7-speed Sportshift III automatic as a no-cost alternative on the range-topping V12 Vantage S.

Only 100 coming to America

"Broadening the scope of the V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission option is an indication of our desire to offer the keenest drivers a more analog and immersive machine to enjoy,” noted Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. He added that “the manual gearbox remains an integral part of our product plans and will do for many years to come." Only 100 of these manual models are slated for the U.S.

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Like the automatic, this new manual transmission features AM’s driver-selectable AMSHIFT system that provides rev-matching downshifts and allows for full-throttle upshifts. In a nod to history, it also has a classic “dog-leg” pattern that puts first gear down and to the left. Powered by Aston’s 5.9-liter/565-horse V12, the 2017 V12 Vantage S streaks to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a 205-mph top speed.  

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On the visual front, the V12 Vantage S will introduce a new Sport-Plus Pack option with a choice of a five exterior colors set off with contrasting accents on the grille surround, side sills, mirror caps and rear diffuser blades along with new 10-spoke graphite finish lightweight alloy wheels with a graphite finish. A similar motif appears inside, where the black or grey upholstery adds stripes and contrast stitching. The 2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S and V12 Vantage S models will arrive in showrooms here during the third quarter and pricing will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date.

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