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V12 Vantage S (V12VS) Manual Transmission For North America

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Aston Martin DB7, DB9, DBS, Vantage V8, Vanquish, and Classic models
View Poll Results: Is the Manual Transmission a deal-breaker for buying a V12VS?
Yes it is. I am a prospective V12VS buyer and I would only buy with a manual
24
75.00%
No, I am a prospective V12VS buyer and I would prefer manual but would buy a paddle shift car
7
21.88%
No, I am a prospective V12VS buyer and I would prefer a paddle shift gearbox
1
3.13%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

V12 Vantage S (V12VS) Manual Transmission For North America

 
  #16  
Old 04-09-2014, 05:37 AM
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The results of this poll so far notwithstanding, I don't think it's really a matter of manual vs. paddles. I think it's more of a matter of having a good transmission. Like it or not, automated manuals are here to stay, at least until they come up with something new. I'm fine with that. If you're going to put an automated manual transmission in a car, however, it needs to be a good one.
 
  #17  
Old 04-09-2014, 06:32 AM
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Dave, my point is that they have had great automated manuals for decades; they're called automatic gearboxes. Let's face it, when it comes to driving in automatic mode, the absolute best automated manual is not as good as the average, run-of-the-mill automatic box in a Hyundai. And the main claimed benefit of the "shift yourself" mode in automated manuals (reduced shift times) means didly squat for anyone but those who are racing at a track event and then only at the truly professional, competitive level. For anyone else, shaving 0.25s off your shift time means nothing if you are being truly honest with yourself.

I sincerely believe that automated manuals' only consumer purpose was/is bragging rights from manufacturers such as Ferrari and their customers to claim in they were using "race-developed technology". In reality, it is a marketing gimmick for those customers who wanted to feel like they were just like Schumacher. Think about it, they even went as far as naming the first iterations "F1 gearbox". Stroke the ego much?
 

Last edited by karlfranz; 04-09-2014 at 06:35 AM.
  #18  
Old 04-09-2014, 07:01 AM
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I think Aston is in a bit of a bind with the Vantage. I don't know for sure but I think they have never offered an automatic transmission in the Vantage because of the size and weight of the transmission. I have heard their performance driving school people say that a DSG hasn't been offered in the "S" because of its size and weight penalty.

The elimination of the manual transmission in the "S" has been said to have occured because Aston wanted to have a car with an under 4.0 second 0 to 60 time. They also talk about the Vantage range as their true sports car. I understand the desire for the marketing claim but to me a manual transmission is a requirement for a sports car. So, no "S" for me. I'm happy with my 2012.5 V12 Vantage carbon edition and bought it just because of the lack of the manual transmission in the "S". Had they said the "S" would be available with a manual I would have waited for an "S".

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  #19  
Old 04-09-2014, 07:20 AM
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Hmm. Touchtronic fits in the DB9 and the packaging is about the same as the Vantage. Also, Porsche offers an automatic option on their 911 "sports car". As does Corvette and several others.
 
  #20  
Old 04-09-2014, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by karlfranz View Post
Dave, my point is that they have had great automated manuals for decades; they're called automatic gearboxes. Let's face it, when it comes to driving in automatic mode, the absolute best automated manual is not as good as the average, run-of-the-mill automatic box in a Hyundai. And the main claimed benefit of the "shift yourself" mode in automated manuals (reduced shift times) means didly squat for anyone but those who are racing at a track event and then only at the truly professional, competitive level. For anyone else, shaving 0.25s off your shift time means nothing if you are being truly honest with yourself.

I sincerely believe that automated manuals' only consumer purpose was/is bragging rights from manufacturers such as Ferrari and their customers to claim in they were using "race-developed technology". In reality, it is a marketing gimmick for those customers who wanted to feel like they were just like Schumacher. Think about it, they even went as far as naming the first iterations "F1 gearbox". Stroke the ego much?
I disagree KF. Most car enthusiasts who own exotic sports cars do not ever drive their automated manuals in automatic mode. In part, this is because, as you noted, they do not do automatic shifting well. However, also a big part of this is that it's no fun to have the car shift for you. It is highly involving to shift the gears in my scud and, while I am typically driving on the road when the fastest time does not matter, it still is a lot of fun. I love ripping through the gears and having the car shift so fast that there is no interruption in momentum. Another thing that's really fun is dropping two gears, punching it, and being slammed back into your seat. An automatic transmission does not do these things well. In fact, most automatics are extremely irritating as they always seem to shift when you don't want them to.

It may be that automated manuals were adopted primarily for the F1 cachet and bragging rights in terms of 0-60 and lap times. This does not mean, however, that these transmissions somehow provide a poor driving experience. To the contrary, good ones are a hoot to drive with. Not sure what your experience is with automated manuals, but I think that if you owned a car with a good one, you would enjoy it. Maybe it wouldn't be as fun for you as a manual, but I see them as different animals, each with their own merits. The scud just wouldn't provide the same enjoyment if it had a manual transmission. At the same time, I'd love to also have a 360 spider with a gated manual.
 
  #21  
Old 04-09-2014, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by HenryM View Post
I think Aston is in a bit of a bind with the Vantage. I don't know for sure but I think they have never offered an automatic transmission in the Vantage because of the size and weight of the transmission. I have heard their performance driving school people say that a DSG hasn't been offered in the "S" because of its size and weight penalty.

The elimination of the manual transmission in the "S" has been said to have occured because Aston wanted to have a car with an under 4.0 second 0 to 60 time. They also talk about the Vantage range as their true sports car. I understand the desire for the marketing claim but to me a manual transmission is a requirement for a sports car. So, no "S" for me. I'm happy with my 2012.5 V12 Vantage carbon edition and bought it just because of the lack of the manual transmission in the "S". Had they said the "S" would be available with a manual I would have waited for an "S".

Henry
I don't think it's weight that's the problem, I think it's development cost. Let's face it, Astons are relatively heavy cars as it is. A few extra pounds is not going to make an enormous difference. In addition, there are ways Aston could drop weight to compensate. Even an aftermarket exhaust system drops something like 50 lbs from the V12.
 
  #22  
Old 04-09-2014, 08:38 AM
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Dave, everything you describe as far as being able to drop down a couple of cogs with the paddles and stomp on the throttle can be accomplished with a good automatic gearbox such as the one in the F-Type. And when you you just want to chill, you can have the box shift for you; smoothly.
 

Last edited by karlfranz; 04-09-2014 at 08:47 AM.
  #23  
Old 04-09-2014, 08:51 AM
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I'm not in the market for a V12S, but I'll toss in my two pence...

Everyone that asks me about my car, whether friend or complete stranger, asks whether it is manual or automatic/paddles. When I say it's a manual, they all smile and say "nice" or something along those lines. When I was in the market for a V8V, I didn't even consider paddles.

With the new cars, there's no real reason the manual can be fitted. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the ASM is a manual transmission with electromechanical components added to it to make it shifted via paddles instead of linkage. Meaning, it's a bigger, heavier transmission than the manual. So fitting a manual should be easier because it's smaller and lighter (it doesn't have the added components).

If AM is fitting them for better performance, that's fine. But it shouldn't preclude the option to have a true manual gearbox, either.

I was tossing around the idea of getting something a bit quicker and test drove a Ferrari F430 with the F1 transmission. It was okay, but not nearly enough to get me out of my V8V. The next day I drove a McLaren 12C. The dual clutch in that blew away the F1 transmission. After that, I'm not even interested in an automated manual. I wouldn't mind paddles so long as they're hooked up to a dual-clutch.

So I guess that's where I stand as a consumer. Either a true manual or a dual-clutch. I'm not interested in anything in-between - it'd be a compromise between two perfectly good technologies.
 
  #24  
Old 04-09-2014, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer_X View Post
The results of this poll so far notwithstanding, I don't think it's really a matter of manual vs. paddles. I think it's more of a matter of having a good transmission. Like it or not, automated manuals are here to stay, at least until they come up with something new. I'm fine with that. If you're going to put an automated manual transmission in a car, however, it needs to be a good one.
I agree with you BTW, about having a good transmission rather than manual vs. paddles. The reason I threw this poll up was to see, right now, with the V12VS only being available with ASM3, whether that was hurting sales. And whether having the manual option would increase them. Because if that is the case and can be shown conclusively, there could well be a manual option made available.
 
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2014, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by telum01 View Post
I'm not in the market for a V12S, but I'll toss in my two pence...

Everyone that asks me about my car, whether friend or complete stranger, asks whether it is manual or automatic/paddles. When I say it's a manual, they all smile and say "nice" or something along those lines. When I was in the market for a V8V, I didn't even consider paddles.

With the new cars, there's no real reason the manual can be fitted. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the ASM is a manual transmission with electromechanical components added to it to make it shifted via paddles instead of linkage. Meaning, it's a bigger, heavier transmission than the manual. So fitting a manual should be easier because it's smaller and lighter (it doesn't have the added components).

If AM is fitting them for better performance, that's fine. But it shouldn't preclude the option to have a true manual gearbox, either.

I was tossing around the idea of getting something a bit quicker and test drove a Ferrari F430 with the F1 transmission. It was okay, but not nearly enough to get me out of my V8V. The next day I drove a McLaren 12C. The dual clutch in that blew away the F1 transmission. After that, I'm not even interested in an automated manual. I wouldn't mind paddles so long as they're hooked up to a dual-clutch.

So I guess that's where I stand as a consumer. Either a true manual or a dual-clutch. I'm not interested in anything in-between - it'd be a compromise between two perfectly good technologies.
If you get a chance, drive the 430 Scuderia. It's IMO the best transmission available. It's an automated manual but is amazing! It's not the fastest and not the smoothest but it has the best visceral feel of any transmission I've driven. Most people that are in my car (driving or passenger) comment on the transmission as much as the sound.
 
  #26  
Old 04-09-2014, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RossL View Post
If you get a chance, drive the 430 Scuderia. It's IMO the best transmission available. It's an automated manual but is amazing! It's not the fastest and not the smoothest but it has the best visceral feel of any transmission I've driven. Most people that are in my car (driving or passenger) comment on the transmission as much as the sound.
You've mentioned it before, I just haven't gotten around to trying one out. I haven't been back to FoW since the Great Ticket Incident of 2014 (apparently the business park there is 35mph and we were... above that) and haven't checked to see if they still have the one I saw there. Plus I'm scared I'll get hooked hahaha.

Okay, so there's ONE auto-manual I'd consider But as far as Aston's ASM goes, if it isn't as good as the Scud's F1 (not as good as the standard F1, either?), then I'm not interested. In a V12S, I'd want a stick (I love the one in my V8V) or a dual-clutch.
 
  #27  
Old 04-09-2014, 12:52 PM
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If the Vantage is going to be AM's "sports car" and the V-12 is going to be their "muscle car" (big engine dropped into a little chassis) then it should have a manual trans, or at least the option. I fully plan to eventually upgrade my 07 V8V to a V12V, but it will definitely be to one of the manual trans years, most likely a carbon. Gotta love the idea of a V-12 with a clutch pedal, even if it isn't cutting edge! My .02.
Btw, I do realize 3 pedal cars are a quickly dying breed but damn they are fun!
 
  #28  
Old 04-09-2014, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by karlfranz View Post
Dave, everything you describe as far as being able to drop down a couple of cogs with the paddles and stomp on the throttle can be accomplished with a good automatic gearbox such as the one in the F-Type. And when you you just want to chill, you can have the box shift for you; smoothly.
Yeah, I haven't had an opportunity to experience one of the newer high-performance automatics. I understand that the new Corvette auto is really quick shifting too. If that's the case, I'd probably be okay with them. What drives me nuts is when you ask for a gear from an automatic transmission, and then need to occupy yourself otherwise until the tranny finally gives it to you.
 
  #29  
Old 04-09-2014, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I agree with you BTW, about having a good transmission rather than manual vs. paddles. . . .
I guess that means I win the internet today!
 
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:33 PM
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Remember when they offered a MT retrofit to the last Vanquish, how did that work out?
 

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