Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is not for the shy and sub­tle, alethia tiang dis­cov­ers

Prestige (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

james bond is one lucky man. Well, sort of. Amidst the thrills that come with dodg­ing bul­lets and ex­plo­sions, he also gets to drive beau­ti­ful road ma­chines, par­tic­u­larly those by Bri­tish car maker Aston Martin.

Ap­pear­ing in the 007 movies from the 1960s, the au­tomaker is prac­ti­cally syn­ony­mous with the Bri­tish spy. But surely there’s more to As­tons than that — they’re topof-the-line per­for­mance cars that have made his­tory books for their tri­umphs on the cir­cuit. The cars don’t sim­ply look good, its rac­ing her­itage en­sures oomph un­der the hood. And to­day, I get to imag­ine that I am on Her Majesty’s Ser­vice as I take out the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. (Ac­tu­ally, the only Vantage model in the fran­chise was the V8 Vantage Volante — so I’m tech­ni­cally get­ting first dibs.)

The coupe sports the sen­su­ous curves As­tons are known for, but don’t un­der­es­ti­mate its power. Switch on the ig­ni­tion and the car’s de­light­fully fe­ro­cious roar turns heads. And it’s not all bark with no bite. The car is, af­ter all, equipped with a V12 en­gine that de­liv­ers 565bhp of power and 620Nm of torque. This en­ables the Vantage S to pro­pel all 1,600kg to 100km/h in un­der four sec­onds and reach a blind­ing speed of 330km/h. Com­par­a­tively, the older V12 Vantage de­liv­ers less power at 510bhp, while its V8 ver­sion hits a max­i­mum of 430bhp.

Sim­i­lar in size to Porsche’s iconic 911, the Vantage S is not quite as wide as other larger su­per­cars. In terms of power, the base 911 model, Car­rera, pro­duces ap­prox­i­mately 420bhp, al­most that pro­duced by Aston’s V8. But its most ro­bust sib­ling, the Turbo S, de­liv­ers al­most 580bhp, even though it’s fit­ted with a much smaller six­cylin­der, four-litre heart. And the V12 Vantage S doesn’t lag far be­hind.

These days, few su­per­cars are fit­ted with true man­ual boxes, but to ap­peal to petrol heads who en­joy be­ing in con­trol of their ve­hi­cle, the new­est Vantage S comes with a seven-speed au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion with pad­dle shifts. Meant to be driven in man­ual mode, the car gives driv­ers the abil­ity to con­trol gear changes just like in an older trans­mis­sion, but bet­ter and faster. Lift your foot off the throt­tle — just like you would with a man­ual box — and up­shifts will be smoother. All it takes is just a lit­tle get­ting used to.

Other than what’s un­der the hood, the twoseater also comes with a num­ber of fea­tures. This in­cludes Dy­namic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol with Track mode, Adap­tive Damp­ing Sys­tem and Trac­tion Con­trol, which en­sure op­ti­mum driv­ing per­for­mance. For safety, the Vantage S is equipped with Aston’s Car­bon Ce­ramic Ma­trix brak­ing sys­tem and Emer­gency Brake As­sist, along with the stan­dard rear-park­ing sen­sors and side airbags, while front park­ing sen­sors and reversing cam­eras are op­tional.

With this coupe, the rear-wheel drive comes with two im­por­tant but­tons — one ad­justs the car’s steer­ing re­sponse for Nor­mal, Sport or Track mode; while the other ad­justs throt­tle re­sponses and shifts. On reg­u­lar roads, Track mode is not ad­vis­able, so, like me, add some ex­cite­ment to your drive by tak­ing it to Sport mode for sharper throt­tle re­sponse and louder ex­haust sounds.

As­tons aren’t known for hav­ing com­pre­hen­sive in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems, nor do they come with a crowded, com­pli­cated in­stru­ment panel. So on the in­side, the driver’s cock­pit is more tra­di­tional in look, which is a pos­i­tive for driv­ers like me who some­times find touch-sen­si­tive screens and ad­di­tional but­tons and knobs a tad su­per­flu­ous.

As good as it looks on the out­side, the in­te­ri­ors are styled for lux­ury too. Top-qual­ity wood and metal adorn the car all around, with suf­fi­cient space for two adults and lug­gage, mak­ing this suit­able for ev­ery­day use. Of course, it also sports leather seats with con­trast stitch­ing to ap­peal to the dap­per gent. For driv­ers with rac­ing blood flow­ing through your veins, you can also opt for car­bon fi­bre light­weight seats. And if you pre­fer a more life­style drive, go for the V12 Vantage S road­ster in­stead, so you can pop the top and cruise in style when­ever you wish.

My imag­i­na­tion is call­ing. Do al­low me to go back to be­ing 007, be­fore I have to re­turn the car. Wearnes Au­to­mo­tive, 45 Leng Kee Road

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