The V8 Vantage has been honed to an even sharper edge in its latest incarnation: S. Here, the V8 power unit has been massaged to offer even more power (430 hp peaking at 7300 rpm) and more torque (361 lb-ft versus 346 in the standard car).
The biggest development, however, is the incorporation of a new transmission, called Sportshift II, which incorporates seven-forward gears mediated by a single clutch. Lightning-fast gear changes are enabled by steering column-mounted shift paddles. The Vantage S also offers a Sport function that quickens shift speeds and lets the gearbox hold its selected gear higher in the rev range for sporting driving. Sport mode also alters engine mapping for more aggressive throttle response, and uncorks a series of exhaust bypass valves for a louder and more inspiring exhaust note.
And in addition to its new drivetrain, the Vantage S has also been endowed with new technical improvements such as a quicker steering ratio (15:1 versus 17:1), and beefier front brake assemblies with six-piston calipers closing on 15-inch rotors. Like the standard V8 Vantage, the Vantage S is available in both coupe and open-topped Roadster versions.
2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S
Layout: Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: 4.7-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve
Transmission: Seven-speed automated manual
Power: 430 hp @ 7300 rpm
Torque: 361 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Top Speed: 189 mph