It's been a busy centennial year for Aston Martin, and the British automaker shows no signs of slowing down, announcing Tuesday the 2015 V12 Vantage S.
The car, which Aston bills as its fastest on the market (save for the full-crazy One-77), will replace the outgoing V12 Vantage. The company said the car's top speed is 205 mph.
The Vantage line is the automaker's smallest car and sportiest offering in the U.S., with V-8 models competing in the marketplace with Porsche's 911. Its larger DB9 and Vanquish cars fall into the more relaxed grand touring category.
The V12 Vantage S has a 6.0-liter V-12 engine similar to the one found in Aston's Vanquish. Horsepower on this Vantage rises to 565, and torque is up 37 pound-feet to 457 pound-feet total.
The car also joins a growing trend of sports cars jettisoning manual transmissions in favor of automated or dual-clutch units. Whereas the previous V12 Vantage was available only with a six-speed manual, this S version will come only with a seven-speed automated manual.
Aston says this switch not only saves 55 pounds, but the race-derived gearbox allows for much faster gear changes and performance.
"Learning from our successes on the track feeds the development of this type of car," Ulrich Bez, chief executive of Aston Martin, said in a statement. "I'm proud to launch such an exciting sports car in this, our centenary year."
The car will also come with a three-stage active damping suspension system, with Normal, Sport and Track settings. Also selectable is a separate Sport mode, which sharpens the throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, and exhaust note.
Aesthetically, the S differentiates itself with a revised grille inspired by the recent CC100 concept, unique 10-spoke alloy wheels and darkened trim throughout the exterior.
Aston said the company is taking orders for the car now, although deliveries will start in January as a 2015 model. Expect pricing to be a shade under $200,000.