Aston Martin has removed a nail from the manual gearbox’s coffin this week, equipping the V12 Vantage S with manual. It brings stick-shifting back to Aston’s classy muscle car, and in doing so puts some confidence back behind a transmission we all feared was being usurped by the paddleshifter.
Real confidence: rather than just bolt in its six-speed manual from Vantages of old, Aston has developed a new, seven-speed manual. And to help you keep on top of all those ratios, it’s got a dog-leg layout. That means second to seventh gears fill the positions normally used for first to sixth. First gear, which you’ll really be using at junctions or when parking, is reached by going left and down from neutral.
It’s unusual to find nowadays, but some great, great cars have used this layout over the years. Cars which used a dog-legged first gear not to make seven ratios easier to handle, but rather to elbow it out of the way to value fast driving above all else.
So click forth through TG’s whistle-stop tour of the world’s best dog legs…