It seems Aston Martin cant get enough of launching new models and special editions this year to commemorate the marques 100th Anniversary.
First we had the Centenary Editions, then the CC100 Speedster was unveiled last week at the Nurburgring 24 Hour race. And now weve got the fastest ever baby Aston: the V12 Vantage S.
Building upon what quite a few motoring critics reckon was already one of the finest cars ever to have that famous winglet badge stamped onto the boot lid, the V12 Vantage S features quite a few noteworthy improvements to what was already quite an exceptional package.
For instance, this is the first Aston to ever come with three-way adjustable dampers, with varying levels of stiffness, depending on whether the drivers selected the Normal, Sport or Track mode for the drivetrain.
As innovative as they are for Aston Martin, though, weve seen this sort of stuff before on other high-performance cars, so we wont dwell on them for too long.
Nor will we spend much time going over the new carbon-ceramic brakes that features on the V12 Vantage S, which seemingly have less assistance from the ABS anti-lock software when the cars in the aforementioned Track mode.
Or, indeed, the variety of optional extras available on the new Vantage flagship, such as the more sporting buckets and the Carbon Fibre Interior Pack for the V12 Ss cabin.
Instead, well be glossing over what really matters, especially in a car thats practically had a great big V12 shoehorned into an engine bay that wasnt originally designed to accommodate it: the performance.
According to the stat sheets, the V12 Vantage S comprehensively trumps the regular V12 Vantage - with an increase in power from 510hp to 570hp, top speed is increased from 190mph to 205mph, which comfortably makes the V12 S the fastest production Aston to date.
And, whilst no official acceleration figures have been released, its safe to assume the new sevenspeed paddleshift transmission will ensure the Vantage Ss 0-62mph run will be a shade quicker than the stock V12 Vantages time of four seconds.
As far as the other modifications to the Vantage package goes, the most are either minor tweaks (marginally faster steering rack, lighter and redesigned exhaust system to make that V12 sound even more glorious than it already does), or slight cosmetic upgrades, like the new forged alloy wheels and the carbon-fibre vanes in the front grille.
All in all, then, nothing too drastic for the Astons coachwork. Given the V12 Vantage is already one of the most handsome cars on sale today, though, thats perhaps a rather wise move by Aston Martins design department...
Priced from: N/A
Available: Later this year (No specific date mentioned)
With the Vantage platform getting on a bit now, and all the stock V12 Vantage and V12 Zagato models being catered for, we wouldnt be surprised if the V12 S ends up being the last chance anyone will get to buy Astons pocket rocket brand new from their nearest official dealer.
If that does end up being the case....well, you cant deny its a pretty awesome way to bid bon voyage to one of the most celebrated model lines in Aston Martins recent history.
Itll be interesting to see how much entry into V12 S ownership will cost (the standard V12 Vantage retailed for approx. 130,000, so expect the final figure to be at least a tad higher for the V12 S), but - based on what the critics have made of the other big-power Vantage variants to date - its safe to assume itll be worth every penny!
Check out our full buying guide to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage with reviews, user reviews, photos, videos and stats.