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Aston Martin has released details of the latest iteration in its V8 range, the V8 Vantage S.

The new car is the first to used Aston Martin's seven-speed Sportshift II semi-automatic transmission, which is fitted as standard.

The new automated manual transmission is said to shift 20% faster than the original six-speed Sportshift, which was introduced on the V8 Vantage at the Paris show in 2006. Sportshift was claimed to change gear in less than 200ms, suggesting that Sportshift II cuts shift times to just 160ms.

In the Vantage S shorter gear ratios and a shorter final drive ratio of 4.182:1 are used to maximise acceleration.

Aston Martin claims that the automated manual transmission offers avoids the complexity of a dual clutch transmission, and is around 50kg lighter. Sportshift II is said to be 24kg lighter than the original Sportshift, despite its extra gear.

In addition to the new transmission, the V8 Vantage S has a revised 4.7-litre V8 engine producing 430bhp and 361lbft (up from 420bhp and 346lbft), quicker steering, larger front brake discs and wider rear tyres. Visual changes include a larger air intake, a new rear bumper and sill extensions.

www.astonmartin.com