UPDATE: Aston Martin is definitely building a model with a manual gearbox. We are seeing these teaser images just hours after posting these spy shots showing a Vantage possibly testing with a three-pedal setup. One of them shows a gearshift with what appears to be a wood top and polished metal stalk. The other is the footwell with pedals for the clutch, brake, and accelerator. The debut is on July 11, 2023, so there's a very short wait to learn more.
Aston Martin built 333 examples of the Vantage V12 coupe and 249 Roadsters. Now, it looks like a few more are on the way, and this time there might be a manual transmission. New spy shots show what appears to be a tall gearshift on the center console.
There are interesting things to notice on the Vantage's exterior, too. The blue car in this gallery seems to have the same hood as the V12 model, but this piece doesn't appear to be on the light gray vehicle.
Gallery: Aston Martin Vantage V12 Manual Spy Photos
The blue model wears wheels with Y-shaped spokes like on the V12 coupe. The light gray Vantage seems to have the 10-spoke design from the Roadster. The aggressive side sills with vents behind the front wheels also carry over from the 12-cylinder model.
The rear features the wing from the V12 coupe. The diffuser is similar to the one on the 12-cylinder model but with a noticeable difference. If you look closely, a third, smaller exhaust pipe is in the center between the larger outlets.
Inside, the Aston Martin engineering team hides what we believe is the manual gearshift underneath a piece of cloth. The comparison above shows that there's nothing like this on the Vantage V12, which adds to the evidence that something is going on with this car's center console.
Whether the twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 would have an adjusted output to handle the potential switch to a manual gearbox is unclear. The current version makes 690 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 555 pound-feet from 1,800 rpm. The coupe hits 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph. The Roadster reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has the same 200 mph maximum velocity.
Aston Martin would likely keep a manual-equipped Vantage V12 as a limited-production offering. Between the coupe and Roadster, it only made 582 examples of the models with the eight-speed automatic.
There's no indication of when this model might arrive, whatever it turns out to be. Besides the revised exhaust and the possibility of a manual gearbox, the company doesn't appear to be changing much.
For more discussion about the Vantage V12, check out this Rambling About Cars podcast episode.