Manual transmissions are slowly becoming a relic of past, in an automotive world full of automation and electrification. For enthusiasts though, there is no other way to drive than with a stick shift. These days, however, supercars and grand tourers are slowly losing that third pedal, much to the dismay of the small but vocal pool of enthusiasts. Thankfully, there's still Aston Martin.
The British luxury automaker is committed to the cause of saving the manual transmission, and they even made a car to prove their point. It's called the Vantage AMR, and it comes with a proper seven-speed manual in a neat, dog-leg pattern. The Vantage AMR’s manual transmission comes with a driver-selectable AMSHIFT system which comes with an automatic rev-match feature, for proper heel-toe downshifts. The same system also allows full-throttle, no-lift upshifts for maximum acceleration. Meanwhile, a new limited-slip differential will help put the power down.
Speaking of power, the Vantage AMR uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which has been tuned to produce 510 PS and 625 Nm torque. This allows the manual Vantage to go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 314 km/h. Because Aston Martin ditched the automatic transmission and added carbon ceramic brakes as standard, this shaved a total of 95kg from the AMR. New adaptive suspension with Sport, Sport +, and Track modes helps the AMR corner better as well.
As with most AMR builds, Aston Martin will only be building 200 models of the Vantage AMR globally. 141 of those will be finished in either Sabiro Blue, Onyx Black, China Grey or White Stone. However, the final 59 units will wear a special Stirling Green with Lime accents to pay homage to the brand’s 1959 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There is some good news though. Once all 200 Vantage AMR models are sold, the seven-speed manual transmission will be offered as an option for the standard model starting next year.