Just when you think the manual transmission has gone the way of the dodo, British supercar maker Aston Martin swims against the tide and releases a limited edition Vantage AMR equipped with a seven-speed manual gearbox.
The motorsport-inspired shifter, developed by Italian gearbox maker Dana Graziano (formerly Graziano Trasmissioni), boasts a ‘dog-leg’ first gear, with the rest of the gears positioned in a traditional double-H pattern configuration. A hand-stitched leather-clad gearstick tops off the assembly. Limited slip differential, designed by Aston Martin’s leading dynamics team led by Chief Engineer Matt Becker, ensures the shifts are as smooth and impressive as possible.
The Vantage AMR manual gearbox also comes with a driver-selectable AMSHIFT system that does three things: mimic heel-and-toe downshifts through a combination of clutch, gear position and prop shaft sensors along with a fine-tuned engine management program; simulate the act of blipping the throttle while braking and changing gear so a driver can decelerate and corner more effectively; and make full-throttle upshifts that maximize smoothness and keep interruptions to acceleration minimal.
Another advantage of Aston Martin’s progressive manual transmission–it makes the car 95 kgs lighter than the automatic-equipped version.
This limited edition Vantage AMR will have production run of 200 units and five designer specs. Of the 200 total, 141 units will come in a choice of China Grey, Onyx Black, Sabiro Blue, and White Stone. The remaining 59 on the other hand, will serve as 60th-anniversary tributes to Aston Martin’s win at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dubbed as the ‘Vantage 59’, these special limited editions will have two-tone exterior paint finish consisting of a Stirling Green base and Lime accents. The cabin will feature Dark Knight leather and alcantara, finished with a signature AMR lime strip and stitch.
Under the hood lies the British marque’s signature alloy 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine positioned as close to the middle section as possible for optimal center of gravity and a weight distribution of almost equal 50:50 proportions. This high performance engine is capable of 503 hp at 6,000 rpm and 625 Nm from 2000 to 5000 rpm. This much power pushes the Vantage AMR from 0-100 kph in 4 seconds flat. Speed tops off at 314 kph.
Good news for manual transmission lovers, the Aston Martin will continue to provide this option in the regular version of the Vantage AMR starting first quarter of 2020. On the other hand, if you want to avail of this limited edition, MSRP for a single unit starts at USD179,995 (around PHP9.317 milllion).