Manual lovers rejoice: Aston Martin reveals Vantage AMR with a 7-speed stick
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To the sadness of enthusiasts (and the supposed total disinterest of the majority of new-car buyers) the manual transmission appears on its way out. Even the sports-car segment hasn't escaped the plague, with most manufacturers favouring dual-clutch transmissions over a traditional stick.
Aston Martin are among the brands to have gone in this direction, with last year's newly revealed Vantage available only with an automatic. But, that's about to change with the addition of the Vantage AMR.
Like previous AMRs, this new one comes with some special touches. It gets a lick of blind-your-eyes neon green on the brake calipers, body, and cabin, plus it gets unique lace wheels — each of which covers a beefed up ceramic brake disc.
The AMG-sourced M177 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is untouched, putting out the same amount of power and torque (375kW/695Nm) as the standard model. It's just that now it comes linked to a seven-speed manual.
It's a unique gearbox this one. First is a 'dog-leg' on the left-hand side, with second through to seventh sprayed across in the traditional H-pattern configuration. The seven-speed comes with Aston's AMSHIFT system, which helps with automated rev-matching on down-shifts as well as flat shifting.
Seven-speed sticks are nothing new for Aston Martin. A similar system comes as an option in the V12 Vantage S and more hardcore Vantage GT8 — with the decision for seven gears instead of six supposedly done to allow the manual to share the same ratios as its automatic cousin.
All of this results in a 0-60mp/h (0-96km/h) time of 3.9 seconds according to Aston Martin, with the top speed of 313km/h.
Aston Martin are producing just 200 of these things. Some 141 of those will come in one of Aston's more mainstream colours (Onyx Black, China Grey, Sabiro Blue, or White Stone), while the remaining 59 will form a special limited-edition-within-a-limited-edition model.
Those remainders will be named the 'Vantage 59' model, and will exclusively come in the Stirling Green with Lime paint-scheme that features in these press images.
Local availability for the Vantage AMR hasn't been confirmed. So far, UK, German, and American pricing has been announced — each market paying £149,995, €184,995, and USD$179,995, respectively.