Aston Martin is doing its bit to save the manual by offering its latest Vantage AMR with a 7-speed manual transmission...
In an announcement which should pique the interest of AMG followers, Aston Martin has confirmed that its Vantage range now has a limited-edition AMR derivative.
Aston will only produce 200 of these AMRs but the anchor feature distinguishing them from other Vantages will eventually find its way into the entire entry-level range of Astons. That anchor feature is a 7-speed manual gearbox!
In a global market where manual gearboxes are increasingly rare, Aston Martin has realised that enthusiast owners who set their own driving schedules and who are unburdened by the chore of commuting in traffic have a desire to own and operate a sportscar they can shift gear in. Hence the production of these new Vantage AMRs, which feature a 7-speed manual gearbox.
The Vantage AMR is powered by an AMG-built 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine boasting 375kW and 625Nm of torque. Those deeply familiar with the Aston brand will notice that torque number is down a touch from the paddle-shift Vantage V8s, an adjustment made by engineers in the interest of clutch durability.
These manual shift AMRs are lighter than a paddle shift Vantage, with a notable weight saving of 95 kg gained by replacing the automatic gearbox with this new 7-speed manual. A new adaptive damping system with dedicated Sport+ and Track modes should help owners exploit the greater agility offered by the AMR’s lower overall mass, which registers a kerb weight of only 1 435 kg.
Although the Vantage AMR manual can achieve zero to 100 kph in 4 seconds, it's four tenths slower than the paddle shift version.
For those Aston fans who can’t get onto the 200-unit production list of these AMRs, fear not. Aston has announced that once they have built these limited-edition manual shifting AMRs, the option of that 7-speed gearbox will become available in other Vantages too.
All of this must have AMG GT owners wondering if Mercedes-Benz will ever be equally daring, and offer their GT sportscar in manual guise too? It's powered by the same engine, after all.