Nothing is a more succinct sign of the times than a manual transmission becoming a luxury-performance car’s USP, as is the case with the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR.
The latest addition to Aston Martin’s performance-heightened AMR variants, the Vantage AMR’s headlining inclusion is a new seven-speed manual, which takes the place of the standard Vantage’s rear-mounted eight-speed ZF automatic.
The manual transmission features a ‘dog-leg’ pattern, with first gear being left out of the traditional H-pattern. This leaves the frequently used gears – second to seventh – lined-up within the H-pattern, allowing drivers to row through them easily while on the move.
Adding to that, the manual transmission also comes loaded with an engine management system that mimics heel-and-toe downshifts and enables full-throttle upshifts, which Aston christens as the AMSHIFT.
Aston says that the Vantage AMR’s transmission is now mated to a limited slip differential, rather than vanilla Vantage’s ‘E-Diff’, with its calibration and setup done by Matt Becker, Lotus’ former guru of handling.
Despite being an AMR variant, the Vantage AMR isn’t any more powerful than the base Vantage, with the 4-litre twin-turbo V8 keeping its 375kW output, while torque outputs were quietly knocked down from 685Nm to 625Nm.
Even though the Vantage AMR’s manual transmission and standard carbon-ceramic disc brakes shaving 95kg of weight, trimming it to a figure of 1499kg (dry), the engine’s torque deficit and self-shifter handicap means that the Vantage AMR would do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4sec, 0.4sec slower than the run-of-the-mill Vantage – whereas top speed remains at an identical 314km/h.
Aston Martin is planning to produce just 200 units of the Vantage AMR , 59 of which will be built to ‘Vantage 59’ specification in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Aston Martin’s win at the 1959 24 hours of Le Mans with a DBR1.
While a wide range of customisation options are available for the Vantage AMR, the ‘Vantage 59’ specification will only come in Stirling Green and Lime exterior livery with a black leather and alcantara interior, and festooned with the ‘59’ logo.
Prices of the Vantage AMR for Australia will start at $369,950, with the ‘Vantage 59’ specification priced at $409,950. That being said, the manual transmission won’t just be a passing special edition fitment in the Vantage line-up as Aston Martin will be offering it as an option for the standard Vantage from next year onwards.
However, as of publication, the company is keeping mum on details of whether manual-specced Vantages will come with the Vantage AMR’s LSD or reduced torque outputs.