Aston Martin has whipped the covers off its new Vantage AMR, giving the V8-powered sportscar a seven-speed manual transmission with a dog-leg first gear.
The Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8 engine still provides the urge, sending 375 kW and 625 N.m to the rear axle. That’s enough oomph, says the Gaydon-based firm, for a zero to 100 km/h time of 4,0 seconds (a full four-tenths slower than the standard model equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic).
The company says the seven-speed manual – complete with a hand-stitched leather-clad gearlever – was developed by Graziano and “inspired” by motorsport. Second to seventh gears are positioned in a traditional double H-pattern configuration.
The Vantage AMR’s transmission is mated to a limited-slip differential and also features a driver-selectable throttle-blipping system, which uses clutch, gear position and prop shaft sensors to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts. The system furthermore offers the capability of full-throttle upshifts for “minimal interruption in acceleration”.
Interestingly, Aston Martin says dropping the eight-speed automatic transmission and adding carbon-ceramic brakes as standard has cut the Vantage AMR’s weight by some 95 kg.
Just 200 units will be produced, 141 of which will be offered in either Sabiro Blue, Onyx Black, China Grey or White Stone. The final 59, meanwhile, will be built in celebration of the 60th anniversary since Aston Martin’s 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with DBR1. Named “Vantage 59”, this fixed specification features a Stirling Green and Lime exterior paint scheme and Dark Knight leather and Alcantara interior, finished with a signature AMR lime stripe.
Aston Martin says the standard Vantage will be offered with a manual gearbox “as an option” from the first quarter of 2020.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.