In the time where we see concepts with no steering wheel and pedals, a sports car with a manual transmission feels incredibly special; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a limited edition. Very few carmakers can listen to the purists and Aston Martin seems to be one of them.
The new generation Vantage has received not only the AMR treatment but also a manual transmission — available from Q1 2020. This particular example features a 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans celebration Vantage 59 livery, which is part of the five Vantage AMR specifications. The exterior is finished in an exclusive Stirling Green paint with Lime Halo Graphic + 59 logo on the bonnet.
It also gets a gloss carbon fibre body pack and Lime green accents. Rounding off the looks are 20-inch textured black AMR wheels.
Interiors of the Vantage 59 standard specification include Sport Plus Collection (Sports Plus seat and Sports steering wheel), Dark Knight leather and Dark Knight Alcantara with Lime stripe and Lime contrast stitching, 59 logo embroidery, Q dark chrome and carbon fibre jewelry pack, aluminium treadplates, gloss black trim inlays and more. Options include satin carbon fibre trim inlays.
Moving on to the business end of the story, the AMG-sourced 4.0-litre V8 biturbo is paired with a 7-speed manual transmission from Graziano, featuring a dog-leg first gear. Second to seventh gears – those that will be used most frequently when on the move – are positioned in a traditional double H-pattern.
The transmission is combined with a limited-slip differential, tuned and calibrated by Aston Martin’s dynamics team, headed by Chief Engineer Matt Becker, from the team’s base at Silverstone Race Circuit.
As with the previous-gen Vantage manuals, the manual transmission here features AMSHIFT. The system, which is driver-selectable, uses clutch, gear position and prop shaft sensors, together with engine management program to mimic the technique of heel-and-toe downshifts; the act of blipping the throttle while braking and changing gear to allow smoother deceleration and cornering as a result. AMSHIFT also offers the capability of full-throttle upshifts for maximum smoothness and minimal interruption in acceleration, the company said.
Removing the automatic transmission and including carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, makes the car 95 kg/209 lbs lighter (1,499 kg/3,305 lbs dry) than the standard Vantage.
The 4.0L V8 biturbo offers the same 510 hp (375 kW) at 6,000 rpm, however, the max torque is 625 Nm/461 lb-ft (-60 Nm/-44 lb-ft) from 2,000-5,000 rpm. A 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration happens in 4.0 seconds and top speed is claimed to be 314 km/h (195 mph).
Aston Martin’s latest adaptive damping system incorporating Skyhook technology – with Sport, Sport + and Track modes are present here too.
The new Vantage AMR is limited to 200 units; carries a recommended retail price tag of £149,995 in the UK, €184,995 in Germany and $179,995 in the USA. Vantage will continue to feature a manual gearbox as an option from Q1 2020, following the sale of all 200 Vantage AMR models. Deliveries of Vantage AMR are scheduled to begin during the final quarter of 2019.