Aston Martin has done something few sports car manufacturers are willing to do these days; build a sports car with a manual gearbox. The new Vantage AMR is one such car and says a big f$%& you to the unstoppable trend of throwing away the third pedal in favour of the automatic transmission. Vantage AMR will be for a few – 200 to be exact – and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, including here in Mzansi. Prices have not been released yet, but in Germany it costs R3.4 million.

One of the things that make this transmission special is that it is 7-speed type, which is exceptionally rare. Only Porsche has been offering such a manual thus far. Secondly it is a dog-leg system, which means first gear is at the bottom left end of the cog, rather than top left. Such a layout has not been seen in the commercial world for decades. This car is also 95kg lighter than the standard Vantage.

Of the 200, 141 will be normal, while the final 59 will be crafted in celebration of the 60th Anniversary since Aston Martin’s triumphant 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 and stitch.


At the heart of it is a new 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG. The motor produces 375kW of power and 625Nm of torque. Aston says it will enable the rear-wheel-driven Vantage AMR with a limited slip differential (LSD) to accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 4 seconds flat, topping off at 314km/h.


“When I joined this company, customers asked and, as a gearbox engineer and racer, I promised that we would always offer a manual transmission in our line-up,” says Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO. “The Vantage AMR not only honours that commitment but sets us apart from our competitors in continuing to offer a three-pedal option. In a world of autonomous robo-taxis, Aston Martin will continue to advance the art and science of performance driving. With the Vantage AMR, we have created a thoroughly modern sports car that rewards effort and focus from the driver; the antidote to driving a computer game. With the Vantage GTE set to race again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, I hope that those customers who are lucky enough to take ownership of a Vantage 59, will have even more reason to celebrate with their new car”.

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