You Get to Row Your Own Gears
The manual transmission is dying a much-bemoaned death. At least, enthusiasts are sad to see them go. Aston Martin won’t let the manual transmission go quiet into that good night. The company’s new Vantage AMR will rage, rage against the dying of the manual transmission light.
The car is quite similar to the regular Vantage. It uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. That engine is good for 503 hp and 460 lb-ft. The Vantage AMR also has the engine mounted far back from the nose of the car to give it near perfect 50:50 weight distribution. This should make it one of the better cars to drive on sale today. Aston claims a 3.9-second 0 to 60 mph time and a blistering fast top speed of 195 mph.
The big news for the car, though is that it will get a special 7-speed transmission from Graziano. The gearbox features a dog-leg shift pattern instead of the typical double H pattern you see on most cars with a manual. The gearbox also has something called AMSHIFT. This unique system helps make you a better driver by using sensors to help mimic proper heel-and-toe downshifting. It also allows you to shift from one gear to the other without letting off the accelerator.
This is a special car with a special kind of manual transmission. While some people will be annoyed the Vantage AMR has the fancy AMSHIFT system included, they should just be happy that the manual transmission car exists. Aston plans to make 200 units. It has a price tag of $179,995.