Aston Martin turn to manual transmission with the new Vantage AMR
Aston Martin’s new Vantage AMR is slightly different when compared to their other exquisite luxury supercars and is claimed to be the ‘ultimate driving experience for customers’. The main difference being the innovative manual transmission.
To deliver a more ‘pure’ and ‘engaging’ experience for those that like to take their Vantage to the track, Aston Martin have taken their already-lightning-fast V8 Vantage and stripped out the automatic transmission, as well as a few other things. Limited to just 200 units, the Vantage AMR serves a niche within the Aston Martin target market by offering a fine-tuned, state-of-the-art solution to the requests of many driving enthusiasts. And who said manual is dead?
A motorsport-inspired 7-speed manual transmission
Developed by Graziano, the 7-speed manual transmission is in a dog-leg formation and is operated via a very nice hand-stitched leather-clad gearstick. The luxury is still prominent, as you’d expect in an Aston Martin, and although the Vantage can be enjoyed on long road trips, it’s mostly made with the track in mind. Second to seventh gear are arranged in a double H-pattern configuration for optimal positioning and quick, split-second shifting. Also for optimal performance and shifting smoothness, the Vantage AMR’s transmission is married to a limited slip differential, tuned and calibrated by Aston Martin’s leading dynamics team at the Silverstone Race Circuit.
Although a manual-focussed Vantage may sound very raw and unedited, there is some clever shifting trickery involved with the 7-speed manual transmission. A clever system called AMSHIFT, which is turned on by the driver, uses various sensors on the clutch, gears and prop shaft and an engine-management program to make complex shifting as smooth as possible. Drivers will be able to shift like a pro with more room to make mistakes in rev-matching thanks to AMSHIFT, which mimics heel-and-toe downshifts (blipping the throttle while braking and downshifting to achieve smoother deceleration) and also allows for full-throttle upshifts to reduce those lap times that little bit more.
The Vantage AMR is 95kg lighter than the Vantage thanks to the manual transmission and the carbon ceramic brakes which come as standard. The Vantage AMR is powered by a 4.0-litre, 510PS/625Nm twin-turbo V8 producing 503bhp at 6000 rpm and is capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph. The Vantage AMR has near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution which will help it make child’s play of any track it’s faced with.
Limited to just 200 units worldwide, the Vantage AMR is much more exclusive than the standard Vantage, and if that’s not special enough for you then you’ll be glad to know that 59 units will be dedicated to ‘Vantage 59’ specification which will feature 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans celebration ‘Vantage 59’ livery. Other than that, the Vantage AMR will be available in four other specifications.
The Vantage 59 spec celebrates the 60th anniversary since Aston Martin’s triumphant 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with DBR1 and features Stirling Green and Lime paint with Dark Knight leather and alcantara interior, finished with a signature AMR lime stripe and stitching. This special edition will cost £164,995 whereas the standard Vantage AMR will start from £149,995.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin Q4 2019 which is just ahead of the penultimate round of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Excited for this special manual transmission Aston Martin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.