Good news for those who miss the good old days – the new Vantage AMR gets a seven-speed manual transmission while losing 95kg – but it's not cheap.
The Aston Martin AMR is a 200-unit limited edition of the company's smallest model. Being a limited run means it comes at a premium, obviously, but it also arrives with extra goodies to justify the cost.
The AMR has lost 95kg from its curb weight and comes in a variety of bespoke visuals, five liveries to be exact, but the big drawcard is its manual transmission.
The transmission did duty in the previous generation V12 Vantage S and, in a nod to racing tradition, has a dog-leg first gear. The box is mounted on the rear axle in the AMP and, using a limited-slip differential, sends power to the rear wheels through seven gears. There is something called the ‘AM Shift’ mode which offers switchable auto-blipping and a flat-shift function.
Power is supplied by the same AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 from the standard model but, to prevent damage to the new gearbox, torque has been reduced by 45lb ft to 461lb ft. Bhp remains at 503 but, as is always the case, manual shifting is slower and therefore so is the 0-62mph, which is achieved in four seconds flat. Top speed is unchanged at 195mph.
Aston's objective for the AMR is about a more involving driving experience though, with less emphasis on outright speed. They want the driver to engage with the car through the three pedals and gear lever.
Carbon-ceramic brakes come as standard to not only slow things down but to help drop the car's weight. The AMR achieves a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and the standard Skyhook adaptive dampers have been adjusted to offer a greater range of capability between its three stiffness settings.
As mentioned before, the AMR offers five liveries with the one in the gallery called the ‘Vantage 59’ package. This is Aston's signature aesthetic and combines their Stirling Green paintwork with Lime pinstriping and bespoke decals. There's also a splattering of carbon fibre extras, such as those on the bonnet and side vents with smoked out tail lights and unique forged 20-inch alloy wheels adding to the exclusivity.
The selected livery infiltrates the interior too for consistency, but the most noticeable change inside is the new centre console which has been redesigned to accommodate the larger transmission and accompanying lever, taking up space where the infotainment scroll wheel sits in the standard vehicle.
As they say, you pay for exclusivity, and it's no different for the Aston Martin Vantage AMR. The entry into this limited run of cars is £149,995 – £30k more than the standard model – but, if you want to really be exclusive, the signature Vantage 59 models will set you back £164,995. Aston says it will offer the manual transmission to order on the standard car once the limited run is sold out, but there is no word yet on what cost that will add to the stock cars price.