With everybody’s attention turned to AI, lane-keeping assist, batteries, and mood lights, Gaydon went all nostalgic on us with a limited edition manual-transmission Aston Martin Vantage AMR
It happened to film too – first the digital camera killed the sepia dreams of millions of aspiring photographers. Then, just as we forgot all about that exciting feeling of coming home with a fresh envelope from the film developer around the corner, ready to sit down and browse the 36 out of focus holiday snaps of a bunch of red eyes, all our memories got tangled in a digital web. And the film lab, it’s now a vape store.
Film, though, didn’t die. A few enthusiasts shoot the laborious way, having to appreciate each one of the 36 available exposures. It’s more personal they say, more involving. Now some shop owners put old film cameras and lenses up front, with prices to match.
Manual transmissions in cars got their mourning too. Now they’re already up for a revival, going from drudgery to pleasure, but only once we all realised they were going at all. Now suddenly it’s a nostalgic cost option.
Porsche isn’t the only one to stick with the manuals in the latest 911. For traditionalists, the Brits in Gaydon have decided to release the new Aston Martin Vantage AMR with a seven-speed manual transmission, limited to 200 units worldwide ensuring instant collector status.
With a good old manual ‘box on board mated to the Mercedes-AMG supplied twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, the Vantage AMR weighs 95 kilograms less than the standard car, and does zero to 100km/h in four seconds going on to a top speed of over 310km/h.
Best of all, if you don’t get one of the 200 AMRs scheduled to start rolling out of Gaydon later this year, Aston Martin will continue to offer the seven-speed manual in the standard Vantage models.
On another positive note, it’s good to know that enough Aston Martin customers requested manual gearboxes to make these cars rational for the company, which bodes well for a revival of sorts if this kind of thing spreads further to other brands.
Aston boss Andy Palmer has some encouraging words on the subject: “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.”
As far as the Vantage AMR goes, the 50:50 weight distribution remains, as do the performance figures of 510 horsepower and 625Nm of torque. And wait until you hear the best part: the seven-speed manual is a dog-leg ‘box, which means you select first by going across the gate and then down.
This’ll get interesting at the lights, but the motorsport inspired pattern is another welcome touch from Aston Martin that just adds to the manual Vantage AMR. You’ll be able to choose from five different specifications of the limited edition car, including a special 60th anniversary option available for just 59 cars of the 200 total. This celebrates the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with DBR1, featuring Stirling Green paintwork with lime contrasts, and should set you back around AED900,000.