British brand’s next Vantage will ignore industry trends to strive for a more engaging experience

Aston Martin’s engineers have been challenged to be the first to mate a manual gearbox to the AMG-sourced V8 engine of the Vantage, producing a more involving car that’s due out in 2019.

A recently spotted development car running with the optional quad-exit exhaust system is thought to be an early mule for the new variant, which was confirmed for production by company CEO Andy Palmer last year. The 'box is likely to have seven speeds.

AMG hasn’t offered a manual gearbox in its cars since the last decade, so this manual Vantage, which will follow the automatic version that’s been on sale since April, needs bespoke parts and tuning to work with the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre motor.

While this was also the case with the launch Vantage's ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, which was chosen over the seven-speed automatic that Mercedes designed the AMG engine to work with, the challenge is understood to be greater this time because this engine has never worked with this type of gearbox.

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The manual car will be offered in the same guises as the automatic, so an S version is due, while it’s likely that a more hardcore AMR model will be offered with three pedals as well. The standard car produces 503bhp and 505lb ft of torque, but the V8 produces more than 600bhp in AMG’s most potent cars, illustrating the extra performance potential for Aston’s following Vantages.

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Buyers opting for the manual version will ultimately be sacrificing outright performance for the addition of a clutch pedal and gearlever. Expect a couple of tenths to be added to the 3.5sec 0-62mph time of the current car, while the 195mph top speed may be trimmed with one fewer cog available – although this will depend on gearing.

While it is likely to account for a much smaller percentage of sales than the automatic, the survival of a manual variant in Aston’s Vantage line-up emphasises the brand’s commitment to appeal to enthusiasts and drivers — even in the face of increasingly stringent emissions tests that favour automatic gearboxes.

The manual gearbox was important to the previous-generation Vantage because it helped to produce that car’s halo models, which culminated with the V12 Vantage S. However, a V12 version of the latest Vantage may never arrive, leaving the manual to work only with the V8.

Palmer told Autocar last year that it is “technically very possible” to produce a V12 version of the Vantage because the engine bay “has been designed to replicate that of the DB11, so the pick-up points and so on are all there”. However, the added weight of Aston’s internally developed 5.2-litre blown V12 is understood to have put the brakes on a plan to integrate it into the car for now.

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Comments
18

20 July 2018

The looks only a mother could love.

20 July 2018

The looks only a mother could love.

20 July 2018
pixelpower wrote:

The looks only a mother could love.

 

I hoped that perhaps after letting the look sit for a while I might come round to it.   Nope.   It's bad.   That colour makes the rear look even more that it's rear has been given a wedgie.

 

Normally Khan takes a beautiful car and makes it cheap and tacky looking.   I'm hoping he can take this cheap and tacky Aston Martin and make it beautiful.

 

Honestly, I don't even think he could mess this one up.

 

20 July 2018
U must be blind and most probably a nissan juke lover
-------------------- bring back the v10's

21 July 2018

No, 'U' must be blind LOL. It will date quickly. Very MX5 from the front.  From the side it's OK, but the front and rear are apalling, just like the interior. I was looking to change my existing Vantage for one of these, but am walking away from Aston now as I don't like any of the current offerings. The old design was timeless, all they had to do was put a modern twist on it. I'm sure they could slap on a new front and back bumper and it would improve the looks 100%.

20 July 2018
Now that is good news.

20 July 2018

... I like the way it looks. 

 

Shame about the V12 though.

 

 

jer

20 July 2018
Love the style it's modern. Less enamoured by interior but would love to own one more than a Porsche. Notwithstanding massive service costs!

jer

20 July 2018
Love the style it's modern. Less enamoured by interior but would love to own one more than a Porsche. Notwithstanding massive service costs!

20 July 2018

I especially like that they've done something other than a central grille flanked by two brake ducts.  That was cool when Audi did it on the RS2, but 25 years on...

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