2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR: The Dog-Legged Manual Transmission Lives Another Day
The hardcore entry-level Aston will be limited to 200 cars, lose 209 pounds, and rock a seven-speed manual transmission.
Year, Make, Model: 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
Top Line: Limited to 200 units, the Vantage AMR is a lighter, more analog version of Aston Martin's entry-level sports car. It'll use a seven-speed manual transmission, which will become available on the standard Vantage in 2020.
What's New: The big story with Aston's new Vantage AMR is surely that glorious third pedal. Yes, boys and girls, Gaydon is keeping the stick alive by fitting the hardcore Vantage with not just a manual, but a dog-legged first-gear contraption that'll surely confuse more than a few Insta-influencers. That being said, Aston hasn't completely forgotten about the more casual driver since the seven-speed here now comes with something the automaker calls AMSHIFT, a system that both rev-matches downshifts and allows for full-throttle upshifts.
Solidifying the AMR's position as the driver's Vantage are standard carbon ceramic brakes, a limited-slip differential, and a curb weight with 209 fewer pounds than the regular car.
While 141 of Vantage AMRs built will be available in either blue, black, gray, or white, the remaining 59 will be finished in the lime-on-green paint scheme you see here and will be special editions christened "Vantage 59." Just like the DBS 59, it pays tribute to Aston Martin's Le Mans win in 1959 with Carroll Shelby in a DBR1. Not-so-coincidentally, that was a thing that happened exactly 60 years ago.
Quotable: "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," said CEO Andy Palmer. "The Vantage AMR not only honours that commitment but sets us apart from our competitors in continuing to offer a three-pedal option. In a world of autonomous robo-taxis, Aston Martin will continue to advance the art and science of performance driving. With the Vantage AMR, we have created a thoroughly modern sports car that rewards effort and focus from the driver; the antidote to driving a computer game."
What You Need to Know: Just like the base car, the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR will be powered by a Mercedes-AMG-sourced, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 making 503 horsepower. Torque, however, has been reduced to 460 pound-feet from the auto's 505. As a result, the AMR gets from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, or 0.4 seconds slower than the self-shifting base car. Top speed remains unchanged at a healthy 195 mph.
Even though the seven-speed manual will be an AMR-exclusive initially, the three-pedaled option will be coming to the normal Vantage in early 2020.
The Vantage AMR will cost $179,995 while green, 59-edition cars are expected to retail for $204,995. Aston says deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.