• 209 pounds lighter than the standard Vantage
  • 7-speed manual replaces the 8-speed automatic
  • Standard carbon-ceramic brakes
  • Limited to 200 units worldwide
  • 59 are “Vantage 59” models commemorating Aston’s 1959 F1 win
  • Vantage AMR priced at $179,995, Vantage 59 is $204,995
  • On sale now, with deliveries in late 2019

 

The new 2019 Aston Martin Vantage has just gone on sale, and the British sportscar maker already is further stoking interest among driving enthusiasts with the just-announced Aston Martin Vantage AMR. The Vantage AMR is a lightweight limited edition that reintroduces the manual transmission to the Vantage.

As manual transmissions fade from the automotive marketplace, their hold on the collective imagination of driving enthusiasts only grows stronger (as Porsche has discovered with models such as the 2018 911 GT3 Touring Package and the 2019 911 Speedster). Thus, Aston Martin’s fitment of a new 7-speed manual in the Vantage AMR—replacing the standard model’s 8-speed automatic—is the focal point of this limited edition.

Graziano gearbox

This 7-speed manual, developed by Graziano, is a special one for a couple of reasons. First is the shift pattern: Gears two through seven are arranged in the traditional double-H pattern, while first is off to the left in a “dog-leg” separate gate. Second, technology is on hand to make any driver a manual-transmission maestro. Called AMSHIFT, this programming can automatically blip the throttle on downshifts under braking (to mimic a heal-and-toe downshift) and also allows for full-throttle upshifts (no-lift shifting). The system can be switched on or off as desired. Finally, Aston makes the physical act of shifting more special by topping the shifter with a knob wrapped in hand-stitched leather.

Besides the new gearbox, the other major mechanical change for the Aston Martin Vantage AMR is the fitment of carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. Taken together, the two changes are said to reduce curb weight by 209 pounds. Despite the lighter weight, however, performance of the Vantage AMR slightly trails that of the standard Aston Martin Vantage. The turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 makes the same 503 horsepower here as it does in the regular Vantage but torque output is reduced from 505 lb-ft to 461. Top speed remains 195 mph, but buyers of the AMR will have to satisfy themselves with a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds—hardly slow but not quite as quick as the 3.6 seconds of the standard Vantage.

Vantage 59 models honor F1 victory

Visually, the most distinctive AMR variant is the Vantage 59 (pictured), which commemorates Aston Martin’s 1959 F1 win. It comes exclusively in Sterling Green with Lime accents including a center stripe, grille surround, rear diffuser, and brake calipers. Inside, the Vantage 59 is upholstered in Dark Knight Alcantara and leather with additional Lime accents. Outside of the Vantage 59, the AMR offers a choice of four colors: Sabiro Blue, White, Stone, China Grey, or Onyx Black. 

“In a world of autonomous robo-taxis, Aston Martin will continue to advance the art and science of performance driving,” said Aston Martin Lagonda president and CEO Andy Palmer, announcing the AMR. That commitment extends beyond this limited edition. Starting next year, Aston Martin will make the 7-speed gearbox available on any Vantage—no special edition required.

Pricing of the AMR is $174,995 for the standard model and $204,995 for the Vantage 59 variant.

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