We like the Aston Martin Vantage with its AMG V8 and eight-speed auto very much, but it’s also true that we’ve been growing increasingly impatient for a manual version to arrive. Thankfully, it seems Gaydon’s engineers are nearing completion of exactly that, and to make things better, it’ll arrive with a fettling from the firm’s most sporting department, AMR – soon, as well, according to a new rendering put out on Twitter.
AMR’s previous projects have all been given bumps in output; the most recent V12 in the AMR Rapide was enhanced by 30hp, so a similar improvement would give the Vantage AMR around 540hp from its twin-turbocharged heart. AMR also has a habit of sharpening handling and knocking off a few kilos of unsprung mass, so overall pace ought to be better - and there should be lime green stripes, too.
Bolting a manual ‘box to the AMG V8 will have been no simple task because it’s never been done by a production car maker before. It means there’ll almost certainly be hardware and software that’s completely bespoke to the manual Vantage, and it’s even plausible that the V8’s delivery will have to have been re-tuned to suit a human-actuated gearbox. But Aston has very good form in this practice; the previous Vantage N430 manual was a wonderful driver’s machine.
Also providing us with plenty of reason to get excited for the new car is the fact the 4.0-litre V8 Vantage already has the same amount of power as the previous-gen’s V12 model, which came with a manual as well. Any boost in performance from AMR’s tuning could therefore conceivably create the most broadly capable manual powertrain to have yet been fitted to a Vantage, which is rather exciting. We’re expecting to find out for real later in the summer.
Naturally, all this Vantage manual talk has us back on the classifieds as we ponder the purchase of a previous one. Anyone got £34k to spare? This one looks rather tasty…