The more you read about the Aston Martin Vantage AMR, the better it sounds. First off, there’s the main draw: it has a manual gearbox. Yep, for the first time ever, it’ll be possible to experience Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre V8 with a good old-fashioned stick shift.
Then we need to look at the kind of gearbox that’s been fitted. It’s a seven-speed unit built by Graziano, and it has a ‘dog-leg’ first gear, putting the cogs you’re going to use the most during fast driving in a nice H-pattern.
Finally, we have the big surprise of just how much the weight has dropped: at 1499kg (dry), the AMR is a whopping 95kg lighter than the regular Vantage. The standard-fit carbon ceramic brakes help trim the fat, but most of the decrease is down to the ditching of the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. The new mechanical limited-slip differential is some 7.5kg lighter than the E-diff it replaces, too.
Torque drops slightly from 505lb ft to 461lb ft, which - along with the slower shifts - increases the 0-62mph time from 3.6 to four seconds dead. The top speed of 195mph, however, is identical to the automatic Vantage.
The new transmission features something called ‘AMShift’, which has an auto-blip function on downshifts. It also allows for full-throttle upshifts. For full manual ‘box heroism, though, it’ll be possible to switch all that off.
Aston Martin will only be making 200 Vantage AMRs, 59 of which will be in ‘Vantage 59’ spec with Stirling Green paint with Lime accents and a Dark Knight leather/Alcantara-trimmed cabin. Like the DBS 59, this version of the Vantage AMR has been created to celebrate the 60 years since Aston’s victory at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans with the DBR1.
You’re looking at £164,995 for the 59, while the remaining 141 AMRs will be £149,995, and available finished in Sabiro Blue, Onyx Black, China Grey or White Stone.
If you miss out on all of them, don’t panic: Aston Martin will be adding the seven-speed manual to the Vantage options list during the first quarter of 2020.