If you like to be in full control behind the wheel, the new Vantage AMR will be a breath of fresh air. Offering you one of the most thrilling drives already, the Aston Martin Vantage has now become even more exhilarating, as the limited edition variant includes a third pedal and manual transmission. A surprising evolution in the Vantage perhaps – but one to be wholeheartedly applauded.
Just 200 units of the new Vantage AMR will be built and, even more exclusively, 59 of them will celebrate Aston Martin's outright win at Le Mans 1959 in the DBR1.
Vantage AMR performance
The Vantage AMR is built around Aston Martin’s high-performance alloy, 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Set low and placed far back in the chassis for an ideal centre of gravity and near optimal 50:50 weight distribution. This muscular, highly efficient engine develops 510PS at 6000rpm and 625Nm from 2000-5000rpm, powering the Vantage AMR from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds and 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds. Like its automatic sibling, the AMR’s top speed is 195 mph.
As with the Vantage and Vantage Roadster, impressive performance is the Vantage AMR’s raison d'être. However, its delivery is enjoyably different. By removing the automatic transmission and adding carbon ceramic brakes as standard, Aston Martin has afforded you a more intense driver experience. Even better, these enhancements help to reduce the weight by 95kg.
The great thing about this manual Aston Martin is that speed isn't the be-all and end-all of your driving experience. The thrill comes from your physical relationship with an AMR model. You'll find yourself constantly on the alert, checking and interpreting the road in front of you and calculating where you’ll need to change gears. The adrenalin kick when it all works perfectly is amazing. You'll feel a personal connection to the glorious 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8’s breadth and character, as if driver and machine are at one, with perfect control.
Vantage manual - geared for enjoyment
The Vantage AMR's gearbox mechanisms make you feel part of the machine. To start with, there's the racing-derived dog-leg first gear. In this format, first gear is bottom left, while reverse is top left. You may find this slightly odd at first but you'll get used to it surprisingly quickly, and it adds plenty of excitement to your ride. Your hand starts off close to your thigh; as you shift up and over into second, your hand settles in a more comfortable, natural position. And when you need to change from reverse to first, you simply pull down to first, drop the clutch, and off you go.
This engaging set-up also smooths the transition into seventh gear, as it eliminates the dogleg and creates a traditional H-pattern from second to seventh.
The best of the past and the future
The transmission connects to a manual limited-slip differential, and deploys AMSHIFT, which blips the throttle while decelerating to mimic heel-and-toe shifting, smoothing out the gear shifts. However, if you truly want to experience driving the old way, you can simply deactivate AMSHIFT.
And if you want to revel in the past even more, choose the AMR Vantage 59 specification. Its two-tone green/lime exterior and dark leather interior are fabulously retro. Only the double de-clutch is missing and, happily, it still includes all the Aston Martin sport upgrades.
To hone the Vantage AMR's already remarkable handling prowess, the Aston Martin team has incorporated the latest adaptive damping system featuring Skyhook technology – with Sport, Sport + and Track modes – enabling you to adapt the car’s character to your preferences or the road conditions.
Aston Martin Vantage AMR price
The Vantage AMR costs from £149,995, with the exclusive AMR 59 costing £164,995. And as only 200 will be produced, you'll need to be quick. Book a test drive today or get in touch with the team at Aston Martin Bristol to get your hands on the wheel (and the gearstick) of the endlessly thrilling Vantage AMR.