Many car companies have now all but abandoned the production of manual transmission vehicles, but not Aston Martin.
Aston Martin seems to have made a brand commitment to attempt to make a manual option available for their models, as is the case with the new Aston Martin Vantage.
The company are set to release a new Vantage in 2019 with manual transmission, rather than the standard dual-shift gearbox, with company boss Andy Palmer confirming production last year.
The Vantage’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged AMG engine has not yet been paired with a manual gearbox, so Aston’s engineers are facing a genuine challenge in creating their own software and driveline system to enable the motor to work well with the transmission.
Aston’s CEO, Andy Palmer, hopes that the manual transmission examples will deliver a more engaging driving experience for car purists to enjoy.
There have been mixed reactions though, with some agreeing with Palmer and advocating the effort of Aston Martin to prolong the production of manual transmission cars, while others are claiming that the manual gearbox has no place in a brand new Aston of today.
In its standard, automatic form, the new Vantage was part of Aston Martin’s ‘second century plan’, which includes the production of seven cars over seven years.
The proposal was intended to enhance the status of an often financially unstable Aston Martin, to become a competitor to the likes of Ferrari and Bentley.
To the delight of Palmer, the standard Vantage was well-received, with pre-orders lasting the whole of the 2018 production run, as well as an additional waiting list going into January of this year.
Experts therefore claim that there is no real need for Aston to produce an alternate transmission variant as the automatic examples had sold so successfully, but there’s no deterring Aston’s commitment to the traditional transmission.
We are likely to see a slight decrease in the performance of the Vantage – in a straight line at least – as is usually the case with manual transmission cars.
A few tenths of a second are expected to be added to its original 3.6 second 0-62mph time and it’s also likely that the 195mph top speed set by the automatic may decrease, depending on the gearing.
These figures are unlikely to concern those who Aston are appealing to here, as the primary selling point is the traditional, authentic drive offered by manual transmission vehicles.