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Hurrah! Aston Martin has given the Vantage a manual

The Vantage AMR special gets a seven-speed manual and carbon brakes

Big news, driving geeks: the Aston Martin Vantage now comes with a manual. It’s being introduced with this limited-run Vantage AMR, but will be offered as an option on regular Vantages from 2020.

Much like the V12 Vantage S that featured a cameo-appearance stick-shift in the car’s previous generation, it’s a seven-speed transmission that features a dog-leg first.

So first gear is left and down, with gears two to seven in the H-pattern road cars more commonly use. It’s equipped with auto rev-matching on downchanges, but you can switch it off if such intervention offends you.

Just 200 Vantage AMRs will be made, all of them manual and all with standard carbon ceramic brakes, together helping it weigh 95kg less than the regular, 1,530kg paddleshifted car.

Handy for the track-cred AMR badging is meant to bring, especially when the 4.0-litre twin-turbo is actually a little detuned on standard, offering the same 503bhp but a skinnier 461lb ft of torque. Clearly the manual ‘box can’t cope with quite as much load. Performance is as good as the same, though, with a 4.0sec 0-62mph time (up 0.4sec) and identical 195mph top speed.

Of the 200 AMRs sold worldwide, 59 of them will be sold in the spec you see here. Called ‘Vantage 59’ spec, it marks Aston’s 1959 Le Mans victory with the same green and lime combo as other Aston Martin AMR specials, and a shedload of Alcantara inside. Look at those seats!

The remaining 141 cars will be available in more conventional blue, grey, black or white hues. Those will also save you a hot hatch-sized sum, costing £149,995 where the Vantage 59 version commands £164,995.

“When I joined this company, customers asked and, as a gearbox engineer and racer, I promised that we would always offer a manual transmission in our line-up,” says Aston boss Andy Palmer. “In a world of autonomous robo-taxis, Aston Martin will continue to advance the art and science of performance driving.”

If our overlords still permit us to drive petrol manual sports cars when the era of autonomous robo-taxis has fully dawned, consider TopGear.com very happy indeed.

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