► 2018 Aston Martin Vantage revealed
► Full gallery of first official pictures
► Priced from £121,000, spring 2018
Hurrah! Finally, an Aston Martin Vantage with a third pedal. This is the new Vantage AMR, a limited-run version of Aston’s V8 sports car that comes with a stick shift.
Not just any stick shift, either – a dogleg one. That means first gear is to the very left and back, with gears two to seven in the usual H-pattern layout. The manual ‘box also comes with throttle blipping tech on downshifts.
Our Aston Martin Vantage review
Oddly, Aston claims the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces less torque here than in the regular model. While a normal Vantage has 503bhp and 505lb ft, the AMR is quoted as having 461lb ft. Still, the Vantage AMR can sprint to 62mph in four seconds (0.4sec slower than a regular one) and on to a top speed of 195mph. We're attributing that to the longer shift times of changing gears yourself.
The Vantage AMR is also 95kg lighter than a regular Vantage, comes with carbon ceramic brakes and a limited-slip differential as standard.
Just 200 AMR models will be built in total; 141 will be to customer order and the other 59 will be even more rare ‘Vantage 59’ special editions. The ‘59’ version is fixed to a green and lime paint scheme with little details honouring 60 years after Aston’s victory at the 1959 Le Mans endurance race in a DBR1.
Fear not, though; Aston says the manual gearbox will live on in the normal Vantage after the AMRs are all sold. Want one? Act fast and stump up £149,995, or £164,995 for the Vantage 59 edition.
New Vantage: what you need to know
You’re looking at the all-new Aston Martin Vantage. And it’s certainly a bold design, with shades of the DB10 featured in Bond film Spectre, and Aston’s track-only Vulcan hypercar.
Forming the entry point to Aston’s range, the new Vantage replaces the much loved previous-generation V8 Vantage, which had been in production since 2005.
It’s built around the same bonded aluminium platform as the new DB11, although around 70% of its components are said to be unique to the Vantage.
‘It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history,’ says Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer. ‘Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’m enormously excited by what we’ve created.’
Specs: a twin-turbo AMG V8 engine
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine from Aston Martin’s technical partner AMG, with 503bhp at 6000rpm and a muscular 505lb ft of torque from 2000-5000rpm.
Positioned as far back with the chassis as possible, Aston claims a 50:50 weight distribution. Dry weight is 1530kg.
It’s combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission by ZF, and an electronically controlled differential with torque vectoring – the first of its type to be fitted to an Aston Martin.
How fast is the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage?
It’s not slow: 0-60mph is done in 3.5sec, and top speed is 195mph. And, yes - this is the junior sports car in Aston's range.
Helping the Vantage deal with all that performance is a ‘significant’ amount of downforce, says Aston Martin, created by the commendably wingless body’s prominent splitter, fences, gills and diffuser.
‘Skyhook’ (not Skyfall) adaptive dampers are standard, with Sport, Sport Plus and Track settings.
Standard tyres are P-Zeros by Pirelli (in case you missed the blatant logos on disguised prototypes).
What’s it like inside?
The familiar ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘N’ and ‘D’ buttons for the transmission have been arranged in a triangular shape, the better to free up storage space beneath them.
That flat-bottomed steering wheel is hooked up to electric, variable-rate power steering, with 2.4 turns lock-to-lock.
A centrally mounted eight-inch LCD screen includes sat-nav and iPhone integration, and parking distance display as standard.
What is the price of the new Aston Martin Vantage?
That’ll be £120,900 in the UK, €154,000 in Germany and $149,995 in the USA. Deliveries are set to begin in spring 2018.
All our Aston Martin reviews