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2020 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Confirmed to Add Manual Transmission Option

We’ve known since the 2019 Aston Martin V8 Vantage was still a test mule that the ZF 8HP would be joined by a manual transmission at some point in the future. And that future is the year 2019, most likely for the 2020 model year.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage 51 photos
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Be it a conventional six-speed or a seven-speed with a dog-leg shift pattern, it’s hard to contain one’s excitement upon hearing this news. After all, everyone in the segment has abandoned the good ol’ stick shift for torque-converter or dual-clutch automatic transmissions due to the difference in take-up rate among the customers.

Speaking to chief engineer Matt Becker on the sidelines of the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, our friends at Road & Track received confirmation that the manual-equipped V8 Vantage would arrive “this time next year.” Even though it doesn’t sound hard to integrate a manual within the drivetrain, it actually is hard.

"The 4.0-liter AMG engine doesn't come with a manual anywhere else,” declared the chief engineer. “The software doesn't exist so you have to create your own software. The driveline system doesn't exist so you have to create your own. It's quite complex, but we like a challenge," added Matt Becker.

On that note, the Vantage AMR is also in the offing, though it remains to be seen if we’ll get the more focused version next year as well. After all, the M177 engine is a powerhouse with lots of potential left untapped for a good reason. More to the point, Aston Martin isn’t allowed to step on the tail of the upper echelon of the Mercedes-AMG GT family.

Last, but certainly not least, Becker made an interesting comment regarding the automaker’s lineup hierarchy in terms of driving dynamics. Even though he said the electric power-steering system in the DBS Superleggera has the best tuning of any Aston Martin currently in production, the super GT “is actually softer than the Vantage.”

 
 
 
 
 

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