That's right, EAG has a new project.
Having built the world's first manual-swapped 2020 Toyota Supra and creating the world's only manual-converted Ferrari 430 Scuderia, European Auto Group now exists as the world's foremost transmission swap expert. Supra conversions are nearly underway but the Texas-based shop is already pondering what its next offering will be. Many requests have come in for the Ford Shelby GT500 and the C8 Chevrolet Corvette and those projects will come in due time. But EAG owner Art Bartosik tells CarBuzz that a customer has reached out asking for a car that's ripe for a manual conversion.
We are referring to the Mercedes-AMG GT, which is only sold with a seven-speed dual-clutch. Since Mercedes never offered the car with a manual, you might think it would be impossible for EAG to perform a swap. Well, there's another car out there with the same engine as the GT that is offered with a row-it-yourself option.
Last year, the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR was offered as a limit run of just 200 units, each fitted with a seven-speed dog-leg manual box. Then, Aston announced that the 2021 Vantage would also be offered with a manual option and would not be sold in limited numbers. "The Vantage AMR shares the same twin-turbo V8 engine as the AMG GT but with the option of seven-speed manual transmission supplied by Graziano," Bartosik explained. "This would make it possible to convert the AMG GT to a seven-speed manual as the transmission would directly bolt up to the engine."
The process of putting the manual into the AMG GT would not be a simple job though. Bartosik told CarBuzz, "some shift linkages can be used but custom parts and changes would be needed to the drive shaft, console, pedals, wiring, and computer programming." EAG has not strayed away from a challenge thus far, so we believe the shop has the know-how to make it work.
Obviously, Aston Martin parts don't come cheap so this conversion will be quite expensive. Bartosik says the transmission alone costs $33,000 and after adding parts and labor, the conversion will cost around $55,000. This may sound like a lot but if you remember you can source a used GT for less than $70,000 and a brand-new Vantage starts at $149,995, you'd still be better off of the EAG-swapped car and you'd be getting something more unique. This project is still in its infancy stage but EAG is ready to take orders to see how many customers would be interested.