The former AMG boss has bad news about manual transmissions.
Aston Martin made a solemn promise to enthusiasts back in 2017: to keep at least one manual transmission in its lineup even after all other automakers abandon this antiquated feature. There's just one big problem; that promise was made by Aston Martin's former CEO, Andy Palmer. Palmer has since been replaced by former AMG boss Tobias Moers, who has different ideas on the importance of manual transmissions.
Speaking to Australian news outlet Motoring, Moers confirmed Aston Martin would cease all future manual transmission development. The 2021 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe, which currently offers a seven-speed manual option, will die off during next year's facelift.
Aston Martin declined to provide take rate figures for the manual transmission when CarBuzz compiled a story on the topic. Though the numbers were never publicized, we generally assumed sales to be low-volume. The upcoming 2022 Aston Martin Vanquish was expected to have a manual transmission, but those plans are now canceled. Aston was set to develop a new V6 engine for the Vanquish but will instead tighten its ties with AMG for a hybridized drivetrain.
"You have to realize sports cars have changed quite a bit," Moers explained. "To be honest, it was not a good journey," he added, referring to the internally-developed Aston Martin manual box.
"We did a few assessments about that car [a manual Vanquish] - you don't need it anymore. And you have to maintain it with the new regulations, year-by-year with the emissions because it's a bespoke powertrain. It makes no sense," Moers said. Though competitors like Porsche still sell plenty of cars with a manual transmission, Aston customers overwhelmingly opt for the automatic.
Moers assessment of the manual transmission is likely the best business decision for Aston Martin, but it breaks our hearts on an emotional level. Go buy a used Aston V12 with a manual now, as they will likely skyrocket in value soon.