Turns out changing a transmission isn't easy.
When Aston Martin revealed the all-new Vantage, we were overcome with a flurry of emotions - both positive and negative. We loved the all-new look and AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but where the heck was the manual transmission that Aston Martin promised us? Aston had vowed to always keep at least one manual model in its lineup, but all of the photos for the new Vantage only showed the eight-speed automatic. We reached out to Aston for a comment, and learned that the manual Vantage was still "at least 12 months away."
Although we knew how long it would take for the manual Vantage to arrive, we didn't know why there was such a delay. In an interview with Road & Track, the car's chief engineer, Matt Becker, said "the 4.0-liter AMG engine doesn't come with a manual anywhere else. So, actually, to integrate a manual into it is not without it's challenges. 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."
When the manual Vantage does arrive, it should live up to our lofty expectations. The manual car will be more difficult to drive than the automatic model - "it reminds you that you have to know how to drive" Becker said. Along with the manual transmission, Becker hinted at a more hardcore Vantage AMR model, saying "we can go more extreme with it for sure. We have the ability." If the sky is the limit, we would love to see Aston stuff the 715 horsepower V12 engine from the DBS Superleggera into the Vantage, of course, with a manual transmission.