Automakers are slowly but surely pushing the traditional manual transmission toward obsolescence, and that’s bad news for drivers who prize the skill and control of a manual gearshift.
The case against manuals is strong. Auto technology has become so advanced that computers can control cars better than most humans.
Automatic transmissions have wider appeal because they’re easier to use. Developing only one system saves money, especially for high-end cars with lower production numbers.
Ferrari and Lamborghini have decisively moved away from stick shifts, and now Aston Martin has joined the movement.
However, all is not lost for those who want to feel like James Bond and a master driver. One high performance Aston remains available with the tried and true manual shifter.
Just a year or two ago, virtually every vehicle in the Aston Martin lineup was offered with a manual transmission. Now, only the V8 Vantage GT remains.
Unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the V8 is the most racetrack-ready model in the Aston lineup. The company’s venerable 430hp 4.7 litre V8 engine will push the car all the way up to 190 mph and from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
With a traditional 6-speed manual transmission, the V8 Vantage GT will feel much more like the legendary Aston Martin sports cars of the past than any other model out there.
Even better, it’s the rare Aston that will start for less than $US100,000 ($99,900, to be precise). The V8 will hit American shores in the third quarter of this year.
Here’s a closer look at Aston Martin’s last manual hurrah:
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