2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR Manual Review & Test Drive

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR is a rare machine these days, since it's one of only a handful to still be offered with a manual transmission. We spent a day in the Vantage AMR on mountain roads and the German autobahn — although, sadly, the speed-limited portion — and it reminded us of what's fun about stick shifts, and how a car can charm you without being perfect.

From the quirky "dog-leg" shifter to the elegant interior, we found the Vantage to be a worthy competitor in the small sports-car segment.

About the Aston Martin Vantage AMR

The Vantage is Aston Martin's entry-level two-seat sports car — if you can consider a car that starts at around $150,000 to be entry-level. It has distinctive styling, highly customizable exteriors and interiors, and a turbocharged V8 engine. For 2020, the big news is that you can now get a new Vantage AMR version that has a seven-speed manual transmission.

This new 2020 Vantage AMR comes from Aston's performance brand, Aston Martin AMR, which is inspired by Aston Martin Racing and based near the Nürburgring Test Center in Germany.

The manual-transmission Vantage AMR weighs about 210 pounds less than the automatic-equipped car due to its lighter transmission and standard carbon-ceramic brakes. The suspension is matched to the new weight with retuned springs and dampers. There's also a mechanical limited-slip rear differential instead of the electronically controlled diff that's otherwise standard with the automatic. AMR even adjusted the feel of the brake pedal to allow for a more enjoyable heel-toe downshifting experience.

The engine in the AMR version is the same as in the automatic car: a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 cranking out 503 horsepower. Aston says this potent mill will take the Vantage from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and top out at 200 mph — 5 mph faster than the automatic-equipped version due to the gearing changes in transmission and differential.

Once on the road, both engine and suspension can be adjusted to one of three modes: Sport, Sport Plus and Track. Changing modes affects the throttle response, the traction control and chassis damping. The car is firmly sprung, even in its street driving setup, leaving little reason to change suspension settings on the street. Whatever setting you're in, the Vantage is a light and lithe sports car. It's comfortable to drive yet offers all the added driver engagement you'd want from a stick-shift V8.

The optional manual transmission is the car's best feature. While the Vantage is lovely with the automatic, the driving experience is much more rewarding with the manual. It's rowdy enough to feel like a challenge, but it can be tamed enough to be used as a daily driver. In today's world of smart tech and self-driving, it's a pleasure to be reminded that driving can be done by the driver.

We like the Aston Martin Vantage for its distinctive styling and expansive collection of custom colors and trims. It's also nice to see that the company is giving you the automotive version of Throwback Thursday by reintroducing the availability of a manual transmission on the new AMR version. The Vantage's infotainment and safety systems are behind the times, but that won't be much of a concern given how fun the car is to drive.

Read more about the Aston Martin Vantage: https://www.edmunds.com/aston-martin/vantage/2020/

Make sure to subscribe to Edmunds to get all of the latest videos on car reviews, automotive news, car comparisons, and shopping advice. Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/Edmundsvideo?sub_confirmation=1

Edmunds will help you find your perfect car with unbiased and useful reviews, advice, pricing, and tools. Visit us at https://www.edmunds.com.

#AstonMartin #AstonMartinVantage #Edmunds
DETAIL_ADS