• Aston Martin Is Ready To Say Goodbye To The Manual Transmission

So much for Aston Martin being the last company to offer a manual sports car

It feels like the manual transmission is currently under fire and, despite all the evidence that says its days are numbered, it somehow manages to stick around – at least for now, anyway. But, as time goes on, more and more automakers will begin to start phasing it out on mainstream models and sportscars alike. The latest example of this is Aston Martin, which apparently plans to retire its manual gearbox altogether, even if that means breaking promises.

Aston Martin – Breaking Promises And Going Automatic

Aston Martin Is Ready To Say Goodbye To The Manual Transmission High Resolution Interior
- image 720074

While it might not seem like it, the manual transmission still has a lot of loyal fans. So much so, in fact, that Porsche was forced to completely reconsider its plan of ditching the manual transmission. Following public outcry, the company was forced to acknowledge that two-thirds of 911 GT3 customers opted for a manual transmission and had chosen to keep it available as an option for certain trims and certain models. Not long after that, the company began to offer certain trims of the non-GT 911 with a manual transmission with a minor concession. When it comes to Aston Martin, though, the same thing probably isn’t going to happen, and the manual transmission is all but dead, as expressed by Aston Martin’s CEO, Tobias Moers during a roundtable interview with CarSales.

Aston Martin Is Ready To Say Goodbye To The Manual Transmission High Resolution Exterior
- image 720068

During that interview, Moers confirmed that the V8 Vantage AMR won’t be offered with a manual transmission following the facelift that’s scheduled to arrive in 2022. Taking things a step further, the new Vanquish, which was once promised to be offered with a manual, will also be offered exclusively with an automatic – that’s the first broken promise. Keep in mind that some five years ago then CEO Andy Palmer said that Aston Martin would be the “last manufacturer in the world to offer a manual sports car” – and that’s your second broken promise. So why is the company backtracking and breaking its previous promises?

The Sports Car, As We Know It, Has Changed

Aston Martin Is Ready To Say Goodbye To The Manual Transmission High Resolution Exterior
- image 720070

There’s no denying that automatic transmissions, especially those of the dual-clutch variety, have managed to outperform manual transmissions. You simply cannot out-shift an automatic these days, and that’s why so many high-end sports cars and supercars go with automatics, automated manuals, or DCTS with flappy paddles behind the steering wheel.

“You have to realize sports cars have changed quite a bit”

Between the extreme amounts of power being sent to the wheels and the addition of electrification, it’s not all that surprising, but there will always be sports car fanatics that want three pedals. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough demand to keep them around on a wider scale, as sad as that may be. With that said, there are still some great cars that offer a manual transmission, with the BMW M3 and M4 being the most recent that come to mind but, even now, it’s not hard to see that eventually the manual transmission is going to be phased out altogether – it’s just a matter of time.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don’t Have These Days

2018 Aston Martin Vantage

2018 Aston Martin Vantage AMR

2018 Aston Martin Will Stick to V-12 Engines and Manual Gearboxes

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: