One by one, automakers are slowly bidding farewell to the manual transmission. This extends to the low-volume exotic brands Ferrari and Lamborghini, which no longer offer the option.
Aston Martin has also phased out the manual transmission in its regular production lineup. The last model to feature it was the Vantage, and a redesigned version of the sports car due later this year is expected to come exclusively with an automatic.
Aston Martin may still offer new cars with manual transmissions in the future, though these would be highly limited—and extremely expensive—special editions like the Valour that debuted in the summer. Just 110 of those will be built, each powered by a V-12 paired with a 6-speed manual.
The possibility of future manual-equipped special editions was teased by Simon Newton, Aston Martin’s vehicle attribute and performance director, in an interview with Top Gear published on Wednesday.
“If that’s where the business goes, it would be a pleasure to keep working on the manual,” he said.
Newton’s comments were backed by Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman in the same interview.
“I think also whenever the world pushes a trend in one direction, there’s always someone that wants to buy something that goes in the other direction,” he said. “So, if the world has become electrified and automated, people want something different.”
In this decade and perhaps also the next, Aston Martin may also keep the internal-combustion engine alive, which manuals are suited for. Electric motors don’t need multiple gears as they generate full torque instantaneously.
Aston Martin like much of the industry plans to go the electric route, though the automaker in 2021 said that it expects its future lineup to have a small percentage—5% was the stated figure—of cars still equipped with gas engines, though these would be limited to track use.
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