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2021 Aston Martin Vantage Gets Standard 7-Speed Manual Transmission

Aston Martin is keeping the stick-shift hope alive.

Greg FinkWriter

Aston Martin is aiming for the heart of the enthusiast market with its 2021 Vantage coupe, which now comes standard with a manual transmission and a lower starting price. Introduced last year in the limited-edition Vantage AMR, the seven-speed manual gearbox adds an extra dose of driver involvement to Aston's entry-level sports coupe. Those less interested in working a clutch pedal can still opt for a Vantage coupe with a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

No matter the gearbox, all Vantage models are motivated by a 503-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Alas, manual-transmission models carry over the AMR's reduced torque figure of 460 lb-ft, 45 fewer than found in automatic models.

At least that sacrifice comes with some bucks back in your pocket; the manual transmission Vantage has a starting price of $149,086, or nearly $4,000 less than the automatic-only 2020 Vantage coupe. Even better, the 2021 Vantage is newly available with the brand's traditional "vane" grille design, which adds tasteful chrome detailing within the model's maw (the previous "hunter" grille remains available, as well). Whereas the manual transmission is a coupe-only affair, the vane grille is also available on the freshly introduced Vantage Roadster. 

Although it's not fundamentally different than last year's car, the 2021 Aston Martin Vantage improves its standing in our eyes with its more widely available manual gearbox and lower base price. It's a welcome change in a time that's largely defined by the adoption of uninvolving, but quick-shifting, automatic transmissions; creeping costs of entry; and—the ultimate indignity—manuals being outsold by EVs.

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