Aston Martin To Continue With V12, Manual

 

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With concerns about fuel economy, emissions, and safety in today’s global automotive society, the driving enthusiasts are largely forgotten when automakers are planning out their future products and direction.  As to be expected, most automakers are now focusing on integrating forced induction engines, and hybrid-electric technology into their product lineup and brand image.  However, there are some automakers that feel like hybrids and downsizing doesn’t fit within their core values. In an interview with Car And Driver, Aston-Martin’s new CEO Andy Palmer, confirmed that they will continue to offer V12 engines and manual transmissions in their future line-up.

Aston Martin has been on a bit of a hot streak recently. At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, they debuted a pair of track-focused cars that vastly differ. The Vantage GT3 is a track-focused version of their Vantage road car, and the Vulcan is a low-production track-only million dollars plus toy for the billionaires in the world.  These are all fine and dandy, but they meant for track use and not for the street. So Aston-Martin is now turning their attention to their bread-and-butter road cars for the near future, the first of which is a replacement for the DB9 that will debut in about 18 months or so. This new car will heavily borrow design cues from the DB10 that Aston-Martin made especially for the new Bond film. This car will have a naturally aspirated V12, most likely an updated version of the 5.9L unit in their current V12 cars.  The second car will be a replacement for the current Vantage line-up that has been around since 2005. It will utilize the new twin-turbo AMG V8 engines that will stem from a new engine deal between Aston-Martin and Mercedes-Benz that was finalized last year. The terms of the agreement gave Aston-Martin access to AMG’s V8s and electrical architecture in exchange for a 5% stake in the company. However, the deal is only for V8 engines and not V12s. Interestingly enough, Aston will offer manual transmissions with the new AMG V8, yet Mercedes-Benz does not offer any manuals in their AMGs.

There were more interesting information that came out in the interview as well. One of the most intriguing is that Palmer stated that he “would love to be the last car manufacturer providing stick shifts in the U.S”. To continue offering manual transmissions in their products is a serious commitment in a world where dual clutch transmissions reign king in terms of sales and performance. Moreover, it is a promise to keep building proper enthusiasts cars. I think that Aston-Martin might have just become my new favourite automaker.

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