New CEO says manuals don’t make sense for brand anymore
Last model expected to be dropped next year
Aston Martin said just a few years ago that the manual transmission was safe, with the then CEO of the automaker going as far as to say that he wanted the sports car company to be the last in the world to offer a manual gearbox. That was 2016. In 2021, the new CEO says that the current cars are the last and that the manual gearbox will be gone from the brand by next year.
Former CEO Andy Palmer saw the clutch pedal as a good investment since it set the company apart and appealed to drivers who saw themselves as purists wanting the more classic choice. Now Tobias Moers is in charge and the company nearly went under, and Moers doesn’t see the point.
“You have to realise sports cars have changed quite a bit,” Moers said at a roundtable interview, Carsales Australia reports.
“We did a few assessments about that car,” he said, referencing a manual transmission developed internally by Aston. “You don’t need it anymore. And you have to maintain it with the new regulations, year-by-year with the emissions because it’s a bespoke powertrain. It makes no sense.”
The last manual Aston will be the Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR, and the stick-shift model will be phased out before it gets a facelift next year, the report said. After that, they’re gone for good. That, of course, doesn’t rule out ultra-low volume and one-off track or restoration specials, but those don’t really matter for the average enthusiast or customer.
Who will end up being the last? It might end up being Porsche, who have already said the upcoming 911 GT3 will come with a DIY transmission option.