Even the most high-end of sports car buyers demand a manual transmission. For the likes of Aston Martin, if well-heeled buyers want it, they’re going to get it. The automaker is going to keep building stick shifts in its ultra-special editions for as long as it can and demand is there.
Aston Martin creative director Marek Reichman and performance director Simon Newton spoke about the manual transmission with Top Gear while talking about the Aston Martin Valour and Victor projects. The Valour is a 705 hp rear-drive muscle car with a six-speed stick.
“Victor just hit the mark,” said Reichman. “Looks incredible, based on the One-77, low, wide, dramatic, sounds awesome, manual box. We had lots and lots of interest.”
Talking about the car’s six-speed box, Newton said “if that’s where the business goes, it would be a pleasure to keep working on the manual. It’s an added dimension – you can’t be a passenger in the car. You have to be engaged all the time. And I’ve always liked manuals in really slow speed corners. You can kick the clutch and play with it and it’s just great fun.”
Reichman compared it to mechanical versus smartwatches. While the Apple Watch and similar products are hugely popular, demand for high-end mechanical watches has remained strong. “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. If you’re forced down an alleyway, you want to do something different. So, if the world has become electrified and automated, people want something different,” Reichman said.
So if it can keep making cars with a stick, and buyers still want to buy them, Aston Martin will supply. With twin-turbo V12 engines making more than 700 hp. Delightful.