Manual transmissions, it seems, are going the way of the dinosaur, forced into obsolescence by the faster and more fuel-efficient flappy-paddle gearbox. You can’t even buy a new Ferrari with a manual transmission, but Aston Martin is a bit more traditional. Even its new limited-edition V8 Vantage S model retains the row-your-own gearing of other 2013 V8 Vantage and Vantage S models.
Called the Aston Martin V8 Vantage SP10, the car is meant as a tribute to the British firm’s V8 Vantage GT4 racer and is named in tribute to the VLN series’ SP10 class, in which the GT4 competes. Power comes from a 4.7-liter V-8, rated at 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque.
While a six-speed manual transmission is standard in the SP10, buyers can also opt for the seven-speed automated manual gearbox used in standard V8 Vantage S model. Either choice will get you from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 189 mph.
Buyers can choose from coupe or convertible SP10 models, which come sprayed in Ceramic Grey Metallic paint. Convertible models get a contrasting Titan Grey roof, and both share 19-inch wheels with black brake calipers, a unique front splitter and a carbon fiber rear diffuser.
If that’s the good news, here’s the bad: the 2013 Aston Martin V8 Vantage SP10 will be available in continental Europe only, priced from 96,635 euros ($129,607) for the coupe version.