In a world where automatic transmissions and electric cars have become the norm, Aston Martin is still producing cars with manual transmissions. The British automaker, in celebration of its 110th anniversary, unveiled the Valour, a limited-edition V12-powered supercar with three pedals that pays homage to the company’s rich heritage. It turns out, it is much more than a farewell to the manual transmission as Aston Martin actually has plans to build more special edition models with DIY gearboxes.
Aston Martin’s creative boss, Marek Reichman, shed light on the genesis of the Valour. He revealed that the inspiration for this remarkable supercar came from the success of the one-off Victor, which garnered attention when it was publicly showcased at Hampton Court and received the Future Classic award. Initially intended solely for a single customer, the Victor’s acclaim prompted numerous inquiries, leading Aston Martin to consider creating more cars that would capture the spirit of the manual transmission.
What’s even more interesting, Mark Newton, the head of bespoke at Aston Martin, expressed the brand’s commitment to keeping the manual transmission alive, saying, “[…] if that’s where the business goes, it would be a pleasure to keep working on the manual.” He emphasized the unique experience a manual transmission offers, noting that it keeps the driver engaged at all times, making each journey a visceral and memorable one.
Reichman agreed, saying that “whenever the world pushes a trend in one direction, there’s always someone that wants to buy something that goes in the other direction.”
Drawing inspiration from the iconic V8 Vantage models of the 1970s and 1980s, the Valour blends the aesthetics of yesteryear with modern performance. The exterior exudes nostalgia with its clamshell hood featuring a distinctive “horseshoe” vent and rounded headlights. Underneath the Valour’s sculpted hood lies a front-mounted, twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine that packs quite a punch. This powerhouse produces 705 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. What truly sets the Valour apart, however, is its transmission – a six-speed manual gearbox that Aston Martin describes as “bespoke.”