With the launch of the Vantage AMR, it feels like Aston Martin has carved its own distinct niche in a crowded segment.

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The thing that principally differentiates the new AMR from other Vantages is the fitment of a manual transmission.

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It's the same Graziano, dog-leg, seven-speed gearbox that we saw in the last V12 Vantage, so it's not the easiest or, at times, slickest-shifting unit out there.

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Aston Martin intends to build 141 Vantage AMRs, which might seem like a curious number. However, when you add to those 141 another 59 Vantage 59 Editions (essentially AMRs with some extra carbon fiber and a celebratory, motorsport-aping paint job) you get a nice round 200.

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After those 200 have been sold, Aston Martin will be offering the manual gearbox as an option on the standard Vantage.

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Power remains at a healthy 503 horsepower, but the torque figure is down by 44 pound-feet to 461, and it is limited to just 258 lb-ft in first and second gears.

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The reason for this is that making the gearbox cope with the V8's full 505 lb-ft would have required extra strengthening. That would have added an extra 220 pounds, meaning an undesirable net gain of 66 pounds for a manual-equipped car compared to one with an automatic.

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You'll be pleased to hear that the Vantage is now also faster, as the claimed top speed of the AMR is 200 mph.

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Of course, the price has gone up, too, with the AMR starting at $184,995, but the manual transmission will be a no-cost option when it is offered on the standard Vantage next year.

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Keep scrolling for more photos of the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR.

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