I know this might seem like just another special edition of the Aston Martin Vantage, but it’s not. It’s the AMR Vantage and it’s the first production model to come from the sub-brand of Aston Martin. With plans for a replacement in the works, this might be the last Vantage. And AMR must’ve wanted to go out with a bang because it matches the Vantage GT12 as the most powerful Vantage to date.
As a reminder, AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing, and it’s a sub-brand to Aston in the same way that AMG is to Mercedes and the M Division is to BMW. They plan on following in the footsteps of its German rivals, only they plan on more limited numbers. The AMR Vantage for example, will only have 300 examples produced. So while technically it is yet another special edition of a car that’s at the end of its lifespan, it’s a really special-special edition. It’s the equivalent of going back and seeing the first M, or AMG car released and that’s a big deal. That is, assuming Aston Martin Racing is as good as we think they are, and as they claim to be. And looking at the Vulcan and Valkyrie, I don’t think that’ll be an issue and AMR will be a household name in no time.
You have the choice of two engines when choosing your AMR Vantage, the V8, and V12. The latter is the monster I was referring to earlier about being one of the most powerful Vantage’s ever built alongside the GT12. The V12 is good for 595hp, which is 30 more than the standard Vantage S and the V8 is rated at 430hp, so it’s not exactly a slouch, but the V12 is of course the star of the show. And AMR obviously knows that because of those 300 examples, only 100 of them will come with the V12. Now there is still talk of an even more hardcore AMR Vantage Pro that was released back at the Geneva Motor Show, but nothing in solid form quite yet.
Whatever engine you choose, the standard transmission will be a six-speed paddle shift gearbox. Although each will have their own unique option too, and this is something to be excited about if you ask me. In the V8 you have the option of a six-speed manual. And as cool as a six speed would be, the V12 comes with an option of a 7-speed manual, the real kind with three pedals and everything! Imagine how fun it’ll be to have 7 gears to row through.
Overall it’s the same Vantage as before, it’s just been on a diet of carbon fiber and has a whole new level of aerodynamics applied to it to help with downforce. This provides that level of racing pedigree that AMR claimed they would be bringing to a few select Astons. The new flaps and wings that have been applied in key locations really make the Vantage look more aggressive, and drastically increase the visual appeal in my opinion.
While it’s likely that AMR will paint it whatever color you want, if you’re whiling to pay for it, they’re initially releasing it with just five color combinations. You can choose blue and red, white and orange, silver and grey, or my personal favorite black and Elwood blue. There’s also the optional “Halo Pack” that’s Stirling green with flashy bright green striping that’s inspired by the #95 Vantage GTE that won the World Endurance Championship last year. The color you choose for the exterior is also used as an accent color on the interior of the car, and interestingly each of the color combos contrasts perfectly with the Alcantara and leather seats.
This is what Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, had to say about the first AMR model to go into production, “Unmistakable in look and feel the Vantage AMR will appeal to our most enthusiastic customers. These are people who love our cars for their Motorsport pedigree, and for their unmistakable dynamic and emotional qualities. Limited production numbers will undoubtedly make them extremely collectible, but they’re so good to drive.” And what I take from that is the AMR model are made for die hard Aston Martin fans. They won’t be the fastest car, or the best handling and most luxurious. But that’s OK because they are the best Aston Martin’s they can be, and that’ll appeal to the right customers.
You can expect to see customer deliveries by September or October of this year. Pricing is estimated to start around $125,000 for the base model V8 and will likely be up over $200,000 for the V12, especially once you start putting check marks in option boxes, like that glorious seven-speed manual, or even the titanium exhaust.