Aston Martin is still making manual transmission vehicles in a world when automatic gearboxes and electric vehicles are the standard. In honour of its 110th birthday, the British manufacturer presented the Valour, a limited-edition supercar with a V12 engine and three pedals that pays respect to the company’s rich history. In actuality, Aston Martin actually has plans to construct more limited-edition vehicles with DIY gearboxes, so this is much more than just the end of the manual transmission.
Marek Reichman, the head of design of Aston Martin, provided insight into the development of the Valour. He disclosed that the success of the unique Victor, which attracted notice when it was publicly displayed at Hampton Court and awarded the Future Classic, served as inspiration for this spectacular supercar 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.
Aston Martin Valour
The head of bespoke at Aston Martin, Mark Newton, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to preserving the manual gearbox by saying, “[…] if that’s where the business goes, it would be a pleasure to keep working on the manual.” This is even more intriguing. He highlighted the special sensation that a manual transmission provides, pointing out that it keeps the driver involved at all times, making each journey visceral and unforgettable.
According to Reichman, this is true: “Whenever the world pushes a trend in one direction, there’s always someone that wants to buy something that goes in the other direction.”
The classic V8 Vantage models from the 1970s and 1980s served as inspiration for the Valour, which combines vintage style with cutting-edge performance. With its clamshell hood sporting a characteristic “horseshoe” vent and rounded headlamps, the appearance evokes nostalgia. A powerful, front-mounted, twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine powers the Valour under its sculpted hood. This beast generates 555 pound-feet of torque and 705 horsepower. But what really distinguishes the Valour is its transmission, a six-speed manual gearbox that Aston Martin calls “bespoke.”