Aston Martin wants to keep the manual gearbox alive for as long as possible

Aston bosses believe the DIY gearbox should not disappear

Check out Aston Martin's current range. What do you notice? Indeed, no more cars with a manual gearbox. Although Aston Martin no longer sells 'normal' cars with manual transmissions, the do-it-yourself gearbox is not disappearing. AM CEOs Simon Newton and Marek Reichman explain to Top Gear how special Astons will continue to be available with a manual gearbox.

Newton sees the car world switching en masse to the automatic: 'If that is where the market is going, it would be nice to continue working on a manual transmission.' What makes an Aston Martin manual gearbox so special according to Newton? 'It's an added dimension – you can't be a passenger in your car. You always have to be involved,” Newton says.

The manual gearbox of the Aston Martin Valour

Aston Martin's 'Vehicle Attribute & Performance Director' cites the special Valour as an example. This supercar was equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. “Often the transmissions you expect for this amount of torque [752 Nm in this case] have very heavy clutches, but that is not the case here,” says Newton.

He continues: 'It's not a dog [leg] box either. Sometimes this is a condition to meet the coupling requirements. Not that something like that doesn't have its own appeal, but we wanted something that wasn't difficult and inconvenient to live with every day.' The transmissions must therefore involve the driver, but it should not be a punishment to drive with the gearboxes.

Being different from others

Reichman is Aston Martin's creative boss and agrees with his colleague: 'I think when the world pushes a trend in one direction, there's always someone who wants to buy something that goes in the other direction. When you're forced down an alley, you want to do something else. So when the world electrifies and becomes automatic, people want something different.'

According to Reichman, you can compare it with analog watches versus smartwatches. 'There is always the demand for analogue when we have digital. I think that's the great thing about the Valour. It's a true analogue experience," Reichman says of the special Aston Martin. How analog? A British muscle car with a 715 hp V12 engine in the front that sends the power to the rear. And a manual gearbox.