Maserati GranTurismo Zeda, Mercedes-Maybach GLS, Aston Martin Vantage Roadster: Car News Headlines

Maserati has marked the end of production of the current GranTurismo with a one-off called the Zeda. The wild paint scheme is meant to symbolize a bridge connecting Maserati’s past, present and future, with the blue at the front expected to be the signature hue for the brand’s future EVs.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a posh ride but a much more luxurious version is coming from the Maybach sub-brand. It’s confirmed for a debut at this month’s Auto Guangzhou and is expected to retail for over $200,000.
After impressing us with its latest Vantage coupe, Aston Martin is now almost ready to launch the convertible. Prototypes aren’t wearing any camouflage gear as the reveal is coming up soon.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
Maserati ends GranTurismo production ahead of new sports car’s arrival
Mercedes-Maybach GLS to debut at 2019 Guangzhou auto show with rumored $200,000 sticker
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster spy shots
What’s New for 2020: BMW
Official sketch hints at C8 Chevy Corvette Z06’s interior
Volvo turns to blockchain tech to keep track of cobalt sources
First drive review: 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel ratchets up the power, range, and price
2020 Volkswagen Passat to start from $23,915
Jaguar C-X75 driven by a James Bond villain up for sale
Costly retrofits, state rules keeping E15 gas from making it to many stations

Jaguar C-X75 driven by a James Bond villain up for sale

It’s certainly fun to pretend to be James Bond, a fantasy that can be accomplished with an old Bentley, a new Aston Martin, a simple tuxedo, or even a fancy Omega watch. It’s a bit more difficult to play the villain. Until now, that is.
One of the ultra-rare Jaguar C-X75 supercars built for filming of the 2015 James Bond flick “Spectre” is headed to an RM Sotheby’s auction in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The C-X75 is a concept designed by Ian Callum and unveiled at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show. Jaguar initially planned to put the car into production and even got around to building a handful of prototypes, though the project was ultimately canned in 2012.
However, when the folks at film production company Eon Productions came knocking with a request for a car for Mr. Hinx, the villain in “Spectre” played by Dave Bautista, Jaguar put a few more C-X75s into production. The cars were actually built by Williams Advanced Engineering which helped Jaguar develop the stunning supercar.
Jaguar C-X75 built for filming of “Spectre”
The car for sale, bearing chassis number 24001, is the first of six C-X75s built for filming of “Spectre.” It was also used during promotional events, one of which included ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa hopping behind the wheel. It doesn’t feature the sophisticated hybrid powertrain shown in the C-X75 concept but rather Jaguar’s venerable 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.
Because it was built to withstand the tough rigours of filming, the car also features a conventional tubular steel frame under the pretty body instead of the concept’s carbon fiber monocoque. Rally-style extra-travel suspension was also added to ensure the car could handle the rough terrain it was subjected to.
Once all the film work was done, the car was fully restored by Williams Advanced Engineering and sold to a British collector who served as a consultant in the project. It has only been driven a few times since, accruing a handful of miles while being displayed at a small number of events.
The hammer will drop on the C-X75 on November 30. RM Sotheby’s estimates the final bid to come in somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

Aston Martin delivers first DB4 GT Zagato continuation cars

Aston Martin is building 19 continuation examples of the DB4 GT Zagato of the 1960s to mark this year’s centennial of Italian design house Zagato, which has been helping to design special Aston Martins for the past 60 years.
Each of the 19 cars will be paired with a new DBS GT Zagato supercar based on the modern DBS Superleggera, with the cars being together as a set known as the DBZ Centenary Collection. The going price for the pair is a staggering $7.9 million and only the DBS GT Zagato will be legal on the street, with the DB4 GT Zagato relegated to track use only likely due to it not meeting modern regulations.
Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato and DB4 GT Zagato continuation car
While the DBS GT Zagato isn’t due to start deliveries until the fourth quarter of 2020, Aston Martin on Thursday delivered the first examples of the DB4 GT Zagato continuation cars to their new owners.
The DB4 GT Zagato was a lighter, more aerodynamic version of the DB4 GT developed for improved performance on the racetrack which at the time was dominated by Ferrari. Many of the steel components of the regular DB4 GT were replaced with lighter aluminum pieces in the Zagato, including body panels that were hammered and hand rolled into shape.
Production of bodies for Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato continuation models
Those same processes are being used for the continuation models, although augmented with some modern techniques, such as the use of the digital body buck, to make the job easier. Still, around 4,500 hours goes into the construction of each car. The work is being handled at Aston Martin’s heritage center in Newport Pagnell, United Kingdom, the same site that built the early DBR1 and DB3S race cars all the way through to the DB6.
The interior is a mix of old and new, with Wilton carpet, leather trim, and carbon fiber all featured. Continuation specification instrumentation and interior equipment such as a full FIA-approved roll cage are standard. And under the hood is an inline-6 with two spark plugs per cylinder, just like in the originals. The engine sendd about 380 horsepower to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
Production of bodies for Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato continuation models
“It has been our privilege and our pleasure to work with Zagato in the creation of these remarkable sports cars,” said Andy Palmer, Aston Martin CEO. “Now arriving in the hands of a tiny group of owners across the world I’m sure they, like me, will be honoured to play their part in the history of this great brand.”
Note, Aston Martin has another continuation car in the pipeline. The automaker is also working on DB5s built to the same spec as the car James Bond drove in 1964’s “Goldfinger.” And we’re not just talking factory specs but some of those by devised by Q.

Aston Martin DBX priced from $189,900

Aston Martin will soon climb aboard the SUV bandwagon with a new vehicle dubbed the DBX, which the automaker on Tuesday said will be priced from $189,900.
Aston Martin also announced a November 20 reveal scheduled to take place in Beijing, after which interested buyers will be able to place an order. Deliveries of the DBX will commence in 2020, with production being handled at a new plant in St Athan, Wales.
Aston Martin DBX at 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The pricing slots the DBX just below the DB11 V8 in Aston Martin’s model heirarchy. For those wondering, the DB11 V8 is priced from $198,995, while the V-12-powered DB11 runs $216,495.
The DBX has been a long time coming. Recall, the Aston Martin unveiled an SUV concept as far back as 2009, though the financial crisis at the time put the project on hold. Today, SUVs are more popular than ever, even among exotic brands where the likes of Ferrari and Lotus are also preparing high-riding models.
Pre-production of Aston Martin DBX at plant in St Athan, Wales
The DBX utilizes a bespoke platform developed specifically for a high-riding vehicle capable of off-road conditions. Testing has taken place in some of the world’s harshest conditions, and naturally many of the places are areas where Aston Martin’s sports cars never tread. In particular, the engineers needed to place extra focus on the suspension to address the DBX’s mass, size and purpose. Expect advanced anti-roll and air suspension tech.
The bespoke platform has also allowed Aston Martin’s design team to optimize the interior, with the designers given the mission of fitting tall passengers while keeping the roofline low and sleek. A full-length panoramic glass roof has been added to give the feeling of more space in the cabin whose design, judging by new teaser photos, will closely resemble the design used in Aston Martin’s sports cars.
Aston Martin DBX
In the powertrain department, the DBX will debut with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 sourced from Mercedes-AMG and rated at 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid option utilizing a new V-6 developed in-house at Aston Martin is also a possibility. Don’t expect a plug-in hybrid, though; Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer dislikes the idea of a “stepping stone” and instead will focus on light electrification before fully embracing battery-electric powertrains with the Lagonda brand. While Aston Martin first imagined the DBX as an EV, that has changed due to the automaker’s revival of Lagonda as an EV brand.
The DBX is the fourth of seven cars promised under Aston Martin’s Second Century plan. The first was the DB11 which has since been followed by the Vantage and DBS Superleggera. Beyond the DBX, we’ll see a mid-engine Vanquish supercar around 2021, a Lagonda SUV around 2022 and a Lagonda sedan around 2023. Aston Martin will then repeat the seven-car cycle with redesigned models. And along the way we’ll also see special edition models like the Valkyrie and Valhalla hypercars.

2021 Infiniti QX55, 2020 Aston Martin AMB 001, 2020 Polestar 1: Today’s Car News

Infiniti is almost ready to show us its QX55, a coupe-like crossover SUV that will likely be related to the QX50. A new teaser reveals more of the design but we’ll have to wait until the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month to see the vehicle in full.
Aston Martin has revealed its first motorcycle. The track-only superbike was a collaboration with Brough Superior and comes with 180 horsepower in a package that weighs less than 400 pounds.
We’ve driven the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe and have a full first drive review up. This is a car that carves up corners in a manner that’s second to none for its price, thanks mostly to its trick rear end.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
Infiniti QX55 luxury crossover teased with fast roofline
Aston Martin and Brough Superior unveil 180-horsepower superbike
First drive review: 2020 Polestar 1 doesn’t cut corners so you can
2020 Honda CR-V will cost $26,145 to start, $600 more than last year’s version
Investigators say Jessi Combs’ front wheel collapsed at 550 mph, caused fatal crash
Merged PSA-FCA aiming to build “a world leader” in sustainable mobility
The Dragon Snake is Shelby American’s lighter, more powerful Mustang Shelby GT500
Thousands of arrests are being thrown out over unreliable Breathalyzer results
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster T and 718 Cayman T add value but not power
SUV boom, VW diesel scandal, Chinese steel reportedly relate to slipping CO2 progress

2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR, Tesla Model S Plaid, McLaren Speedtail: The Week In Reverse

We take Aston Martin’s new manual-transmission Vantage AMR for a spin; Tesla’s Model S “Plaid” prototype keeps getting more and more outrageous; and we get our first look at McLaren’s new Speedtail roaming the wild. It’s the week in reverse, right here on Motor Authority. 
Once upon a time, manual transmissions were the norm even in high-end touring cars, but these days, they’re few and far between. Dog-leg transmissions? Practically unheard of. That’s why Aston Martin’s new Vantage AMR caught us off guard. But we rallied, and found the learning curve to be well worth it. 
If you’ve been waiting for the heyday of the pickup truck, don’t blink; you might miss it. While the full-size pickup segment is about as rigidly set as it gets, the mid-size class is a bit more wide open, and just about everybody is trying to one-up each other to make the coolest, most capable “small” truck for those who like to do actual truck stuff. We took the latest and greatest out on the trails to see who is doing it best. 
Tesla has taken up Porsche’s challenge of setting EV lap records at the Nürburgring, and their weapon of choice is a new, high-performance variant of the Model S dubbed “Plaid.” With each trip to the ‘Ring, Tesla’s development car gets more and more go-fast equipment and body alterations, including this massive rear wing spotted on its latest outing. 
If you’re a fan of the Volkswagen GTI, you know tartan seats and golf-ball-shaped gear knobs are par for the course (sorry), and you have a woman named Gunhild Liljequist to thank for them. Meet the designer responsible for the GTI’s two signature interior elements, and learn how they came about. 
McLaren’s next Ultimate Series flagship is just around the corner, and with the development phase coming to a close, the new hybrid hypercar has been spotted undergoing road testing, and unlike a lot of prototypes, it’s wearing its undisguised production bodywork. 

Aston Martin splits with DTM engine supplier HWA after one season

The R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad has confirmed it has split with engine partner HWA following just one season together in the DTM.R-Motorsport endured a difficult first season in the series with its Vantage DTM, after it built four cars in just 90 days and suffered from an underpowered and unreliable engine.While there was a breakthrough in reliability following a test after the Misano round, there were repeated engine-related reliability problems in the season finale at Hockenheim.There had been speculation at the Hockenheim finale that R-Motorsport was considering its engine options, although R-Motorsport team principal Florian Kamelger stressed to Autosport that he had faith HWA could turn its engine programme around. Autosport understands R-Motorsport is already working on securing an alternative engine supplier, despite HWA making a contractual offer to continue into 2020.”Regrettably, we have been unable to establish any consensus for further collaboration with HWA AG in regard to fulfilling our commitment to the DTM, so that the only option for us now is to terminate our partnership with HWA in the DTM and to focus on the future,” said Kamelger.”Despite the termination of our collaboration with HWA, however, we still plan to continue our involvement in the DTM, and we will reorient ourselves in 2020 under these changed circumstances in coordination with Aston Martin.”Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer told Autosport at the Nurburgring that the manufacturer would continue to have an ongoing review of its DTM presence, after recently committing to the series for 2020.R-Motorsport and Aston Martin made the decision to skip the joint racing between the DTM and SUPER GT at Fuji next month in order to focus on development of its 2020 cars.Autosport understands it has sold its 2019 cars to a Chinese buyer in recent months and that it is unlikely to take part in the rookie test at the end of the year as it prepares for the coming season.Palmer said: “Aston Martin will continue to be supportive of R-Motorsport’s DTM programme with the Vatange DTM race car and their wider plans to compete in race series governed by Class 1 regulations, such as the Super GT in Japan and in Asia.”A HWA press release stated “the projects in which AF Racing AG and HWA AG continue to work together are currently being negotiated”.HWA CEO Ulrich Fritz recently told Autosport that it could continue in a different format and with other projects.

Aston Martin motorcycle in the works

Aston Martin has teamed up with Brough Superior to launch a motorcycle.
The limited edition, to be unveiled on November 5 at a motorcycle show in Milan, will be the first Aston Martin on two wheels, and if successful it might not be the last.
Brough Superior is a historic British brand established by George Brough in 1919 and lasting until 1940 in its original form. It was revived in 2008 by Mark Upham and Thierry Henriette, who is the lead designer.
The original Brough Superiors were described by reviewers as the Rolls-Royces of motorcycles. Just over 3,000 were built, with a handful owned by T. E. Lawrence, best known as Lawrence of Arabia. He actually died after suffering a crash on one of the motorcycles. That was back in 1935.
The modern Brough Superiors feature a retro look but also benefit from all the latest tech including titanium frames and powerful 1.0-liter V-twin engines with four valves per cylinder.
You might be wondering how a project like this came about. It turns out that Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman is a motorcycle enthusiast and close friend of Henriette.
Full details will be revealed following the unveiling of the motorcycle at the EICMA show in Milan. Stay tuned.

Di Resta defends ‘selfish’ R-Motorsport/Aston decision to skip Fuji

Paul di Resta has defended his R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad’s ‘selfish’ decision to skip next month’s joint races between the DTM and SUPER GT to prioritise car development for 2020.Audi – including its customer WRT – and BMW will take a combined seven cars to Fuji for November’s 22-24 event due to the logistics and costs of the event.R-Motorsport was expected to race at Fuji but it and Aston announced at September’s Nurburgring round that the team would not take part.Aston Martin’s arrival through R-Motorsport for 2019 was partly due to the appeal of the DTM’s internationalisation efforts and its Class One rules tie-up with the Japanese SUPER GT series, which sent cars to race at DTM’s Hockenheim season finale.Asked at Hockenheim whether R-Motorsport and Aston had made the right decision to skip Fuji, di Resta said: “Yeah. I guess, like everyone, I’m a big fan of the Japanese manufacturers and this SUPER GT collaboration.”I’ve heard talks for years and years, and eventually it’s happened. It’s nice to see these cars on track with us and the names involved in it.”If this championship wants to go to the next level it’s vital it does that [tie-up] and finds a happy medium.”For sure, costs need cutting and the entertainment on track is key.”When you look at the size of the manufacturers that are Audi and BMW – the resource and development they’ve had for this generation of DTM – for us to be serious about going into the winter and get on top of this car to capitalise next year, the budget is a big part of it.”Equally the time putting everything into that, I think the decision was taken selfishly in the sense that we need to perform here [in DTM], but looking at the back of that, the show will go on [at Fuji] which is the key.”I know how important [it is to] R-Motorsport, and certainly Aston Martin wants this to happen because it was a big part of joining this championship – for this [collaboration] to happen.”DTM boss Gerhard Berger told Autosport at Hockenheim earlier this month that he expects R-Motorsport and Aston Martin to take part in any joint races next year.

First drive review: 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR’s manual transmission grows on you

I slot the gearshift of the Intense Blue 2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR into what is usually 1st gear, and slowly let out the clutch. The car rolls backward, which isn’t good because Aston Martin’s Nurburgring-based AMR Performance Center sits about two feet behind the car and several company reps are looking on.
This isn’t right.
I engage the clutch, put the other foot on the brake, then inspect the shifter of this dogleg 7-speed manual transmission. First gear is down and to the left. It’s the first time I realize that every gear is in the wrong position. Reverse is up and to the left, while 2nd, 4th, and 6th are up top in the double-H shift pattern and 3rd, 5th, and 7th sit below. It’s all topsy-turvy.
“The dogleg 7-speed is like Marmite,” says Aston Martin lead development engineer Matt Becker. “It’s not perfect, but I actually like that because you have to learn it, and it offers me another level of engagement with the car.”
2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
The comparison may fall flat for Americans, but Marmite is a love-it-or-hate-it yeast-extract paste Brits spread on toast. On first blush, I’m leaning toward hating this transmission.
As I set off to explore the route in the countryside surrounding the Nurburgring (rather than the Nurburging itself, in a cruel bit of irony), I start to find reasons to like this oddball transmission and plenty more to love about the 2020 Vantage AMR.
For starters, the seating position is fantastic and familiar. I’m sitting low in this beautiful piece of British engineering. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes to find the perfect position, my feet are positioned ideally on the pedals, and the center console sits high, where it acts as a comfortable armrest. Atop it is the stubby shifter that slots smoothly from gear to gear. Aston Martin says it benchmarked the Porsche 911’s seating position in relation to the gearshift. I’ve driven the 2020 911, and this position certainly is similar.
The dogleg 7-speed is built by the Italian firm Graziano, and it’s the same transmission that Aston Martin used in the last-generation Vantage V12. Now, however, it backs the Mercedes-AMG-sourced, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that does time in the V-8 DB11 and a host of Mercedes vehicles, from the G-Class SUV to the S-Class flagship sedan to the AMG GT sports coupe. Despite all its uses, the Vantage AMR is the only car that pairs the V-8 with a manual.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
Aston Martin had to make some concessions for the 7-speed manual to work with the torquey V-8. While the engine spins out 503 horsepower and 498 pound-feet of torque in the DB11, it only produces 457 lb-ft of torque here. Of that, only 295 pounds of twist are available in 1st and 2nd gears. Different ECU programming and lower boost levels prevent the V-8 from overwhelming the transmission with the V-8’s immediate torque. That seems odd given this transmission did time behind a V-12, but that engine was naturally aspirated and didn’t create as much torque at lower rpm as this twin-turbo V-8 masterpiece.
Not that it really hurts performance. The Vantage AMR rockets from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds versus 3.6 seconds for the Vantage with the 8-speed automatic. I’ll sacrifice three-tenths to row my own. The car hooks up well, sounds a rumbling yawp, and rockets toward the horizon on its way to a top speed of 200 mph.
Two drive mode controllers on the steering wheel cycle through Sport, Sport+, and Track modes (no Normal or Comfort settings here; the Vantage is Aston’s track-ready sports car). The selector on the left handles the adjustable and adaptive dampers; the one on the right controls the engine and throttle response.
I opt for Sport+ for the suspension and Track for the powertrain on these scenic German roads set among evergreen forests. Track isn’t the most aggressive engine mode. It provides more progressive throttle response than Sport+, which is tuned for peakier, more immediate power delivery. Both modes create a more present and snarling engine note and send delightful crackles out of the exhaust every time I let up on the throttle.
The route changes from two-lane B roads to tight, low-speed village streets to multi-mile autobahn blasts to twisty mountain passes. The engine and transmission play well in all scenarios, but I don’t necessarily play well with them.
The shift gates are close together so it can be easy to shift from 2nd to 5th or 3rd to 6th. The bigger issue, though, is not knowing where the next shift is supposed to go, up or down. When I’m in 3rd, I want to shift down to get 4th, but the action is up and vice versa when I downshift. It’s all backward, and, on occasion, it causes me to leave the transmission in the current gear rather than downshift.
There’s a method to the transmission’s madness, though, and it has to do with motorsports. The 2nd to 3rd shift is directly up and down instead of offset, and they makes this transmission ideal for road racing that often requires that shift, but up and down. Still, so far it seems wrong.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
Oddly, downshifts aren’t an issue when the road turns twisty. Given the fact that the engine puts out its full torque in 3rd gear, but not in 1st or 2nd, there is no need to downshift to 2nd when entering switchback turns; the torquey V-8 is likely putting down the same amount of power at the exit of the turns in either gear.
Aston Martin also helps drivers make those downshifts. The manual is teamed with AMShift, which provides downshift rev-matching and no-lift upshifts. The advantages of rev matching are obvious, but it’s also cool to keep your right foot pinned to the floor when engaging the clutch and changing gears.
Aston Martin says the Vantage’ reaches its top speed in 7th gear, which means it’s not entirely a fuel-economy play. Traveling at about 100 mph on an open stretch of the autobahn, I put my foot to the floor and let the car build speed. I get to 158 mph before I see traffic ahead and let off. Foolishly, I didn’t bother to downshift, and I’m sure I could have gone 20 mph faster in the same space had I run the V-8 out to its 7,000 rpm redline in 4th, 5th, and 6th gears. Then again, triple-digit speeds are terrifying as soon as you see traffic, so maybe building speed slower was a better idea.
My drive partner seems to have more of a problem with this oddball transmission. The smell of clutch hangs in the air after a couple of aggressive launches—likely with 1st not fully engaged—and eventually 1st and reverse become hard to access. This isn’t right. The other gears seem fine, but later, at the AMR Performance Center, Aston Martin engineers tell us that we’ve lunched the clutch. (Note to Aston Martin: I apologize for any role I may have played in the torturous death of your clutch.)
2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
Super sports car handling
As the sportiest version of Aston’s sportiest car, the Vantage AMR swaps out cast-iron brakes for carbon-ceramics, comes standard with the manual transmission, and weighs 220 pounds less than the standard Vantage. Of that total, 154 pounds are attributed to the manual transmission swap, and the rest are a combination of the brakes, lighter forged alloy wheels, and the switch from an electronic-locking, limited-slip rear differential to a mechanical rear differential.
The Vantage platform is shared with the DB11 and DBS but has a wheelbase that is 3.9 inches shorter and it’s 11.2 shorter overall. The Vantage also gets the sportiest suspension settings. According to Becker, the springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars of all Vantages are stiffer by about 15 percent, and the rear subframe is hard-mounted to the chassis rather than isolated.
The combination of the shorter wheelbase and stiffer tuning has its pluses and minuses. The lost length is in the rear, where the DB11’s rear seats are. That brings the rear tires closer to the driver’s position, and this teams with the stiffer tuning and hard-mounted rear subframe to send jolts up through the driver’s seat. Track mode becomes almost unbearable on anything but glass-smooth roads, though Sport and Sport+ are acceptable. No mode, however, matches the DB11’s comfortable grand touring tuning.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage AMR
However, I don’t really need any mode other than Sport to have a blast in the twisties. The Vantage AMR’s near-perfect 51/49 front/rear weight balance, stiff structure, and short length make it agile and ready to attack any bend. On the mountain passes, it never tries to push and never tries to oversteer. It just keeps doing what I tell it to through the sharp steering  (13:1 ratio) and strong, progressive carbon-ceramic brakes. It’s a true sports car.
And, in my mind, a true sports car should have a manual transmission. This dogleg 7-speed certainly takes some getting used to, but by the end of the day I have a better feel for where the gears are and how to better control the powertrain through the shifter, blown clutch and all. After a few more days, it would be absolutely natural.
“I used to hate Marmite when I was a kid, but now I really like it,” Becker tells me. 
I’m not sure about Marmite, but I’m starting to like this oddball transmission, and I really dig the Vantage AMR it serves.
Aston Martin provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring you this firsthand report.