Aston Martin is on a roll, with new road cars, SUV’s and Formula One successes. They are also putting into practice the tried and truth method of increased sales with the limited edition Valour. It seems only human to lust after things that are in short supply. Enzo Ferrari may not have been the first to prey on those human emotions, but he well understood basic human desires; show them something that they will want badly, and let them know there are none available. They will want that something even more. Maybe something a touch more attainable. Move over Enzo.
Capping production to 110 units, the new Aston Valour blurs the lines between modern and retro, with a manual transmission and external body cues harkening back to their big and brawny V8’s of the 1970’s and 80’s. Aston has connected their 6-speed transmission to their flagship 5.2L V12, pushing out a bit over 700 HP with 555 pound-feet of twist. While body shape is subjective, the Aston Valour seems handsome enough in photos and Aston Martin’s detailing is lately among the finest in the luxury segment. For years Aston Martin has lagged the competition in technology and interior design. That’s changed with the new DB12, and this special Valour run will elevate the interior to something even more special.
“Driver engagement“ is all the rage currently, with buyers especially interested in anything with a manual transmission. A point of reference would be ultra-upscale Pagani’s new machine with a stick.
Stick shift Ferraris, Porsches, etc. all command a much higher premium than automatics, even though today’s paddle shift cars are faster, easier to drive, and still manage to convey lots of engagement.
This limited run by Aston isn’t aimed at the sports car buyer, rather the GT experience, capable of long stretches in a relaxed, sophisticated manner, and I suppose it’s pointless to ask why you would place a standard transmission in a car designed for high end luxury. It’s also pointless to ask the prices as all 110 cars are already sold out a scant two weeks after they were announced, but insiders let slip somewhere north of $1.5M.
Bentley has long been rumored of toying with the ideal of producing a serious sports car. Think scaled down, slimmed down, 10% smaller Bentley GT Continental. It will undoubtedly be a limited production run, and is almost assured to have a manual transmission. After all, who doesn’t want a two ton luxury car with a manual shift to navigate London’s stop and go traffic.