Aston Martin has turned to its racing heritage for another stripped-back, Vantage road racer. Based on the V8 Vantage, the more powerful GT8 promises a hard edged driving experience to back up its lairy carbon makeover.
Having launched the gorgeous DB11 in Geneva, promised a hypercar collaboration with Red Bull racing and pleased the purists with a dogleg-manual gearbox on the V12 Vantage, Aston Martin is on a bit of a roll at the moment. Gaydon's engineers look to be onto another winner with the new GT8 – after all, adding power and cutting weight is a surefire way to crank up the fun on any car, let alone a 4.7-liter V8 British sportscar.
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Forgetting about the engine for a moment, the most striking change to the Vantage formula is the GT8's loud new bodykit. Carbon fiber has been used to create a new bumper, splitter and fenders up front, while the rear diffuser and side sills jutting out from the launch car's blue and green bodywork are also fashioned from the lightweight weave.
Aston Martin has also catered to the boy-racer clientele with the Aero Pack, which adds a huge wing and more complex front splitter.
If the extra bodywork isn't enough for you, there's a long list of lightweight options available. For the full road-racer experience you'll need to spec the GT8 with a carbon fiber roof, polycarbonate windows and windscreen and a titanium exhaust. Considering the BMW M4 has a carbon roof as standard and some hot hatches have standard titanium exhaust systems, it seems a bit rich for Aston to ask extra for them on a lightweight special worth £165,000 (US$233,760).
Although the exterior screams racecar, Aston Martin has been careful to make the interior workable for day-to-day drives. Alongside the carbon fiber door panels and manually-adjustable carbon backed buckets GT8 owners are treated to air-conditioning, a 160-watt audio system and Aston Martin's latest infotainment system.
We wouldn't worry too much about the stereo though, you'd be better served turning it off and tuning in to the car's V8. With 440 hp (328 kW), it's only 10 hp (7 kW) more powerful than the Vantage S, but that's already one of the best sounding cars around. The thought of that raspy V8 running through a titanium exhaust should be enough to give any petrolhead goosebumps.
Just 150 examples of the GT8 will be built, but in a cruel blow for US-based Anglophiles none of them will be sent across the Atlantic.
Source: Aston MartinView gallery - 14 images