Aston Martin has applied some GT3 magic to its Vantage, turning its compact V12 sports car into a limited edition road-going racer. With just 100 GT3’s to be built, Aston Martin has thrown all of its racing experience into what it describes as its "most performance focused road-going Vantage."
The first step of turning the standard V12 Vantage into a GT3 road-racer is making the car’s body lower and wider, with a carbon fiber aerodynamics package providing space for the car’s broader front and rear track, designed to keep load transfer under control during the sort of aggressive cornering that Aston’s CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, expects owners to undertake. According to Palmer, "The Vantage GT3 special edition is an uncompromising example [of Aston Martin’s] design and engineering expertise," he says. An example that he expects owners to savor both on the road and the track.
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Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, the GT3 weighs in at just 1,565 kg (3,450 lb), 100 kg (220 lb) less than the standard V12 Vantage S. Gaydon’s engineers have used the lightweight black weave for the GT3’s flared front wings, bonnet door casings and, if owners tick the right boxes, roof, while a race-derived lithium-ion battery also contributes to the weight savings.
Aiding the GT3’s sporting intentions are Michelin Pilot Sport tires that, aided by the extra downforce that the car’s massive rear wing and pouting front splitter provide, contribute to better grip in the corners.
As well as being practical, the GT3’s upgraded aerodynamics package has had a marked effect on the Vantage’s styling. Aston Martin has turned out some of the world’s best looking cars in recent years, but Aston’s aero changes somewhat spoil the standard car’s sleek silhouette with a more aggressive shape that, to our eyes, isn’t as attractive as the standard Vantage, nor Aston Martin’s Vanquish.
Taste in styling aside, the GT3 should really shift. As well as squeezing 600 hp power from the car’s 6.0-liter V12, Aston Martin’s engineers have developed magnesium inlet manifolds, a magnesium propshaft and a fully titanium center-exiting exhaust system for the limited-run Vantage.
The extra power and expected 625 Nm (461 lb.ft) of torque is enough to send the GT3 from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 297 km/h (185 mph). All of this power and torque is transmitted to the rear wheels by a rear-mid mounted seven-speed paddleshift gearbox, where it’s put down by a limited-slip differential.
As if all of this free-flowing V12 fun wasn’t enough, the vehicle’s suspension and brakes have been reworked to keep up with aggressive driving, with ventilated carbon ceramic discs at all four corners and a revised three-stage damping system.
Inside, the Vantage’s interior has been extensively reworked for the GT3. A full carbon fiber center stack, race-inspired carbon fiber seats and Alcantara trim, all contribute to a more exclusive, racier ambiance. And if you crave even more exclusivity, Aston Martin’s Q department offers a number of customization options for owners.
The GT3 will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with the first customer deliveries to take place in the third quarter of 2015. With only 100 being built, Aston Martin hasn’t announced pricing details – although, as the saying goes, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
And even if you could shell out the cash for one, both Chinese and American customers will be left out. Aston Martin won’t be selling the limited edition Vantage GT3 in either of those countries.
Source: Aston MartinView gallery - 22 images