MOTORSPORT NEWS NEW VEHICLES

Aston Martin Vantage GT8 blurs line between race car and road car

Aston Martin has unveiled the most extreme version of its Vantage V8 yet, developed out of its successful line of GT racers.  The Vantage GT8 is lighter and more powerful than the existing Vantage lineup and incorporates aerodynamics inspired by the GTE and GT3 class racers built by the Prodrive-run Aston Martin Racing organization.

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Carbon bodywork replaces the standard Vantage’s aluminum/steel construction. That, combined with a lithium-ion battery, polycarbonate rear window, titanium exhaust and fewer interior options reduces the curb weight of the GT8 by 220 pounds to 3,329. Power has been upped to 440 hp, a 10-hp increase over the Vantage S. Torque is 361 lb-ft.

Race-inspired aerodynamics distinguish the car from previous Vantages. The front splitter, wheelarches with side vents and side sills mimic its successful GTE class contender from the World Endurance Championship. A optional aero pack offers a large rear wing and additional elements to the splitter.

The Vantage GT8 is available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox.

Dave King, director of special projects and motorsport at Aston, said, “We have long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8, we’ve finally been able to achieve that.

“By focusing on weight savings and aerodynamics, we’ve taken the V8 Vantage to an entirely different level of agility and aggression.”

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer revealed that deposits have been taken for the 150 GT8s scheduled to be built. The car retails at £165,000 and will not be available in the U.S. market.

The GT8 follows the motorsport-derived GT12 version of the V12 Vantage and Vulcan track-day car. Palmer said there would be a further special edition Aston to follow later in the year.