Aston Martin has revealed the new Vantage: a dynamics successor to the biggest-selling road car in the British marque’s history. This evening, in an unprecedented synchronised launch, Aston Martin Racing revealed the new Vantage GTE: the spectacular new FIA World Endurance Championship challenger poised to replace the team’s most successful competition car of all-time, the multiple Le Mans-winning V8 Vantage GTE.
Built to comply with the FIA’s strict GTE class regulations, the new Vantage GTE takes the road car’s core design and dynamic capabilities to a whole new level through extensive optimisation of the powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics. Designed and engineered in-house at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, the project is led by Technical Director Dan Sayers, who also guided the design and development of the current V8 Vantage GTE – the car credited with 37 of the team’s 51 international race victories, including two Le Mans 24 Hour class wins.
Though the new Vantage road car has only just been launched, development of the new Vantage GTE race car is well advanced, with more than 13,000km of testing completed, including a successful 30-hour run at the Spanish circuit of Navarra. The car has also been through a rigorous durability programme at the notoriously rough Sebring circuit in Florida. All of Aston Martin Racing’s current drivers have contributed to the test programme.
Reliability has been exceptional straight out of the box, while the drivers have reported the car is easier to control on the limit than its predecessor – something that will make the Vantage GTE especially attractive to competitors in the GTE Am class, where top-level amateurs race alongside professional teammates. Together with Aston Martin Racing’s engineers, the factory drivers have worked hard to optimise the drivability and performance of the base Mercedes-AMG 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine, that has been developed for use in the Vantage GTE application by Aston Martin Racing.
Aston Martin Racing is working with new technical partners: Alcon for the braking system, Öhlins for the suspension and Michelin for a bespoke tyre programme to maximise the performance of the Vantage GTE. Also, the in-house Aston Martin Design team, led by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman have taken their intimate knowledge of the road Vantage styling and amplified it for the WEC version. The result is an extreme and exciting evolution of an already aggressive road car design – a lesson in Aston Martin’s ethos of pure form and function.
With a new car to develop, Aston Martin Racing has kept its highly experienced and successful driver line-up. This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Pro class winners Darren Turner and Jonny Adam have been retained, as have the Danish duo and 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro world champions, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen. In addition, AMR has recruited ex-GP2 race winner and now Formula E racer Alex Lynn. Further driver announcements will be forthcoming.