Vantage GT8: Taking things to extremes
Race-bred Vantage GT8 most extreme yet
100kg weight-savings make it lightest Vantage
GAYDON, England – : Racing is in Aston Martin’s blood. From outright victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959 to many wins in GT3 and GT4 and a continued race and title-winning form in the production-based GTE category of the FIA World Endurance championship, Aston Martin is proud to be at the forefront of GT racing.
Every Aston Martin road car has some of that sporting DNA, but the luxury brand’s most extreme models draw directly from that knowledge and passion to deliver something altogether more overt in looks and ability.
The new Vantage GT8, the automaker adds, is just that.
David King, director of special projects and motorsport, told The Corner through a media release: “We had long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflected our racing activity at Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8 we’ve been able to achieve it by focusing on weight-saving and aerodynamics.
“We’ve taken the V8 Vantage to an entirely different level of agility and performance. It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge.”
“Tthe Vantage GT8,” AM says, “is a true thoroughbred inspired and influenced by the 2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE race car and is the lightest and most powerful V8 Vantage yet.
“It’s dramatically sculpted carbon-fibre shell has been shaped by race-bred aerodynamic function, its super-sharp chassis tuned for track-focused agility and powered by a revised 446PS1 version of Aston Martin’s 4.7-litre V8 and available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed Sportshift II paddle-shift transmissions.
“The Vantage GT8 has unmistakable style, a no-nonsense stance and a driving experience that’s second to none.”
The wide body and racing-inspired aerodynamics clearly take their lead from Aston Martin Racing’s WEC contender; carbon fibre is used for the, front splitter, front and rear bumpers, fenders, sills and rear diffuser.
One of the most striking standard features, AM says, is the cutaway front wheel-arch, just like the GTE racer. Potential racers might add the optional aero pack which adds the large rear wing and extyra corner elements on the front splitter.
The Vantage GT8 comes with five-spoked alloy rims – ultra-light seven-spoked centre-lock magnesium rims an option but both shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for road and track. Three ‘halo’ paint schemes are available; grey/blue, white/green or green/lime.
Further optional measures to shed 100kg include a carbon-fibre roof, polycarbonate rear and rear side windows, a titanium exhaust, carbon-fibre sports seats (manual adjustment saves weight) and carbon-fibre door panels.
Aircon, a 160W audio system and AMi III infotainment system make the car road-friendly.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, announcing the car, said: “Road cars are our business but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin. The Vantage GT8 expresses that combination perfectly: an authentic and unashamedly extreme road car that draws directly from our Le Mans racing programme to amplify the inherent dynamism that has long made the Vantage such a fine sports car.
“Beautifully engineered and set-up to be equally at home on a fabulous road or a demanding racetrack, the Vantage GT8 is a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word.”
Appealing to collectors as well as pure driving enthusiasts, the Vantage GT8 will be strictly limited to 150 units. Retail prices start at £165 000 (R3.63-million at April 2016) and deliveries will commence in the fourth quarter of 2016.
For you aficionados, the comprehensive equipment list and engine data is below the image…
ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE GT8 SPECIFICATIONS
Two-seat, two-door coupe
Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
Aluminium, magnesium alloy, composite and steel structures
Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
Carbon-fibre wide body with flared sills and wheel arches
Carbon-fibre front and rear bumpers
Black mesh bonnet louvre inserts
All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 32-valve, 4735cc V8
Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
Stainless-steel exhaust with slash cut, centre-mounted bright tailpipes
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Maximum power/torque: 328kW at 7300rpm / 490Nm at 5000 rpm
Acceleration: 0-100km/h 4.4sec(predicted)
Maximum Speed – 300km/h+ (predicted)
Lithium ion battery
Rear mid-mounted, six-speed manual; option Sportshift II seven-speed automated manual transmission)
Aluminium alloy torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft
Final drive ratio 3.909:1
Column tilt and reach adjustment
Wheels and tyres
19” five-spoked forged alloy rims
Front: 8.5J x 19” Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres
Rear: 9.5J x 19” Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres
Track-focused with uprated and re-tuned springs and dampers
Front: Independent double wishbones, anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar, monotube dampers
Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat/anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar, monotube dampers
Front: Ventilated and grooved two-piece floating discs, 380mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
Rear: Ventilated and grooved steel discs, 330mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
Dynamic stability control with track mode
Anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency pressure, hill-start assistance, three-stage traction control
Safety and crash protection
Driver and passenger crashbags, perimeter alarm, AM tracking
Length (with aero pack) 4540mm
Width 1922mm (excluding mirrors)
Front track 1590 mm
Rear track 1626mm
Fuel capacity 80 litres
Kerb weight 1510 kg (with all weight-saving options) (predicted)
Race-bred Vantage GT8 Primary paint colour
Full mesh light grille
Black lower valances and sills
Clear rear lights
Black anodised brake calipers with Brembo logo
Vantage GT8 rear badging
Gloss black window surround
Black headlights bezels
Black enamel infill Aston Martin wing badges
High intensity discharge halogen headlights
Auto headlights and wipers
Power windows and power/heatable/foldable external mirrors