You might remember the Aston Martin GT12 from last year. Here’s its eight-cylinder counterpart – the new Vantage GT8. The car is essentially an amalgamation of the road-going V8 Vantage and the V8 Vantage GTE race car, and it’s limited to 150 lucky (and wealthy) customers at £165,000 a pop.
What they are getting for the kind of money is a stripped-out, track-focused car with lots of carbon fibre parts, including the front splitter, front and rear bumpers, fenders, side sills and rear diffuser. It has a cutaway wheelarch like that of the GTE racer, and if you tick ‘Aero Pack’ box Aston Martin will graciously add a large rear wing and some extra bits for the front splitter.
The Vantage GT8 rolls on five-spoke alloy wheels as standard, with seven-spoke centre-lock magnesium rims available as an option. Regardless what the customers choose, they’ll be getting the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for road and track use. The car can be specified with a choice of three ‘Halo’ paint schemes comprising combinations of China Grey and blue, Stratus White and green, and Stirling Green and lime (as pictured).
Powering the car is a revised version of the V8 Vantage’s 4.7-litre V8 engine, which receives a slight hike in power output with 446 PS. Like the GT12, customers may opt for either a six-speed manual or seven-speed Sportshift II automatic with paddle shifters.
While there’s not much of extra ponies to play with, Aston Martin says the Vantage GT8 is the lightest Vantage ever. The car is about 100 kg lighter than the model it’s based on thanks to the use of lightweight lithium-ion battery, carbon fibre seats (with manual adjustment), carbon fibre door panels. and other weight saving measures such as carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and rear side windows, and titanium exhaust. Air-conditioning, as well as audio and infotainment systems are retained.
15 April 2016, Gaydon: Racing is in Aston Martin’s blood. From outright victory at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959, to countless race wins in GT3 and GT4 categories and a continued race and title-winning form in the production-based GTE category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Aston Martin is proud to be at the forefront of GT racing.
All Aston Martin road cars possess 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 is just that.
Director of Special Projects and Motorsport, David King said: “We long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at 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. It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge.”
Inspired and influenced by the 2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE race car, the Vantage GT8 is a true thoroughbred. The lightest and most powerful V8 Vantage ever, the Vantage GT8’s dramatically sculpted carbon fibre bodywork has been shaped by race-bred aerodynamic function. With a super-sharp chassis tuned for track-focused agility, powered by a revised 446PS1 version of Aston Martin’s rousing 4.7-litre V8 and available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed SportshiftTM II paddle-shift transmissions, the Vantage GT8 has unmistakable style, a no-nonsense stance and a driving experience that’s second to none.
From nose to tail the motorsport inspired special edition is every inch the road racer. Wide-bodied with aerodynamics that clearly take their lead from Aston Martin Racing’s WEC contender, it features extensive use of carbon fibre with the front splitter, front and rear bumpers, fenders, side sills and rear diffuser all fashioned from the lightweight material. One of the most striking standard features is the cutaway front wheelarch, which mimics that of the GTE racer. Those wishing for the most extreme aero configuration can specify the optional Aero Pack, which adds the large rear wing and additional corner elements to the front splitter.
The Vantage GT8 is further distinguished by a new 5-spoke alloy wheel, with ultra-lightweight seven-spoke centre-lock magnesium rims available as an option. Both standard and optional wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for exceptional performance on-road and track. Three optional ‘Halo‘ paint schemes are available; striking combinations of China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or Stirling Green and Lime that perfectly capture the Vantage GT8’s dynamic character and performance.
Improved performance through weight saving is central to the Vantage GT8. A standard-fit lithium ion battery sheds more vital kilos while further (optional) weight saving measures include a carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and rear side windows and a titanium centre mounted exhaust. Together with the standard-fit lightweight carbon fibre sports seats (with manual adjustment, again to save weight) and carbon fibre door panels, this comprehensive suite of lightweight components saves up to 100kg, making the Vantage GT8 the lightest Vantage ever. Air-conditioning, a 160w audio system and Aston Martin’s latest AMi III infotainment system ensures it remains genuinely road-useable.
Announcing the introduction of the new Vantage GT8, Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer 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 race track, 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 just 150 examples. Recommended retail price starts from £165,000 and deliveries will commence in Q4 2016.