The wraps have come off the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, and it looks every bit as spectacular as we’d hoped.
The most potent Vantage to date, the new model is a track-biased version of the car that has been with us since 2005. Limited to just 100 examples, the GT3 aims to take on the Porsche 911 GT3 – a focussed, stripped-out version of the 911 that receives unanimous rave reviews from road testers. Prices for the Vantage GT3 have yet to be announced, but don’t expect much change from £180,000.
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 specification
Perhaps the most obvious change comes in the form of that outlandish styling. Heavily inspired by the GT3 racers that compete at the top level of endurance racing, the Vantage has gained a speed-hump-troubling carbon fibre front splitter, swollen wheel arches housing a wider wheel track and a huge rear wing, and the ride height has been lowered to lower the centre of gravity and improve handling.
These changes aren’t just for show – they result in a tangible increase in downforce, which when combined with ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, should endow the GT3 with serious cornering grip.
Inside, there are further smatterings of carbon, most notably on the centre console and the shells for the alcantara-trimmed sports seats. The dashboard features a touch-sensitive array of buttons inspired by the One-77 hypercar.
Is it any faster than the normal V12 Vantage?
Absolutely. Beyond the syling changes, the focus for the GT3 has been on increasing performance, not only by adding power, but by reducing weight. Through the extensive use of carbon fibre (the new front wings, bonnet, door casing and – optionally – the roof are all made from it), a new lightweight battery and the use of magnesium in the exhaust and propellor shaft have trimmed a substantial 100kg from the kerb weight.
The magnificent 6.0-litre V12 from the regular Vantage has had a further 35hp eked from it, with total power output now standing at 600hp. With the regular model capable of 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, expect the new model to be even more rapid. Due to the extra downforce it produces, the GT3 might not be quite able to match the V12 Vantage’s 205mph top speed.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer explained why now is the right time to release such an extreme version of the vantage: “Motorsport is in our blood at Aston Martin. The Vantage is the car we campaign in top level sports car racing around the world and so it seems only fitting that we offer an exclusive, limited edition Vantage that expertly fuses our motorsport know-how with our road car prowess.”
It may have taken ten years, but we’re still glad that they’ve made it…