Aston Martin has been making drivers with a taste for racing do double-takes lately. Their limited-run of track-minded Vantage GT12s and the top-of-the-line track-only Vulcan showed that the British brand has a more brutal side to their elegant character. Now, thanks to the new Aston Martin Vantage GT8, the dedication to racing and performance is on full display.
Sure, Aston Martin has been involved in racing since 1959 and has scored numerous GT3, GT3, GTE, and WEC victories recently, but there hasn’t been those models that say “look at my lightweight racecar that can keep up with your 911 GT3!” The new Aston Martin Vantage GT8 is just that and then some. It’s the lightest and most extreme V8 Vantage model ever.
Based on the 2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE race car, the new Vantage GT8 is a street-legal monster equipped with all the lightweight, race-spec goodies that laws could allow.
“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,” said David King, Director of Special Projects and Motorsport.
The Aston Martin Vantage GT8 is wider thanks to a set of powerful fender flares made from carbon fiber. The lightweight woven material makes up the aggressive front splitter, both front and rear bumpers, side sills, and smooth rear diffuser. Cutaway front wheel arches similar to those found on the GTE racecar are used to help improve aerodynamics aft of the wheel even more. For those that have a hardcore need for downforce, the optional Aero Pack can be installed which includes a larger rear wing and new corner elements on the front splitter.
Cutting weight doesn’t stop at the exterior of the Aston Martin Vantage GT8, it continues to the interior. Here, carbon fiber seats with manual controls, carbon fiber door panels shed extra pounds, and lithium-ion battery. Checking the optional lightweight boxes on the order form adds a carbon fiber roof, polycarbonate rear window and side windows, and a centrally-mounted titanium exhaust with dual outlets. After all the lightweight options are installed, the Vantage GT8 comes in at 220 lbs. less than the standard model, making it the lightest Vantage ever.
Pounding the pavement beneath those monster fenders are five-spoke alloy wheels or optional seven-spoke, center-locking magnesium wheels. The 8.5J x 19 front and 9.5J x 19 rear forged wheels both wear sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and hide six- and four-piston calipers with 380 mm and 360 mm steel discs at the front and rear, respectively. The double-wishbone, coil-spring suspension of the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 features optimized geometry and special spring and damper rates to ensure every corner can be sliced and diced.
Underneath the carbon fiber hood of the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 sits a tuned 4.7-liter V-8 aimed at providing raw power. A total of 440 bhp at 7,300 RPM and 361 lb-ft. of torque at 5,000 is generated and sent through either a rear-mounted six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed Sportshift II automated manual. This allows the track-focused super car to reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds from rest and hit a 190 mph top speed.
While the main goal of the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 is to go as fast as possible around a track without breaking the law, it does still have a few creature comforts. Coming standard is the Aston Martin Ami III infotainment system, a 160-watt audio system, and air conditioning.
The new Aston Martin Vantage GT8 will be limited to just 150 examples with three color combos: Cina Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green, or Stirling Green and Lime. Pricing will start at £165,000 with deliveries beginning in the fourth-quarter of 2016, but it won’t be coming to North America.
Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Specifications
Displacement: 4.7 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Maximum Horsepower: 440 bhp / 446 PS / 328 kW at 7,300 RPM
Maximum Torque: 361 lb-ft. / 490 Nm at 5,000 RPM
Type: Six-speed manual or Sportshift II seven-speed automated manual
Drivetrain: Aluminum alloy torque tube with carbon fiber prop shaft, limited-slip differential
Final Drive: 3.909:1
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds (est.)
Top Speed: 190 mph (est.)
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes:
Wheels: 19-inch five-spoke forged alloy with Graphite finish
Optional: Center-locking, seven-spoke forged alloys
Front Wheels: 8.5J x 19
Rear Wheels: 9.5J x 19
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
Front Brakes: Six-piston Monobloc calipers with 380-mm discs
Rear brakes: Four-piston Monobloc calipers with 330 mm discs
Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Specifications
Source: Aston Martin