Wing? Check. Wild bodywork? Check. Level of want? UNBEARABLE.
Ahead of revealing its 2024 Formula 1 contender later tonight, Aston Martin has unveiled a new Vantage sports car and this: the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3. This is not a roadgoing alternative to the Porsche 911 GT3; it's a dedicated race car for customer racing in GT3 classes at the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the Fanatec GT World Challenge, among others.
As such, its power figures might seem somewhat underwhelming. While the roadgoing version of the new Vantage has 656 horsepower on tap, this GT3 version is only quoted to produce "over 536 hp, and 516 lb-ft of torque" with the variability coming from the boost levels applied to the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. This is sent to the rear axle through a six-speed Xtrac sequential transmission and a carbon fiber propshaft, with a mechanical limited-slip differential as opposed to the e-diff on the road car.
Redesigned to match the new road car in typical 'win on Sunday, sell on Monday' fashion, the overall look is familiar, but the bodywork here is next-level, designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as GT3 rules allow. The front end is a single-piece clamshell made of carbon fiber, designed to be removed as quickly as possible for trackside repairs during endurance races. The hood is vented, as are the wheel arches, for maximum airflow and heat dissipation, while aft of the front wheel arch, a side-exit exhaust by Akrapovic looks as mean as it will surely sound.
The rear is particularly aggressive, with a gargantuan top-hung wing, massive diffuser, and louvered rear wheel arches.
In short, it looks wild.
As the first product of a collaboration between Aston Martin Racing and Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT) - which has already collaborated on the Valhalla supercar - it breaks new ground for the automaker, which has seen substantial investment in recent years and a resurgence in motorsport, partially buoyed by its Formula 1 involvement.
As Adam Carter, Aston Martin's Head of Endurance Motorsport, explains, "The new GT3 is our first opportunity to use AMPT to play a role in leveraging the capabilities, attitude and methodologies of all of Aston Martin's various nerve centers, which we've then combined with the unrivaled GT program management expertise of AMR."
He goes on to explain that "The GT racing program will serve as a development lab that will lead to an increasing transfer of knowledge and approach into future Aston Martin road cars."
Aston says the new car has been developed with the old car's challenges in mind, aiming to reduce challenging handling behavior (nose dive under braking and a snappy rear end) through revised aero and damper settings and make the car easier to drive for professional and amateur drivers. Not that drivers seemed to struggle before - the old GT3 and the Vantage GTE before it amassed 52 class wins and 11 world titles between 2012 and 2023.
Aston's stable of racing clients is growing rapidly, and it estimates that during 2024, as many as 30 Vantage GT3s will be seen in action worldwide. The racer already made a sneaky on-track debut at the recent Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and from here will be seen at a variety of upcoming races.
Now all we need is a roadgoing variant, Mr. Stroll...