Lighter, wider and more powerful, the limited edition Vantage GT8 has been honed for the track.
This is the new Aston Martin Vantage GT8, Gaydon's newest track-focused sports car. Mirroring the steps it took when creating the GT12 (originally dubbed the Vantage GT3 before Porsche spat its dummy out) from the V12 Vantage, the GT8 is the lightest, most powerful V8 Vantage ever made. Inspired by the GTE race car that competes in the World Endurance Championship, the Vantage GT8 boasts race-bred aerodynamics, extreme carbon-fiber body work, and a razor-sharp chassis setup to help it dance around a race track.
The 4.7-liter V8 used in the Vantage S has been revised to deliver 440 hp, an increase of 10 hp, with torque remaining at 361 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a 1,510-kg curb weight, the Vantage GT8 will go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph, with power sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed paddle-shift automatic. Shaving "up to 100 kg" off the stock Vantage, from nose to tail the lightweight body is littered with carbon-fiber, including the front splitter, bumpers, fenders, side sills and rear diffuser. The cutaway front wheel arch is a nod to the GTE racecar, while the optional Aero Pack adds the massive rear wing, and extended front corner splitters.
New suspension geometry with enhanced springs and dampers, and double wishbones all round provide the GT8 with track-focused agility. Introducing the car at Silverstone, 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 program 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."
A lithium-ion battery helps shed some kilos, but buyers that want the GT8 at optimum fighting weight will have to spec and pay a hefty premium for the optional carbon-fiber roof, full titanium exhaust with slash cut center-mounted black tailpipes, and polycarbonate rear screen and rear side windows.
Other options include carbon-fiber wing badges and 19-inch seven-spoke magnesium Satin Black alloys (five-spoke Graphite rims come as standard) shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The GT8's duel personality is best show in the interior where manually-adjustable carbon-fiber sport seats and door panels combine with a 160-Watt sound system, air conditioning and Aston's latest Ami III infotainment system. Beautifully finished in leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber, with black magnesium paddleshifts for the auto or carbon-fiber gear shift for the manual, and Vantage GT8 branded headrests and sill plaque, the cabin looks and will almost certainly feel like a special place to be.
Discerning buyers are further provided with a range of options to make their driving space even more special including heated and electric adjustable sports seats, different leather and carbon-fiber finishes, a 1000-Watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, glass fascia switches and Steering Wheel Technology Pack. Limited to just 150 units, the Vantage GT8 comes with three optional 'Halo' paint schemes: China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or Stirling Green and Lime (pictured). Prices start from £165,000 with deliveries expected at the end of the year. Alas, the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 won't be available in North America.