With 37 race wins, 2 of those at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and a long 9-year stint in motorsports, it’s finally time for the old Vantage to retire from competition. That’s because there’s now a newer, faster all-new Vantage GTE that Aston Martin Racing (AMR) will run in 2018.
The new machine made its debut alongside the road-going Vantage this week. It shares most of its components such as a latest-generation bonded aluminum structure, a new Mercedes AMG-derived 4.0L twin-turbo V8, even down to the bright green/yellow paint.
But the similarities end there.
Output was slightly tweaked, from 510 to 536 hp and 685 to 700 Nm of torque in race trim. All the techie bits like the 8-speed automatic, E-Diff, and Adaptive Damping were also removed from the Vantage GTE. Instead it gets an Xtrac 6-speed sequential box, a mechanical limited slip diff, and Öhlins 5-way adjustable dampers on all 4 corners. Brakes are sourced from Alcon, while the 18-inch tires are supplied by Michelin.
Together with all the fancy aero parts, carbon fiber everything, and stripped out interior, the all-new Vantage GTE tips the scales at only 1,245 kg dry. That’s 285 kg less than the Vantage offered in Aston Martin showrooms.
Although it had just been launched, Aston Martin Racing has already logged more than 13,000 km in testing, plus a 30-hour run in the new Vantage GTE. They even ran it on the notoriously rough Sebring International Raceway to see if it’ll break. With a few minor tweaks, it should be ready for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) when the ‘super season’ starts in May 2018.
When it does, it’ll be driven by Darren Turner, Johnny Adam, Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen, plus new-recruit Alex Lynn.