An unfair ad-Vantage: new race-bred Aston Martin Vantage GT8 unveiled

Published: 15 April 2016

► Aston Martin Vantage GT8 revealed
► Improved aero, less weight, more power
► Limited run of 150; £165,000 each

Tempted by an Aston Martin Vantage but find the standard V8 a bit tame and the V12 Vantage S a bit common? Perhaps the new limited-edition, race-bred Vantage GT8 could be just the version for you. It’s lighter, more powerful and reputedly a far more track-focused machine – and only 150 will be made.

David King, Aston’s director of special projects and motorsport, said: ‘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.’

So what’s been changed to sharpen the Vantage up?

The new GT8 takes many a cue from Aston Martin’s race-winning GTE. Upgrades include heavily reworked and wider bodywork to improve its aerodynamic efficiency, as well as a front splitter and rear diffuser. An optional Aero Pack, shown in the pictures, adds the boisterous rear wing and additional elements to the front splitter.

Power comes from an overhauled version of Aston’s tried-and-tested 4.7-litre V8, which produces an estimated 440bhp and 361lb ft, granting a 0-60mph time of 4.4sec. The GT8’s top speed, Aston claims, should be in the region of 190mph. For comparison, the standard car clocks in at 430bhp, 361lb ft, 4.6sec and 190mph – so the GT8 is a little quicker off the line, and packs a little more power.

Mid-range performance should be better, too, in part thanks to a kerb weight that’s up to 100kg less than the regular road car – meaning the GT8 should clock the scales at around 1510kg. This has been achieved by the fitment of a lighter lithium-ion battery, a carbonfibre roof panel, a titanium centre-mounted exhaust and polycarbonate rear screens.

You’ll be glad to know – pay attention, Porsche – that this special edition is available with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed paddle-shifted transmission, too…

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT8

That’s a fairly decent overhaul. Anything else that’s new?

Aston’s seen fit to revamp the suspension with uprated springs and dampers, as well as custom geometry settings, all of which is designed to make the Vantage sharper and more capable in corners.

It’s even got standard-fit carbonfibre sports seats – manual, of course, to save more weight – and carbonfibre door panels. Despite the drive to slim it down, it still retains air-con and a media system, so it shouldn’t be entirely intolerable in the real world.

Other changes, compared to the standard car, include five-spoke alloy wheels. Those looking for a more track-oriented set-up can opt for lightweight seven-spoke centre-lock magnesium wheels; in either instance they’re fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

What will it cost, and when will it be available?

Only 150 will be made and each GT8 will set you back upwards of £165,000 – if there are any left for sale, that is. Deliveries begin in the last quarter of 2016.

A selection of bespoke paint schemes are available, as are a range of cosmetic upgrades and options – including rear parking sensors.

Read CAR magazine’s Aston Martin Vantage reviews

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car