Here we have the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 and the Aston Martin DB9 Carbon. The special edition Astons are Gaydon’s headline act for the 2014 Geneva motor show.
While the Carbon White and Carbon Black DB9s are monochrome cosmetic exercises, the race-inspired Vantages enjoy a power hike and token diet to ramp up performance.
Aston Martin Vantage N430: the details
Try to look beyond the race-inspired ‘lipstick’ paintwork of the Aston N430. The livery is derived from Aston’s Nürburgring 24-hour racers, hence the ‘N’ tacked onto the car’s name. Yes, it looks like a circus clown, but you’ll outrun those jibes with a 430bhp 4.7-litre V8. That’s a 10bhp jump over a regular V8 Vantage, bringing the N430’s output into line with the hotter Vantage S.
Unlike the auto-only Vantage S, you can (and ought to) spec your Vantage N430 with a six-speed manual transmission, rather than the seven-speed automated paddleshift gearbox.
Plus, the N430 is lighter than a regular Vantage – it’s got carbonfibre and Kevlar sports seats and forged alloy wheels. All told, it adds up to a 20kg weight saving. Not as brutal a diet as a Porsche 911 GT3’s, but still enough to slash 0.2sec from the stock Vantage’s 4.8sec 0-60mph personal best. The top speed is a Vanquish-beating 190mph.
There are more tweaks for the N430 besides the paint-by-numbers-gone-wrong livery. You get darkened grille mesh and light cluster surrounds, plus graphite wheels and clear taillights.
Magnesium paddleshifters and carbonfibre trim are standard-fit inside the two-seat cockpit, along with the usual array of contrast stitching, Alcantara touch-points, and anodised dashboard controls. And then there’s the biggest option of all: whether to spec your Vantage N430 as a hard-top or roadster.
Sounds like a cut above the usual special edition fiddling. How much?
Arriving from September 2014, the Vantage N430 will cost from £89,995 – neatly slotting between the standard £86,080 Vantage coupe and the £96,080 V8 Vantage S. Bad news for American readers: the N430 won’t be sold Stateside.
And what about the DB9 Carbon editions?
No prizes for guessing the only colours you can choose for the DB9 Carbon White and DB9 Carbon Black. Strictly for the most ardent carbonfibre fetishists, these price-on-application DB9s use carbonfibre for the side-strake trim, front splitter, mirror casings, and tailpipe surround. Inside, carbon covers the top section of the facia and the door handles.
>> Read CAR’s review of the 565bhp Aston Martin V12 Vantage S in the March issue of CAR magazine, on sale now