Aston Martin says it will launch a “truly hardcore” car at the Geneva motor show in March.
The car, which is described by sources as “the most extreme Vantage to date”, has been inspired by the 600bhp V12 Vantage GT3 that has raced with considerable success in a number of global GT series and events, including the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The production car, which is intended for both road and track use and is previewed here by this official illustration, will get wider tracks, more aggressive styling and more power than the standard production version of the V12 Vantage.
There have been no hints yet on the likely price or the start of production, but with the current Vantage costing nearly £140,000, the Vantage GT3, which will be sold in limited numbers, is likely to cost rather more than £170,000.
The track-focused model has already been spotted testing at the Nürburgring.
Evident in recent spy pictures are heavily flared arches and a simple mesh grille that would improve airflow into the engine bay and cooling packs.
For the GT3, Aston Martin envisages a focus on reducing weight before increasing power, according to engineering boss Ian Minards, who in 2013 said: “It would be relatively easy to lose 100kg from the current car. That much could be saved by removing the air conditioning, simplifying the interior and fitting lightweight seats.”
Further weight reduction would involve expensive additions such as lightweight magnesium wheels and carbonfibre body panels.
Considerable development potential is believed to remain in the 565bhp 5.9-litre V12 motor. Even a modest power hike to 600bhp and the mooted 100kg weight reduction would boost the power-to-weight ratio from 339bhp per tonne at present to 383bhp per tonne, which is far beyond the reach of the Porsche 911 GT3 and would place the Aston on a par with the Ferrari 458.
This would be sufficient to knock a couple of tenths off the current car’s 0-60mph time of 3.7sec, a time that could be reduced further still by using the launch control system already available on the Vanquish.
Its top speed would likely fall from its current 205mph, however, as a result of both shorter gearing and the drag of high-downforce bodywork, including a large rear wing.
Watch Aston Martin's official preview video below.
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