This, says Aston, is the most track-focused version of the current Vantage since its factory introduction in 2018 – and considering that lineage includes the windscreen-less, twelve-cylinder Aston Martin V12 Speedster, it’s quite the claim. With the packaging job on that 12-cylinder engine effectively already done for Aston’s smallest model, it’s reasonable to assume that Gaydon’s V12 will power a natural successor to the old Vantage GT12 at some later point; but the F1 Edition isn’t that car.
Instead, it’s an exploration of how great the combined effect of incremental gains might be for the Vantage. The car’s mechanical layout is familiar, consisting of Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 mounted up front, behind the front axle line; an eight-speed, rear-sited automatic gearbox mounted transaxle style, fed by a carbonfibre propeller shaft; a torque-vectoring, electronically controlled locking rear differential; double-wishbone front suspension; and a multi-link rear axle.
Among the new boss’s first acts was to delete the seven-speed manual gearbox that was formerly offered in the Vantage to cut costs, reduce manufacturing complexity and boost quality, so the Vantage F1 Edition is auto only. Electronic recalibration has increased peak power from 503bhp in the regular Vantage to 527bhp at 6000rpm. Torque peaks at 505lb ft, just as it does in the regular car, but here it’s available over a slightly broader band of revs. (We asked Aston to supply power and torque curves to confirm these gains, but it declined.)