What is it?
It has a wing. That’s the easiest way to spot that this Aston Vantage is the unlimited-in-number-but-limited-in-colour new range-topper, the F1 Edition.
You can only order it in green, black or white, and it marks Aston Martin’s entry into grand prix racing this year. But it’s not just about making it look like Formula 1’s safety car: the depth of other changes here fundamentally shifts the character of the Vantage.
It’s said the Vantage should be the most aggressive of Aston’s various coupés and roadsters. What with the DBS Superleggera and DB11 AMR, I’m not sure how much clear air sat there. So incoming boss Tobias Moers set the engineers a pretty specific task: without just throwing power at it, make the Vantage lap the Nürburgring 15 seconds quicker.
To do that without shafting the ride quality was, you suspect, quite demanding on dynamics engineers; but, as you might have noted from our recent awards, Gaydon has some quite good ones.
The changes are detailed but extensive. Structural stiffness has been increased at the front of the chassis to improve steering response; the adaptive dampers have been modified to have an extended work range; and the rear spring rate and lateral stiffness have been increased with the aim to improve traction.
The wheels are an inch bigger, at 21in, and fitted with a lower-profile tyre: 255/35 up front, 295/30 at the rear. The new aerodynamic addenda, including winglets up front, boost downforce by 200kg at top speed.