An extensive aerodynamic package also features on the Vantage GT12, as does a more focused seven-speed automated manual transmission, wider tracks, revised adaptive damper settings and a new titanium exhaust system.
David King, director of the Aston Martin Special Projects arm that created the model, told Autocar the aim was to “create the essence of a GT3 racer in a still-legal Vantage road car”.
King added: “We wanted to push the Vantage as far as we could to make a more extreme track day car that’s visually and functionally inspired by the race car, but still with the style and craftsmanship Aston Martin is known for.”
The engine, codenamed AM57, is carried over from the V12 Vantage S but with some modifications. The inlet manifolds are new, made from magnesium and with revised geometry. The titanium exhaust system is also new and offers a weight saving of 19kg over the V12 Vantage S’s exhaust system. As a result, power is up from 565bhp to more than 592bhp and torque rises slightly from 457lb ft to an estimated 461lb ft at its peak but with bigger gains through the rev range.
The torque tube is also new and made from magnesium, and the seven-speed gearbox has been recalibrated for faster shifts. However, the gearing itself is unchanged from the V12 Vantage S’s.
The final engine output and performance figures have yet to be confirmed by Aston, but the top speed drops from the 205mph of the V12 Vantage S and is rated at 185mph, due to the extra drag created by the aerodynamic package. The 0-60mph time is estimated at 3.5sec, which is 0.2sec faster than that of the V12 Vantage S.
The basic chassis and suspension system of the V12 Vantage S carries over to the Vantage GT12, but with several key modifications. Although the ride height remains the same, ground clearance is reduced by the new aerodynamic features and the track is 15mm wider at the front and 33mm wider at the rear. New spring rates and bars are fitted to the suspension set-up and the Bilstein adaptive dampers are retuned.
The Normal, Sport and Track modes from the V12 Vantage S are also carried over. These alter the firmness of the dampers, throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, exhaust note and steering assistance. They have all been retuned for the Vantage GT12, and King has promised “a very different feel” from the donor model for the GT12.
King’s team is currently entering a two-month testing period to tune the various components and has “fairly aggressive targets to meet with performance”. Aston Martin Racing driver Darren Turner has also been recruited to the development team for this chassis tuning stage.
Elsewhere on the chassis spec, the large Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes are carried over from the V12 Vantage S to the GT12. Lightweight 19in magnesium alloy wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres (the first time Michelins have been fitted to an Aston) – 265/35s at the front and 325/30s at the rear. The alloys can be specced with a magnesium centre locking cap, another first for Aston.
The Vantage GT12 is wrapped in a new carbonfibre skin, which saves 20kg over the bodywork of the V12 Vantage S. The new bodywork and wider tracks make the Vantage GT3 50mm wider than the model on which it is based.
Visually, the Vantage GT12 is easily distinguished from the V12 Vantage S thanks to its extensive aerodynamic package, in part derived from the GT3 race car. Most striking at the front is the horseshoe graphic in the bonnet that helps with both cooling and airflow over the car. Meanwhile, the rear end is dominated by a large, fixed rear wing.