Aston Martin’s extreme measures

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2015 18:01 IST

The latest limited edition car to race out of the Aston Martin factory and on to the Geneva motor show is a perfect example of why less is more.

Only 100 examples of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will ever be built and those lucky enough to get their hands on one will be getting what the company describes as the most extreme road-legal car in the company's history.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, on which the new model is based, is already a very fast and, thanks to diminutive dimensions, a very agile car. And it's also one with a wonderful hand-finished cabin overflowing with the highest quality materials and latest creature comforts. And at around €200,000 the whole package is somewhat of a supercar bargain.

However, for €135,000 more, the GT3 does away with nearly all of those mod cons in order to save weight. The cabin is almost entirely carbon fiber, as are the door castings, hood lid, wings and roof. The car can even be specified with a polycarbonate, rather than glass rear window. However, the crash diet shaves 100kg off the car's weight and the GT3 tips the scales at just 1565kg.

The weight loss also means that even more can be made of the extra power that the company has managed to coax out of the car's 6-liter, naturally aspirated V12 engine. It now offers 595bhp and although the company hasn't yet offered any official performance figures, early indications are that the car is two tenths of a second faster from 0-100km/h so, around 3.5 seconds.

But this car isn't about straight-line speed, it's about staying glued to the road without having to lift off the accelerator, no matter how twisting and turning it becomes. To achieve this aim the car's front and rear tracks are wider, and it has a serious carbon fiber aerodynamics package which includes a pronounced chin spoiler and a huge, fixed rear wing that helps to generate the downforce needed to stop the car from taking off like an airplane at high speeds.

"It seems only fitting that we offer an exclusive, limited edition Vantage that expertly fuses our motorsport know-how with our road car prowess," said Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer of the decision to build the car. "The Vantage GT3 special edition is an uncompromising example of our design and engineering expertise and I'm sure the 100 owners who secure one of these cars will savour every second behind the wheel; whether on the road or on the track."

The car will no doubt get Aston fans excited but it isn't the only road-legal track focused racer heading to Geneva. The Vantage is meant to be Aston's answer to the Porsche 911 and at this year's event Porsche will be unveiling the 911 GT3 RS, which for many, even those supercar lovers whose allegiances lie in Italy rather than Germany, begrudgingly accept is the benchmark against which all track-day supercars are measured. Aware of this, Porsche's head of R&D, Wolfgang Hatz has promised that the new car will definitely live up to its reputation as the most extreme road-legal 911 money can buy.

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