Aston Martin will be going to the races in 2012 with a new Vantage GT3 race car, which was just unveiled by the British automaker. The new model will join the current Aston Martin racing line-up that includes the Vantage GT2, GT4, DBR9 GT1, and AMR-One LMP1.
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director said: "The DBRS9 has been a very successful GT3 racing car and, despite being more than six years old, is still competitive today. However, the competition has moved on and we needed to create a new car that combines our six years’ experience in this category with the latest race technology to continue Aston Martin’s success in GT3 for many years to come."
The new Vantage V12 GT3 is based on the V12 Vantage production car that’s already out in showrooms and its addition to the line-up of other Aston Martin race cars makes the British brand the only automaker to have a specific race car for every GT class.
UPDATE 11/21/2011: Aston Martin has announced that it has started testing the new V12 Vantage GT3 3 at Brands Hatch in Kent this week, covering almost 1000 kilometers in just two days with factory driver, Darren Turner, behind the wheel. John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director, said: “The testing of the new V12 Vantage GT3 has gone really well. We haven’t had any significant issues with the car, despite having covered close to 1000 kilometers, exceeding all our expectations in the car’s first track test.
UPDATE 11/25/2011: If a few days ago we have reported that Aston Martin started to test the new V12 Vantage GT3 race car, now is time to actually see the car in action. After watching the video we can tell you one thing for sure: that car is fast! See for yourself!
Find out more about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is based on the existing V12 Vantage supercar with the notable exception being that the former has been tuned to racing specifications. What this means is that some parts of the car were modified, including the modular chassis that uses aerospace bonding techniques to create a light and immensely stiff aluminum and composite structure. Not only does this structure ensure better handling for the race car, but it also serves as an ideal base for the company’s entire racing program. The Vantage GT3 also features a shorter wheelbase and a low engine position improves on the car’s overall handling and performance capabilities.
Designed to FIA regulations, the new Vantage GT3 will be powered by a lightweight dry-sumped 6.0 liter V12 engine modeled after the V12 Vantage road car. The engine will deliver 600 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque, and will come equipped with a semi-automatic six-speed Xtrac gearbox with paddle shifters and new race-developed ABS and traction control systems, optimized specifically for this model.
Aston Martin will only build ten models of the Vantage GT3, which will begin its testing sessions in October before its scheduled delivery at the start of the 2012 season. Racing teams interested in buying the race car will need to shell out £298,000, or just under $500,000 based on current exchange rates.
Two other recently-released GT3 models will serve as competitors for the Vantage GT3: the Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 and the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 is powered by the same 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 found in the standard model, except that its tuned to racing specifications, producing an output of 600 horsepower. As for the SLS AMG GT3, power comes from a 6.3-liter V8 engine that also delivers 600 ponies.
The powertrains are pretty much moot because of racing specifications, and pin-pointing the winner over the competition probably is best done on the race track, and not on these pages.
Impressive aerodynamic details
It’s got plenty of rivals in the GT3 racing world
Expensive to buy