Aston Martin is bringing a new V8 Vantage GTE to the WEC Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans

In what seems like a repeat of history, Aston Martin Racing has announced a new Aston Martin GTE race car, as well as its intentions to win this year’s World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year, AMR is going for two GTE Pro entries and one GTE Am entry. The announcement of the new GTE race car also comes with news of a partnership with TOTAL and Dunlop, the latter of which will provide Sport Maxx GT racing tires for all GTE cars throughout the WEC.

This year, the #95 GTE race car will be driven by Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Darren Turner. The other Pro entry – the #97 GTE race car – will be driven by Richie Stanaway, Jonny Adam and Fernando Rees. The #98 car will return to race this year with Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, and Mathias Lauda. Needless to say, this is going to be a very exciting season for Aston Martin Racing.

Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the drivers and the new partnerships between AMR, TOTAL, and Dunlop, let’s take a look at this new GTE racer. Regulations changed this year, and teams now have greater freedom in the aerodynamics department, so we’re sure to see some new features.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE.

Exterior

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior
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As you would expect, the new GTE racer is based on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. For analysis, I’ll compare the new GTE with the 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT and the 2013 V8 Vantage GTE. Up front, you’ll notice the headlights, fascia design, and air dam are virtually the same as the road-going Vantage GT. The grille and air dam are outlined in green, and a black mesh is used. The hood is similar to the Vantage GT, but it has three additional vents on each side, plus a vent in the middle, outlined in green. Up front, the biggest difference between the GTE racer and the 2013 model is the coloration, sponsorship livery, and design of the air dam. The front spoiler even looks to be the same width and length as the 2013 model.

The hood is similar to the Vantage GT, but it has three additional vents on each side, plus a vent in the middle, outlined in green.

Moving to the sides, you’ll notice the wheel arches are similar to those on the road-going V8 Vantage GT. The 2013 GTE racer had sharp, sunk-in body lines at the rear wheel arches. On this new GTE racer, those deep body lines are smoothed out. Green livery runs from the front wheel arch to the lower, front corner of the rear wheel arch. The car number is displayed on the door, as is standard for WEC Racing, and the word “Pro” was added to the door. Compared to the 2013 WEC racer, the side skirts on this racer are toned way down. If you look at the 2013 model, the side skirts almost looked like carbon fiber steps. On the new model, they are smooth, and don’t extend as far away from the body. As I understand aerodynamics, this design should cut back on the amount of downforce applied to the sides of the GTE racer.

In the rear, it’s even more evident regulations are relaxed in the aerodynamics department. As you can see, the taillights and deck-lid carry over from the road-going model. Compared to the 2013 GTE, however, we see a completely different spoiler, and just look at that rear diffuser – an all-new design.

Interior

As is the case with most race car reveals, Aston Martin remained silent on what exactly is going on in the cockpit of the GTE racer, and has yet to release images. Of course, the creature comforts of the road-going V8 Vantage are most likely gone. Expect to see a nearly stripped interior with a full roll cage, racing seat, and harness, as well as all the standard racing equipment required for GTE racing. If we receive new information or images from AMR, we will update you accordingly, so stay tuned.

Drivetrain

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior
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Aston Martin Racing didn’t release any powertrain details for the new GTE racer. We know that it should have the same V-8 powertrain found in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, but it will likely be tuned for racing purposes. In previous years, the GTE racer’s V-8 was upgraded to pump out somewhere around 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Hopefully, AMR will release more drivetrain information in the future, because, like you, we are certainly very curious about performance specifications. Stay tuned for future updates.

Competition

Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro

2015 Audi R18 e-tron quattro High Resolution Exterior
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The R18 was originally introduced back in 2011 with a turbodiesel engine mated to an electric motor to make up a hybrid drivetrain. For 2015, Audi released an updated R18, complete with a reworked body that offered better aerodynamics, plus an even more powerful hybrid drivetrain. For 2015, the R18 put out 558 horsepower from its 4.0-liter hybrid drivetrain. It could hit 60 mph in three seconds flat and carried a top speed around 200 mph. At this point, we’re unsure if Audi is planning to release a new R18 for this racing season. Regardless, the R18 should prove to be a worthy competitor on the track this year.

Read our full review on the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro here.

Porsche 911 GT3 R

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 911 GT3 R is regarded as the “ultimate track-focused 911.” Back in May of 2015, Porsche debuted the new 911 customer race car, sporting a new livery and some significant differences compared to its road-going GT3 RS counterpart. The 2016 GT3 R is powered by a 4.0-liter flat-six connected to a sequential, constant-mesh, six-speed transmission. The engine puts out 500 horsepower, and a sprint to 60 mph is estimated to be 4.4 seconds. Top speed is around 186 mph. While we don’t have pricing information for the new V8 Vantage GTE, we do know the Porsche 911 GT3 R retails for €429,000, or $477,230 are current exchange rates (02/19/2016).

Read our full review on the Porsche 911 GT3 R here.

Conclusion

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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We’ll get to see the new V8 Vantage GTE in action at the official WEC test session at Circuit Paul Richard in France. The Prologue kicks off on March 25th, and the opening round of the championship – the Six Hours of Silverstone – will kick off on April 17th, with the 24 Hours of Nurburgring taking place on May 28th. I’m excited about the aerodynamic changes made to the Vantage GTE, and I certainly look forward to seeing it perform in the coming months. Hopefully we’ll get a look at the interior and performance specs before then.

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    • No engine specs
    • No performance information
    • No shots of the interior

Press Release

Aston Martin Racing has today unveiled its ambitious plans for the 2016 season, its latest V8 Vantage GTE challenger and an exciting new collaboration with global energy supplier TOTAL and tyre supplier Dunlop.

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior
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The premiere GT-racing outfit, which enters its twelfth year of competition, will field a three-car campaign in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans; two contesting the GTE Pro class and a single entry in GTE Am. The three entries will look to extend the brand’s 23 overall wins in FIA WEC; more than any other manufacturer.

With a raft of new regulation changes including a greater freedom on aero development, the team has unveiled its latest 2016 V8 Vantage GTE; the car which shall support the outfit’s GTE Pro entries. Boasting a fully re-designed aerodynamic package including a distinctly pronounced new rear diffuser, the team remains confident that it will be able to challenge at the sharp end of what will prove to be an extremely competitive WEC field.

New for the 2016 season, Aston Martin Racing will run exclusively on Dunlop rubber throughout the FIA WEC. Working closely together on testing and development throughout the winter months, the V8 Vantage GTE will be equipped with the latest Sport Maxx GT racing tyres.

To extract the ultimate performance from a world-class GT racer, a high-calibre squad of drivers is essential. Aston Martin Racing doesn’t disappoint for the new season and while retaining familiar faces, the team is proud to announce a rebalanced line-up in its GTE Pro entries, with all drivers held on long-term contracts.

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior
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The #95 GTE Pro entry will see the Danish pair of Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen join Aston Martin Racing stalwart Darren Turner (GB) for the 2016 season. The second Pro entry of #97 will be occupied by the equally exciting trio of Richie Stanaway (NZ), Jonny Adam (GB) and Fernando Rees (BR).

In GTE Am, the #98 will return with an unchanged line-up, as Paul Dalla Lana (CA) hunts championship success alongside Pedro Lamy (P) and Mathias Lauda (A).

While the action promises to be exhilarating on the track, Aston Martin Racing is also pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration with French energy specialist TOTAL. Joining the team for the 2016 season, TOTAL will provide technical support both at the factory and each round of the WEC season. Boasting over 60 years of knowledge and research in automotive fluids, TOTAL’s branding will also feature as part of the V8 Vantage GTE’s distinct new ‘Stirling Green’ livery; a shade shared with the brand’s most select sports cars.

Meanwhile, in its fourth year of competition at the infamous Green Hell, Aston Martin will again field two V12 Vantage GT3s in the Nürburgring 24hrs’ top-tier SP9 class, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to top-level international GT racing. The new 2016 V12 Vantage GT3, now also equipped with Dunlop rubber, will be cloaked by new sponsor IQ Option; a leading global binary option broker. The brand will provide full-livery backing to this year’s #007 N24 challenger, while also holding a prominent space on all FIA WEC entries.

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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All cars to be campaigned in the WEC, 24hrs of Le Mans and at the Nürburgring are derived from Aston Martin’s road-going Vantage range. Today’s Vantage line-up – comprising four distinct models using one of two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, V12 Vantage S and the exclusive Vantage GT12 – represents a clear and strong link between road car and race car.

Aston Martin Racing is also pleased to announce that men’s designer clothing brand Hackett, will continue its relationship with the team in 2016; supplying all team and replica wear.

David King, Head of Global Motorsports, Aston Martin commented, “It’s fantastic to launch our 2016 race programme here at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters. It’s an important point in time for the brand with the upcoming launch of DB11 and the 2016 motorsport season is an equally exciting prospect. Motorsport is a key part of Aston Martin’s DNA and it’s vital that we’re represented by such a strong line-up. We’re very much looking forward to our home race at Silverstone and the first opportunity to see the 2016 V8 Vantage GTE in competitive action.”

John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing said, “We’re pleased to welcome our new sponsors and technical collaborators to the Aston Martin fold. With an extremely competitive World Endurance Championship ahead of us, I’m confident we have our strongest driver line-up to date and we can expect plenty of success throughout the season.”

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE High Resolution Exterior
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Aston Martin Racing’s 2016 season kicks off with The Prologue, the official WEC test session at Circuit Paul Ricard in France on 25 and 26 March. The opening round of the championship, the Six Hours of Silverstone, takes place on 17 April and Nürburgring 24 Hours begins on 28 May.

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