• 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition

Vantage GT3 race car for the road

In 2005, Aston Martin took on the incredible task of looking the Porsche 911 dead in the eye and not backing down, with the introduction of its Vantage. While it may not have been quite the performer of the 911, the Vantage was a stunning piece of automotive architecture in comparison to the 911. In 2011, the V12 Vantage joined the V8 model in the market, and suddenly the entire 911 lineup had something to worry about.

In 2015, Aston Martin took things up a notch and released a new limited-run model that that draws inspiration from the British carmaker’s GT3 race car. At first called the Vantage GT3, the track-ready coupe was renamed the GT12 after Porsche sued Aston Martin, claiming ownership of the GT3 name for road cars.

With the GT12, Aston Martin takes a new step in its quest to compete with the big boys of the industry. Sure, with its limited funds and resources, it can only do so much, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Does the GT12 Special Edition have what it takes to hang with the masters of the road and track?

Continue reading my full review to find out.

  • 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
    GT12
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    592 @ 7000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    460 @ 5500 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    185 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    200000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.3/10

Exterior

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 617831
For buyers who want to save a few more pounds, there is an available carbon-fiber roof.

The Vantage GT12 is about as close as you can get to an actual race car as one would expect from a road-going car. Its body is decked in all the gear you’d expect to see on a racer, but it’s all legal for street. The most obvious of additions are the massive rear spoiler and the front splitter that help adhere the coupe to the asphalt.

Weight savings to the tune of 100 kg (about 220 pounds) is also a benefit of the GT12 Special Edition package. To achieve this huge weight loss, Aston installed a carbon-fiber hood, front wings and door casings. Additionally, the rear and side quarter-windows are all made from a weight-saving polycarbonate. For buyers who want to save a few more pounds, there is an available carbon-fiber roof. All in, the Vantage GT3 weighs just 1,535 kg (3,384 pounds).

The stunning example that Aston is showing off here is decked out in a white base coat, with black, gray, and orange highlights, but I am sure there are other color options available.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,530 MM (178.34 Inches)
Width 1,914 MM (75.35 Inches) (excluding mirrors)
Width 2,070 MM (81.49 Inches) (including mirrors)
Height 1,245 MM (49.01 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,600 MM (102.36 Inches)
Front track 1,585 MM (62.40 Inches)
Rear track 1,583 MM (62.32 Inches)
Curb Weight 1,535 KG

Interior

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition Interior
- image 617834
I am sure there are some optional goodies to add to the cabin, but Aston Martin has yet to reveal them.

Inside the cabin, the Vantage GT12 Special Edition is not quite all race car, but it does take a few bits and pieces from the racing community. Items like the carbon-fiber front seats and center stack, and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel are all weight-saving items typically seen in track-exclusive models.

Beyond the race-ready bits, this Vantage is still an Aston Martin, with its touch-sensitive control array, red highlights, carbon-fiber GT12 sill plaques, and auto climate control. I am sure there are some optional goodies to add to the cabin, but Aston Martin has yet to reveal them.

Drivetrain

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition Interior
- image 617846
Though Aston Martin didn’t reveal performance numbers for this special edition, I can guesstimate.

I have to interrupt you before you get the idea that Aston Martin stopped short of the engine and drivetrain. Oh no, the greasy bits got a nice workout too. The GT12 Special Edition comes with the same 5.9-liter V-12 as the standard V12 Vantage S, but with the power cranked to 600 PS (592 horsepower) – a 27 PS (27-horsepower) gain over the standard model.

On top of the extra oomph, the GT12’s powertrain also has some lightening work, including magnesium inlet manifolds, a magnesium driveshaft, and a titanium exhaust system with center outlets.

Though Aston Martin didn’t reveal performance numbers for this special edition, I can guesstimate. The standard V12 Vantage S hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and tops out at about 205 mph. With the reduced weight and upped power, I could see a 3.5-second sprint time. However, with the added downforce and its associated drag, chances are that the top speed will actually fall to around the 200 mph mark.

Handling these high speeds is quite a task, but the GT12 Special Edition is up to it thanks to wider front and rear tracks that are punctuated by a sticky set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports.

Needless to say, Aston Martin went above and beyond in crafting this piece of GT car awesomeness.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 5935 cc V-12
Max power 600 PS @ TBA )
Max torque TBA
Acceleration 0-60mph TBA
Top speed TBA
Transmission Rear mid-mounted, Sportshift III seven-speed automated manual transmission with electronic shift-by-wire control system

Prices

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 617824

Given Aston Martin will build only 100 examples of this beauty, I can only guess that it will be super-expensive and super-exclusive. Chances are, if you’re calling a loan company now to get prequalified for the GT12 Special Edition, you likely can’t afford it and Aston likely won’t sell it to you.

Competition

Porsche 911 GT3

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 495278

To compare the 911 GT3 to the Aston Martin GT12 Special Edition may be a little unfair, but they’re in similar positions within their respective lineups. Sure, the 911 GT3 is far wilder than the base 911 relative to the Vantage GT12 Special Edition/V12 Vantage S, but they are still track-ready but road-legal versions of their respective base models. Catch my drift? Powering the 911 GT3 is a 475-horsepower, 3.8-liter boxer-six that tears up the concrete with 325 pound-feet of torque. This is enough oomph to get the 911 GT3 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 195 mph. Pricing for the 911 GT3 starts at $130,400.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 GT3 here.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
- image 541721

If you’re really frigging insane, you can opt for the Nissan GT-R Nismo, which will get you a piping-hot 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 that blasts out 600 ponies and 481 pound-feet of twist. On top of being just as powerful as the Aston Martin Vantage GT12, the GT-R also tosses all-wheel drive into the deal and sends both the Aston and the 911 GT3 home to cry to mommy about its 2.9-second 0-to-60 sprint time. The GT-R also matches the Aston Martin pound-for-pound in terms of aero bits, as the Nismo package adds a trunk-lid spoiler, a front splitter, and a rear bumper spoiler all in carbon fiber. What hurts the Nissan GT-R Nismo is its price. Do you really want to pay $149,900 and tell folks you’re driving a Nissan? That’s something many people simply couldn’t stomach – I wouldn’t have an issue with it though.

Read more about the Nissan GT-R Nismo in our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 617833

To call the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Special Edition anything other than an awesome and refreshing addition to the British automaker’s lineup would be unfair. With all of the struggles it has had lately, it is nice to see the brand really deliver something special. It stinks that this will be limited to only 100 units, so I will likely never get to see one, but the effort is duly noted Aston. Hats off to you.

  • Leave it
    • Not much racing success in recent years
    • No USB ports for the driver’s MP3 player on those long races
Justin Cupler
Justin Cupler
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: