The lightest, quickest, and most powerful V8 Vantage ever built

Earlier, in April of 2016, we found out that Aston Martin was planning to launch a race-focused version of the V8 Vantage. It will be offered as the GT8 and will follow in the footsteps of the GT12, a limited-edition, track-ready version of the V12 Vantage. The rumor was immediately confirmed by a prototype that showed up on the Nurburgring. Only a few days have passed since then and Aston Martin unveiled the Vantage GT8.

Looking very similar to the V-12-powered GT12 model, the GT8 confirms that Aston Martin is set to launch significantly more track-ready vehicles in the future. Word has it that the GT8 will be one of two limited-edition cars to be unveiled in 2016, so there’s another exciting model to expect from the Brits by the end of the year.

Back to the sports car in question, it’s essentially a road-going version of the V8 Vantage GTE race car and joins the GT12, which is a road-legal variant of the GT3-spec model.

"We long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8, we’ve finally been able to achieve that. By focusing on weight savings and aerodynamics, we’ve taken the V8 Vantage to an entirely different level of agility and aggression. It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge,” said David King, director of Special Projects and Motorsport.

Aimed at the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3, the Aston Martin GT8 will hit the market in limited numbers. Find out more about that in our full review below.

Updated 04/15/2016: Aston Martin dropped the official details for its new Vantage GT8 special edition.

Continue reading to find out more about the Aston Martin Vantage GT8.

Exterior

2017 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 High Resolution Exterior
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While the GT12’s side skirts bear a close resemblance to the ones seen on the FIA-spec race car, the GT8’s extensions are less aggressive and lack the massive vents that feed air to the rear brakes

As expected after seeing the prototype in action on the Nurburgring track, the GT8’s aggressive body kit is nearly identical to the GT12. Although the vented hood is nowhere near as menacing as the GT12’s, the front bumper is very similar, featuring a wider lower grille and a slightly different two-piece splitter.

The differences between the two are more obvious on the sides. While the GT12’s side skirts bear a close resemblance to the ones seen on the FIA-spec race car, the GT8’s extensions are less aggressive and lack the massive vents that feed air to the rear brakes. The wheels, on the other hand, are identical to the V-12 car and shave a few pounds off the GT8’s curb weight. However, the seven-spoke magnesium rollers seen in the photos are optional, with the standard package including five-spoke alloys.

Around back, the GT8 is also less aggressive than the GT12. The wing is smaller and the diffuser lacks the vertical fins of the V-12 model. The GT12 is definitely the more race-oriented sports car, but the GT8 is quite menacing to look at when compared to the stock V8 Vantage.

Much like the GT12, the GT3 received "Halo" exterior colors with striking accents. Three combinations are offered: China Grey with Blue accents, Stratus White with Green accents, and Stirling Green with Lime accents. The secondary color highlights the grille, front bumper, side mirrors, rear wing, spoiler, and diffuser. The GT8’s exterior also sports numerous carbon-fiber components such as the grille surround, lower bumper, side skirts, rear bumper, and diffuser.

Other weight-reducing components include a carbon-fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and rear side windows, and a titanium exhaust.

Interior

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Just like the more powerful GT12, its dashboard, steering wheel, and seats are wrapped in Alcantara, while the center stack is made from carbon-fiber and finished off with leather sides

The GT8 comes with a unique interior that brings together elements seen in the race-spec Vantage GTE and some of the luxury features usually found in a road-going Aston Martin. Just like the more powerful GT12, its dashboard, steering wheel, and seats are wrapped in Alcantara, while the center stack is made from carbon-fiber and finished off with leather sides. Both the seats and the center console are highlighted by white stitching, which provides a striking contrast for the black and dark-gray surfaces.

The carbon-fiber seats have manual adjustment, a weight-saving measure, and "GT8" lettering on the headrests. The standard door panels have been replaced by carbon-fiber elements with fabric latches. But, despite using so many features that are more common to the race-spec Vantage GTE, the GT8 remains genuinely road-usable thanks to an air-conditioning system, 160-Watt audio system, and Aston Martin’s latest AMi III infotainment. That’s a pretty cool package, but I can’t help wonder how much lighter the GT8 would be without those convenience features.

Drivetrain

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The GT8 should sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.3 seconds, a 0.3 improvement compared to the V8 Vantage S.

The GT8 gets its juice from the naturally aspirated, 4.7-liter V-8 offered in every V8 Vantage model. However, Aston Martin bumped the output from 430 to 440 horsepower. Torque remained unchanged at 361 pound-feet. There are no performance specs available as of this writing, but given the extra 10 ponies, the 220-pound lighter curb weight, and the enhanced aerodynamics, the GT8 should sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.3 seconds, a 0.3 improvement compared to the V8 Vantage S.

Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed Sportshift II with paddle shifters. Aston Martin was rather brief with the details, but did mention that the GT8 has a "super-sharp chassis tuned for track-focused agility." Stopping power comes from an upgraded braking system while the wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for enhanced grip.

Prices

Pricing for the Vantage GT8 starts from £165,000, which converts to around $233,900. That’s a significant, £55,000 (about $77,970) increase compared to the V8 Vantage S, but at the same time it’s a full £85,000 (around $120,530) more affordable than the bonkers GT12. Production is limited to only 150 units. That’s 50 more than the GT12, but low enough for the sports car to sell out in a matter of weeks. Deliveries will commence in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Competition

Porsche 911 GT3

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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The 911 GT3 is arguably the most iconic race car for the road you can buy nowadays and a tough competitor for the Vantage GT8. Although the current model is sold out since 2015, Porsche is preparing an updated car for 2017. The coupe will feature the same aerodynamic body with modified bumpers and the massive rear wing, and an updated version of the naturally aspirated, 3.8-liter flat-six. With current output at 475 horsepower, the upgraded version could benefit from nearly 490 horses. Not only more powerful than the Vantage GT8, the 911 GT3 is also significantly quicker, needing only 3.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. This figure should remain the same with the upcoming model, as will the 195-mph top speed. Expected to fetch $140,000 before options, the 911 GT3 will also be the more affordable proposition.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 GT3here.

McLaren 570S Sprint

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The 570S Sprint has yet to be unveiled, but it is scheduled to arrive later in 2016, just in time for the Vantage GT8. Based on the new McLaren 570S, which was developed as a competitor for the 911 Turbo, the Sprint will bridge the gap between the road-going car and the GT4-spec racer. It will use the same twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 and, although output is still a mystery, it should have just enough to complete the 0-to-60 mph sprint in under four seconds and a hit a top speed in excess of 190 mph.

Conclusion

2017 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Wallpaper quality
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The Vantage GT12 turned quite a few heads when it was launched in 2015 and Aston Martin earned a lot of praise for offering a road-going version of its GT3-spec race car. Based on that alone, the Vantage GT8 seems like an great idea. Built on the same recipe, but fitted with a V-8 engine, the GT8 should be nearly as spectacular as the GT12 on the track. Of course, to V-8 enthusiasts it will be the jewel of the Aston Martin crown, despite being slower and less powerful. Speaking of performance, the GT8 won’t be able to match the 911 GT3’s acceleration, but it will enjoy a more exclusive production run and will likely become a prized collectible in the near future, something the Porsche will take longer to attain. All told, the GT8 is the lightest, quickest, and most powerful V8 Vantage to date, three feats that will grant it a place in the history books

  • Leave it
    • Very, very expensive
    • Significantly slower than the Porsche 911 GT3
    • Likely already sold out

Spy Shots

April 13, 2016 - Aston Martin GT8 testing at Nurbrugring

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2017 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Racing is in Aston Martin’s blood. From outright victory at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959, to countless race wins in GT3 and GT4 categories and a continued race and title-winning form in the production-based GTE category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Aston Martin is proud to be at the forefront of GT racing.

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All Aston Martin road cars possess some of that sporting DNA, but the luxury brand’s most extreme models draw directly from that knowledge and passion to deliver something altogether more overt in looks and ability. The new Vantage GT8 is just that.

Director of Special Projects and Motorsport, David King said: “We long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8, we’ve finally been able to achieve that. By focusing on weight savings and aerodynamics, we’ve taken the V8 Vantage to an entirely different level of agility and aggression. It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge.”

Inspired and influenced by the 2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE race car, the Vantage GT8 is a true thoroughbred. The lightest and most powerful V8 Vantage ever, the Vantage GT8’s dramatically sculpted carbon fibre bodywork has been shaped by race-bred aerodynamic function. With a super-sharp chassis tuned for track-focused agility, powered by a revised 446PS1 version of Aston Martin’s rousing 4.7-litre V8 and available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed SportshiftTM II paddle-shift transmissions, the Vantage GT8 has unmistakable style, a no-nonsense stance and a driving experience that’s second to none.

2017 Aston Martin Vantage GT8
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From nose to tail the motorsport inspired special edition is every inch the road racer. Wide-bodied with aerodynamics that clearly take their lead from Aston Martin Racing’s WEC contender, it features extensive use of carbon fibre with the front splitter, front and rear bumpers, fenders, side sills and rear diffuser all fashioned from the lightweight material. One of the most striking standard features is the cutaway front wheelarch, which mimics that of the GTE racer. Those wishing for the most extreme aero configuration can specify the optional Aero Pack, which adds the large rear wing and additional corner elements to the front splitter.

The Vantage GT8 is further distinguished by a new 5-spoke alloy wheel, with ultra-lightweight seven-spoke centre-lock magnesium rims available as an option. Both standard and optional wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for exceptional performance on-road and track. Three optional ‘Halo‘ paint schemes are available; striking combinations of China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or Stirling Green and Lime that perfectly capture the Vantage GT8’s dynamic character and performance.

Improved performance through weight saving is central to the Vantage GT8. A standard-fit lithium ion battery sheds more vital kilos while further (optional) weight saving measures include a carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and rear side windows and a titanium centre mounted exhaust. Together with the standard-fit lightweight carbon fibre sports seats (with manual adjustment, again to save weight) and carbon fibre door panels, this comprehensive suite of lightweight components saves up to 100kg, making the Vantage GT8 the lightest Vantage ever. Air-conditioning, a 160w audio system and Aston Martin’s latest AMi III infotainment system ensures it remains genuinely road-useable.

2017 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Wallpaper quality
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Announcing the introduction of the new Vantage GT8, Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “Road cars are our business, but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin. The Vantage GT8 expresses that combination perfectly: an authentic and unashamedly extreme road car that draws directly from our Le Mans racing programme to amplify the inherent dynamism that has long made the Vantage such a fine sports car. Beautifully engineered and set-up to be equally at home on a fabulous road or a demanding race track, the Vantage GT8 is a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word.”

Appealing to collectors as well as pure driving enthusiasts, the Vantage GT8 will be strictly limited to just 150 examples. Recommended retail price starts from £165,000 and deliveries will commence in Q4 2016.

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