Porsche Forces Aston Martin To Change Vantage GT3 Name
Earlier this month, Aston Martin unveiled the Vantage GT3 Special Edition at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Essentially a road-legal version of the endurance race car bearing the same name, the GT3 Special Edition left many enthusiasts in awe, mostly due to its 592-horsepower rating and numerous race-spec bits inside and out. Porsche, on the other hand, was less impressed with Gaydon’s new track-prepped GT. In fact, Stuttgart was somewhat annoyed by the fact that the Brits named its newest sports car the GT3 and had its lawyers call Aston Martin’s lawyers a short while later. The Germans argued that they have been using the GT3 name since 1999 and filed a trademarked for it in 2011.
Aston Martin, on the other hand, insisted that the FIA GT3 racing series enables car makers to use the GT3 moniker on road cars freely and that the name had also been used before Porsche added it to the 996-generation 911 back in 1999. The previous GT3 car the Brits are referring to is the Lotus Esprit GT3, which went into production in 1996. Interestingly enough, Bentley also made use of the name for the Continental GT3-R, a road car loosely based on its GT3 class racer, but used a slight variation as to avoid trademark infringement.
The issue has been resolved outside the court, according to Goodwood Road & Racing, which reports Aston Martin has opted to rename both the road car and the race car the Vantage GT12.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Why it matters
While I can’t legally argue with Porsche’s decision to force Aston Martin drop the GT3 name, I find its pursuit rather silly. Gearheads will always know there’s only one genuine GT3 road car out there and the Vantage GT12 will continue to be a threat to the 911 GT3 even without the much disputed badge. Come to think of it, maybe the fact that the track-ready Vantage is aimed at the 911 GT3 is what really bothered Porsche in the first place, but Aston Martin’s intention never was to steal Stuttgart’s iconic name, but create a strong reference to its FIA GT3-spec Vantage racer. In the end, it seems as if the Vantage race car took the biggest hit by having tits name changed to the GT12.
It’s not my business and I’m no trademark lawyer by any means, but I find it strange that Porsche owns a trademark to the GT3 name. This basically prevents automakers from launching road-going versions of their track cars racing under FIA GT3 rules, forcing them to either find a way around the moniker, which could make things somewhat confusing for the customers, or do what Aston Martin did and rename both cars.
Aston Martin Vantage GT3
Find out more about the Aston Martin GT3 Special Edition, now known as the GT12, in our full review here.
Source: Goodwood Road & Racing