When Aston Martin first started teasing us with its upcoming GT3, most of us thought that it was just preparing to release a new race car. Little did we know that it was actually prepping a road-legal Vantage that draws inspiration from the company’s racer. What’s more, this awesome piece of British automotive excellence is limited to just 100 units, so it is an instant collector’s item.
Unlike so many special-edition cars from upscale automakers, the Vantage GT3 Special Edition also includes some serious performance upgrades and weight-saving measures to make it an insane performer. Under its hood, the Vantage’s V-12 engine has been retuned to deliver a hefty 600 PS (592 horsepower) at 7,000 rpm and 625 Nm (461 pound-feet) of torque at 5,500 rpm. For those keeping score at home, that’s a 27-horsepower and 4-pound-feet jump over the standard engine’s output.
This added power routes through a magnesium torque tube to a rear-mounted Sportshift III automated manual transmission and out to the wheels via carbon-fiber drive shafts.
Weight savings was another huge focus point on this special Vantage, as Aston went crazy with carbon fiber. It used the lightweight material on the wide-body kit, the front and rear bumpers, the hood, the front splitter, the massive rear wing, and the race-ready rear diffuser. Optionally, buyers can also get the roof, mirror caps, grille, tailgate, and taillight infills in lightweight carbon too. These light body panels combined with other weight-cutting measures, like the carbon-fiber sports seats, Alcantara-wrapped cabin, a magnesium intake manifold, a titanium exhaust and a lithium ion battery, to help drop the weight by a full 100 kg (220 pounds) to just 1565 kg (3,450 pounds).
The lowered weight and increased power drops its 0-to-60 sprint time to an estimated 3.5 seconds – 0.2 seconds faster than the base V12 Vantage S – but the added downforce created by the insane body kit reduces the top speed from 205 mph to around 185 mph.
Helping in the corners is a wider track on the front and rear, and a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires wrapped around 19-inch forged alloy wheels.
Inside the cabin, things are simple but functional, with GT3 headrest embroidery, a carbon-fiber GT3 sill plate, graphite speaker grilles, a 160-watt audio system, and satellite navigation all coming standard. Buyers can opt for sports seats with leather, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 700-watt audio system, a rearview camera, a Steering Wheel Tech Pack, and more.
Pricing details are not available yet, but Aston will debut the car at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2, 2015, and we should get more information there.