Aston Martin has just unveiled the next generation of its Vantage sports car. Incredibly, it didn’t take long for the carmaker’s official motorsports arm Aston Martin Racing to introduce the racing GTE version of the sports car – the new 2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
The British carmaker unveiled the next-gen Aston Martin Vantage in the morning of November 21, 2017. That night, in a well-synchronized launch, Aston Martin Racing took the wraps off the GTE racing derivative. This was well-expected as after all, the Vantage GTE was developed in parallel with the Vantage road. AMR – working from its base in Banbury -- closely collaborated with Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters for the parallel development of the road-going and circuit-bound models.
Simply put, the Vantage GTE is like a Vantage in steroids. AMR took the core design and dynamic capabilities of the next-gen Vantage to an entirely new level by extensively optimizing its powertrain and chassis as well as aerodynamics. The result is the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE, as designed and engineered to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
This new purpose-built race car will be replacing the current V8 Vantage GTE, which is considered as the carmaker’s most successful racer. In fact, the current V8 Vantage GTE was the main force for 36 of Aston Martin Racing’s 50 international race victories, which include two class wins. AMR is hoping that the next-gen Vantage GTE would be able to defend the team’s Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class crown in the FIA World Endurance Championship next season.
While Aston Martin was all open to declare the specs – including the power output, torque, sprint time and top speed – of the new Vantage, Aston Martin Racing was tightlipped on the details of its Vantage GTE racer. Aston Martin Racing did confirm that under the hood of the new Vantage GTE is the Mercedes-AMG 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine as tuned for racing application by the motorsports arm. Aston Martin Racing has tapped new technical partners for the Vantage GTE. Now, the racer’s suspension system is provided by Ohlins while its braking system comes from Alcon. Its tires are sponsored by Michelin.
Aston Martin Racing did more than develop and engineer the new Vantage GTE race car. In fact, Aston Martin Racing has completed 13,000 kilometers of testing, including a 30-hour run at the Spanish circuit of Navarra. The race car also underwent endurance runs at the Sebring circuit in Florida.
In line with the announcement of the new Vantage GTE racer, Aston Martin Racing also disclosed its driver line-up for the next seasons. Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, winners of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class, remained at the helm. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro world champions, have also been retained. In addition, Aston Martin Racing tapped the services of former GP2 race winner and current Formula E racer Alex Lynn.