2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Race ready, street legal
Inspired by competition but fully street legal, the 2015 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Special Edition debuted in Geneva based on the V12 Vantage S. This hot GT3 benefits from loads of motorsport-derived enhancements that trim weight, tidy up its aerodynamics, sharpen its dynamics and boost the output of its 5.9-liter engine to a projected 592 horsepower. In revealing the car, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer noted: "The Vantage GT3 Special Edition is an uncompromising example of our design and engineering expertise and I'm sure the 100 owners who secure one of these cars will savor every second behind the wheel -- whether on the road or on the track." Sadly, none of those GT3 models are slated for North America.
The Vantage GT3 makes extensive use of carbon fiber body bits - including its prominent front splitter, dramatically vented hood, a huge fixed rear wing and optional carbon fiber roof panel -- to help trim nearly 220 pounds, improve its wind cheating abilities and raise top speed. The weight savings also encompasses more subtle tweaks that range from a polycarbonate rear glass and windows to a magnesium torque tube and lightweight lithium-ion battery. Lower and wider than any other Vantage, the GT3 complements its thoroughly reworked tri-mode adjustable suspension with expanded track dimensions and ultra-grippy Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires wrapped around 19-inch center-locking magnesium alloy wheels.
In addition to a selection of internal modifications that improve breathing, the 5.9-liter V12 in the GT3 also does its part to shed unwanted mass thanks to redesigned cylinder heads made from magnesium and a new titanium exhaust system. In addition to raising the pony count to 592 from the 565 horses in a Vantage S, the revamp bumps peak torque from 457 to 461 lb-ft, bringing more of it into play across a wider rev range to heighten overall responsiveness.
The cabin of the new Vantage GT3 displays its own light-makes-right rework, starting with a full carbon fiber center stack, Alcantara-trimmed carbon fiber racing shell bucket seats and a bespoke touchscreen display. Buyers also will be able to add a host of unique additional touches via Aston Martin's Q personalization wing. Pricing for the 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is set to open around $390,000 in Europe and the first cars will be delivered during the third quarter of 2015.
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