Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Recent endurance races have seen Aston Martin fielding cars at every level of competition, and the British sportscar manufacturer isn't about to give up its strategy of proliferation.

The proof? A few months back, we brought you word that Aston was planning on replacing its DBRS9 with a new Vantage-based racer for the GT3 category to slot in between the GT2 and GT4-spec Vantages. And here it is.

Based on the V12 Vantage road car, the Vantage GT3 packs a dry-sump 6.0-liter V12 with 600 horsepower mated via carbon-fiber propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission, equipped with competition-spec ABS and traction control for those wet laps around the Nordschleife.

Of course, the VLN Nürburgring series isn't the only championship for which the new Vantage GT3 is eligible, designed as it has been from the outset to race in the FIA GT3 Championship, ADAC Masters, Blancpain Endurance Series and others.

Deliveries are scheduled to commence early next year with a price tag of £298,000 – $489,000 USD by today's rates. Even if you haven't got that kind of cash on hand, you can check out Aston's latest in the press release after the jump and the high-res image gallery.
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ASTON MARTIN RACING CONFIRMS SPECIFICATIONS OF NEW V12 VANTAGE GT3

Gaydon, 24 August 2011. Aston Martin confirms today the specification of the 2012 Vantage GT3 race car. As the natural successor to the enormously successful DBRS9, the new Vantage GT3 will offer customers the latest in race-car technology to ensure the Vantage GT3 has the credentials to compete with the most recent new product offerings from other manufacturers.

The Vantage GT3 features a modified version of Aston Martin's production 6.0 litre V12 engine found in the marque's highly acclaimed sports cars. The dry-sumped engine is expected to produce 600 bhp with 700 Nm of torque and its position has been optimised further to improve weight balance. A carbon fibre propshaft mates the engine to a Xtrac 6 speed sequential transmission with semi-automatic paddle shift gear change.

The Vantage GT3 benefits from Aston Martin's V/H architecture philosophy, the modular chassis uses aerospace bonding techniques to create a light and immensely stiff aluminium and composite structure which not only aids handling on Aston Martin's road cars but is also an ideal base for competitive race cars.

Most dramatic of all, are the new aerodynamics, contributing to a muscular and purposeful stance while maintaining the overall beauty of the V12 Vantage. The shorter wheel base and lower engine position over its predecessor will contribute to enhanced handling and performance. The new car will also provide enhanced driveability with the latest race-developed ABS and Traction Control systems which are fitted to the V12 Vantage GT3 as standard.

The Vantage GT3 will be eligible for numerous race series around the world including the FIA GT3 Championship, ADAC Masters, Nürburgring VLN, Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT, Belcar and Open GT among others.

Aston Martin remains the only manufacturer to offer a race car for every GT class firmly cementing it as a global forerunner in race car production. The new Vantage GT3 is being developed to replicate and indeed surpass the superb track record of the DBRS9.

Aston Martin has sold 24 DBRS9s and customer teams have accumulated many race podiums and victories over the past six years including 2009 Winner Teams Championship, and Winner Manufacturers Championship for Hexis Racing and as recently as a 2011 GT Open race win at Spa for Villois Racing.

Testing of the new car will commence in October, where the Vantage GT3 will undergo a comprehensive sign-off durability test including a 10,000 km test programme. Deliveries of the first cars will commence in early 2012. Prices start from £298,000.


V12 Vantage GT3 Specification

Engine
- Lightweight V12
- Dry sump oil system
- Engine repositioned to optimise weight distribution
- Target power 600 bhp
- Target torque 700 Nm

Transmission
- Xtrac 6 speed sequential transmission
- Racing clutch
- Limited slip ramp/plate differential
- Easily accessible drop gears
- Semi-automatic paddle shift gear change
- Carbon fibre propshaft

Chassis
- Lightweight aluminium chassis
- Steel roll cage to FIA safety standards
High speed pneumatic jack system

Steering
- Hydraulic power assisted steering
- Quick release steering wheel

Suspension
- Double wishbone suspension arms front
and rear with uniball bearings
- 2-way adjustable dampers front and rear
- Optimsed geometry for lower race ride height

Fuel system
- 110 litre fuel cell to FIA safety standards
- Twin quick release couplings
- Fuel cell location optimised for performance and safety
(behind the driver's seat, inside the safety roll cage)

Brakes
- 6 pot front calipers
- Ventilated front brake disc
- 4 pot rear caliper
- Ventilated rear brake disc
- Floor mounted pedal box
- Manually adjustable front/rear brake bias
- Adjustable motorsport ABS

Wheels
- 12.5" x 18" front
- 13" x 18" rear

Tyres
- Front 30/68-18
- Rear 31/71-18

Cockpit
- Steering wheel mounted controls
- Driver display / data logger / shift lights / beacon
- 6-point safety harness
- Adjustable steering position
- Adjustable seat position
- Adjustable pedal box position
- Light weight battery
- Carbon fibre dash
- Fire extinguisher system

Aerodynamics
- Front splitter
- Adjustable full width carbon fibre rear wing
- Aerodynamically optimised bumpers, fenders and sills

Weight
- Target dry weight 1250kg