Stunning 656bhp Aston Martin Vantage road car and GT3 racer break cover

Huge power advantage

Aston Martin has revealed its updated Vantage Coupé, which now comes with a considerable power hike and promises improved handling.

At the same time, Aston Martin has also unveiled the GT3 racing version of the road car, which will compete in the FIA World Endurance Car (WEC) championship, among other series.

The new Vantage is designed to look more muscular than its predecessor, with a 30mm wider body and a bigger front grille. Apparently, it does more than just look more aggressive: it also allows in 29 per cent more air for cooling.

Aston Martin Vantage

Meanwhile, the new front splitter is designed with more performance-related aerodynamics in mind. The same is true of the newly designed vents on the flanks and frameless door mirrors and flip-out door handles.

DB12’s dashboard tech employed

Inside, the Vantage gets fresh technology with a new touchscreen infotainment system taken from the larger DB12 grand tourer.

With a 10.25in screen and smartphone connectivity, it’s designed to right the wrongs of the outgoing Vantage’s system and offer a few new features. Gesture control is included, along with an online navigation system with What3Words integration, allowing you to easily pinpoint exact locations to within three square metres, and an optional Bowers and Wilkins sound system.

Aston Martin Vantage

But the British brand isn’t focusing entirely on technology. Not only has the company vowed to keep physical switchgear in situ to ensure commonly used features can be accessed without the driver taking their eyes off the road, but the brand has also promised more premium cabin materials, including lashings of hand-stitched Bridge of Weir leather.

Big power boost for the AMG V8

Just as important, however, are the changes found under the shapely new bonnet. As before, the Vantage is powered by a 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, but Aston Martin has made some hefty changes. So much so that the 503bhp of the old model has been well and truly usurped by the new version’s 656bhp. And that 153bhp increase is joined by an 85lb ft increase in torque, taking the total to 590lb ft.

That’s all been achieved with tuning of various components, including the turbochargers and the cooling system, which Aston claims has sharpened the throttle response and improved the vocal range, as well as providing greater performance.

Aston Martin Vantage

With all that power heading to the rear wheels via the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox — which has also been tuned for sharper acceleration — the new Vantage will get from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds before surging on to a top speed of 202mph.

Adjustable traction control

That performance also comes courtesy of the new launch control system, which manages the behaviour of the electronic differential and the electronic stability technology to put the power down more effectively.

The driver can also customise the system through the Adjustable Traction Control (ATC) to tweak the amount of wheelspin the system permits.

Aston Martin Vantage

Other changes under the skin include a stiffened body structure designed to provide a more engaging driving experience. There are new dampers for greater breadth of capability, while Aston Martin has tweaked the steering for better feel, too. And there’s variable power steering assistance, which reduces as the driver works through the modes towards the most aggressive setting.

And Aston Martin has fitted the car with bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tyres that have been tuned to suit the car’s sharper character, while the braking system has been tuned for improved feel.

The new Vantage is expected to go into production soon, with the first deliveries scheduled for the second quarter of 2024.

Ready to race

The new Vantage GT3, which will compete in a variety of series around the world, including the FIA World Endurance Championship, is a very different beast but the upgraded underpinnings are a good basis for the track-honed version.

Aston Martin Vantage GT3 racer

Although it’s based on the standard Vantage road car, it has a range of race-specific upgrades, including a one-piece nose for quick removal in the event of damage. There are louvres in the wheel arches to reduce front-end lift, as well as an even larger stack of louvres in the rear arches.

According to Aston Martin, the car has been built to be “super fast, yet forgiving” with no vices and the ability to cope with a wide range of set-ups.

Aston Martin Vantage GT3 racer

“As we enter a period of pivotal change in the world of high-performance cars it is essential to remain true to those qualities upon which a legendary marque has been built,” said Amedeo Felisa, Aston Martin’s chief executive.

“Any car bearing the Vantage name has much to live-up to, which is why this newest model makes an unwavering commitment to high-performance in its purest and most explicit form.

“Class-leading power and speed establish its credentials, but it is through expert application of the latest technologies to the Vantage’s perfectly balanced front-engine rear-drive chassis that we have created a sports car with addictive capability.”

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