Just hours after revealing the 2019 Vantage production car, Aston Martin took the wraps off the racing version, the Vantage GTE. The race car replaces the most successful Aston Martin racer of all time, the V8 Vantage GTE, and will be the brand's entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship series.
The race car was developed alongside the road car at Aston Martin Racing headquarters in Banbury, England, and it has already completed 8,078 miles of testing, including two 30-hour endurance tests at Spain's Navarra circuit and Florida's Sebring road course.
Aston Martin has optimized the powertrain, chassis, and aerodynamics for the rules of the FIA's GTE class. The car is powered by the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, and Aston Martin says overall reliability and drivability are improved from the outgoing model. Those are both positives for the Vantage GTE, which will be sold to both pro and amateur racers.
Aston Martin notes that it partnered with Alcon for the brakes, Öhlins for the suspension, and Michelin for the tires.
The engine gets BorgWarner turbos with integrated electric wastegates, a dry sump lubrication system, and an Akrapovič inconel exhaust system. It is repositioned in the chassis from the street car to improve weight balance, and total power can exceed 536 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, depending on the boost allowed at any given race.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through an Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission and a carbon-fiber driveshaft. The car uses an Alcon motorsport multi-plate clutch, and an adjustable mechanical limited-slip differential.
The Vantage's aluminum chassis is strengthened with a steel roll cage, and the double wishbone suspension's geometry is optimized front and rear for handling. Those Öhlins dampers have five different adjustments and the anti-roll bars are also adjustable. The Alcon brakes have six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears, with ventilated discs and integrated temperature and pad wear sensors front and rear. The driver can also adjust the front-to-rear brake bias.
A lot of changes went into the body. To meet FIA standards, it has removable carbon-fiber body panels and a carbon-fiber roof with an access hatch. For aero, it features a full-length flat floor, a carbon-fiber front splitter, a carbon-fiber rear diffuser, and a carbon-fiber adjustable rear wing. The 18-inch wheels are TWS forged magnesium, 12.5 inches wide up front and 13 inches in the rear. They mount Michelin racing tires.
Inside, the cars has a RaceTech safety seat with a Schroth six-point safety harness. The driver views a Cosworth display and shift lights, as well as a rearview camera. There is also a Bosch collision avoidance radar system, a fire extinguisher, air conditioning, and an electrically operated driver drinks system.
In total, the car's base dry weight is 2,745 pounds.
The Aston Martin Vantage GTE makes its racing debut May 5 at the 6 Hours of Spa, the World Endurance Championship's first race of the season.