The fastest V8 Vantage ever arrives in the shape of the Aston Martin Vantage GT8. Only 150 will be built and the price is £165k.
Following on from the exclusive Vantage GT12 revealed last year, Aston Martin has introduced another track-focused, limited-run version of the Vantage; this time called the GT8. Only 150 examples will be built at £165,000 each, but the allocation has almost entirely sold out.
That price tag buys you the lightest and most powerful version of the V8 Vantage that Aston has ever produced. It’s heavily inspired by the V8 Vantage GTE racer, with the British sports car maker focusing heavily on aerodynamics and weight saving for the exclusive new model.
To keep weight to a minimum, Aston has used carbon fibre wherever possible. The splitter, bumpers, sills and diffuser have all been crafted from the strong but light material, and as a nod to the GTE race car, the GT8 uses the same free-flowing cutaway on the front wheel arch.
The weight saving elements also extend to the interior where Aston has fitted carbon fibre bucket seats and door panels. All together, Aston has managed to strip up to 100kg from the V8 Vantage if you spec all of the individual options. The GT8 tips the scales at 1,510kg – 55kg less than its bigger brother, the GT12.
For those that want the full race car look, an optional Aero Pack brings a larger rear wing and additional corner elements to the front splitter. A carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear windscreen and titanium centre mounted exhaust can also be added from the options list. With all of the lightweight extras fitted, the GT8 nudges £200,000 – almost double the price of a standard V8 Vantage – but Aston insists the GT8 is ‘genuinely road-useable’, with air conditioning, a 160w audio system, and the latest AMi II infotainment setup with sat-nav and Bluetooth as standard.
Elsewhere, the GT8 gets a new five-spoke alloy wheel design – lightweight, seven-spoke magnesium wheels are also an option – while three colour schemes are available and include Stirling Green and Lime (pictured), China Grey and Blue or Stratus White and Green.
Under the nose is Aston’s tried and tested 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 developing 440bhp and 490Nm of torque. It can be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Aston’s seven-speed Sportshift II automatic. Fitted with the manual box, the GT8 gets from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and continues on to a top speed of 190mph.
The GT8 continues Aston’s new policy of developing two limited edition models each year, meaning another unnamed model will follow in the coming months.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer Q and A on the GT8:
Was it always the plan to give the V8 Vantage the ‘GT’ treatment like the GT12 version of the V12 Vantage?
“Well, our plan calls for two special editions per year. The GT12 was pretty much on the books when I joined and it was phenomenally successful. I’d love to say there was a masterplan but actually we saw how well that did and realised there was room for something else even closer to the (V8-engined) WEC race car.”
Who’s buying it?
“We’re getting a lot of conquest and returning customers – some who maybe bought an early DB9 and are now coming back to the brand. It’s a mixture of enthusiasts and investors – the GT12 has only gone up in value since its release, which makes the GT8 a very attractive prospect.”
How different is it to the standard Vantage?
“Pretty different – the wick has been turned up on the engine, large parts of the body are carbon-fibre and the suspension has been retuned as well, all to offer a sharper, more involving experience.”
How does it fit into the range alongside the GT12?
“It’s the baby brother, really. It’s not as expensive or extreme, but the V8 means it’s more closely related to the WEC race car you see on track.”
So what is the second special due this year? Is it based on the DB11?
“It’s going to be pretty special, but I can’t say more than that. It won’t be based on the DB11, it’ll be based on one of the more established models.”