A striking Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 will form the basis of the marque's customer motorsports activities next year.
The Vantage GT3 will take over from the successful Aston Martin DBRS9 as the company's customer-oriented racing machine. It features a modified version of the six-liter V12 that powers all of Aston Martin's V12 road cars. The car's dry-sumped engine is expected to produce around 600hp and 500lb-ft of torque and will be mated to a semi-automatic Xtrac 6-speed sequential paddleshift gearbox via a carbon fiber prop shaft.
The new car has a shorter wheelbase and its engine mounted lower down than its DBRS9 predecessor to enhance handling and performance. The modular chassis is a light aluminum and composite structure, as featured in the manufacturer's road cars, which helps Aston Martin achieve a target dry weight of 1250kg (2756lbs).
As the Vantage GT3 will be aimed at privateer customer teams, Aston Martin has improved the drivability of the car and race-developed ABS and traction control systems which are fitted as standard. It will be eligible for numerous events, including the FIA GT3 Championship, the Nurburgring-based VLN endurance series and the British GT Championship.
Testing of the car starts in October this year, during which the car will have to complete more than 6,000 test miles. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2012. The new machine will be priced at £298,000 ($489,000).