The Aston Martin Vantage will be replaced by an all-new model next year, but that doesn’t mean the current car will slowly fade away into the history books. Aston has introduced a limited-edition Vantage variant called GT8 that’s brimming with performance-oriented features borrowed from its Le Mans program.
The GT8 is to the V8-powered Vantage what the sold-out GT12 was to the V12-equipped model. It uses an evolution of the regular Vantage’s naturally aspirated, 4.7-liter V8 engine massaged to pump out 446 horsepower, about 25 more than stock. Rear-wheel drive is the only configuration available, but buyers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic unit controlled by shift paddles.
Far from subtle, the GT8 receives a full body kit that includes a sizable splitter up front, fenders with cutaway wheel arches, deep side skirts, and a large air diffuser integrated into the rear bumper. All of the add-ons are crafted out of carbon fiber in order to shed as much weight as possible. The GT8 weighs about 220 pounds less than the regular V8 Vantage, and it stands out as the lightest — and most powerful — V8 Vantage Aston Martin has ever built. If that’s not enough, speed aficionados can pay extra to get a carbon fiber roof panel, a titanium exhaust line, and polycarbonate rear windows.
Aston Martin designed the GT8 with racing in mind, but it understands that some buyers will inevitably want to use it on a daily basis. Consequently, every GT8 comes standard with air conditioning, a 160-watt sound system, and the latest generation of the company’s AMi III infotainment system. The Vantage’s power-adjustable sport seats have been sent back to the parts bin and replaced by a set of manually adjustable buckets made out of carbon fiber.
Aston Martin will build just 150 examples of the Vantage GT8, and the car was recently shown to a small, hand-picked group of potential buyers so it’s safe to assume that at least part of the production run is already spoken for. Pricing starts at £165,000, a sum that converts to approximately $207,000. Want one? You’re out of luck if you live in the United States, because Aston’s latest limited-edition model wasn’t developed with the U.S. market in mind.