With 565 horsepower and a 205 mph top speed, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S should be plenty of car for most people. Still, Aston isn’t satisfied.
The British carmaker is considering a road-going version of the Vantage GT3 racer it campaigns in events like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, Autocar reports.
The company believes it can wring more performance out of the Vantage by shedding weight, improving aerodynamics, and adding power.
Aston Martin engineering boss Ian Minards said it would be possible to eliminate 100 kilograms (about 220 pounds) by removing the air conditioning and other luxuries, as well as adding lightweight seats.
In other words, the car would lose any pretension to luxury, making it perfect for hardcore performance freaks who just happen to be Wall St. bankers.
Additional weight savings could come from carbon fiber body panels and magnesium wheels. Those body panels could also be shaped using some of the aerodynamic lessons Aston has learned from racing, giving the road-going GT3 car aggressive styling in the process.
On the power front, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez thinks the company’s ubiquitous 5.9-liter V12 has more to give. The V12 Vantage S is only 45 ponies away from an even 600 hp.
Combined with the weight savings, even a modest bump in power would cause the 0-60 mph time to tumble below the V12 Vantage S’ 3.7-second mark. However, top speed would probably drop as well because of the drag produced by the GT3-style bodywork, which is designed to create grip-enhancing downforce.
Aston hasn’t approved this race car for the road, so it’s unclear when – if ever – it will arrive in showrooms.
If Aston does decide to build a V12 Vantage GT3 for the road, it wouldn’t be totally without precedent.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz did something very similar when it launched the SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary Edition. Built to commemorate the 45th birthday of in-house tuner AMG, this special SLS was nearly identical to the GT3 racing version. In fact, it wasn’t even street legal.
Only five 45th Anniversary Editions were built, with a price tag of $579,000 per copy.
Panoz Auto Development has also discussed building road-going versions of its GTR-1 endurance racer for individual customers.
Depending on what Aston Martin’s definition of “road-going” is, the Vantage GT3 could be more usable than those two cars, and still top hardcore super cars like the Ferrari 458 Speciale and Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
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