What’s in a name? A lot, even if that name is just two letters and a number.
When it debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin’s latest track toy was named the Vantage GT3 special edition, but now it’s the GT12.
Why? Because Porsche thought the name Vantage GT3 was a little too close to its own hardcore performance model, the 911 GT3.
After months of negotiations, Porsche was able to twist Aston’s arm and get the Vantage’s name changed, reports the Goodwood Road & Racing blog.
Porsche has used the 911 GT3 name since 1999, and it’s become among the most recognizable performance-car monikers since then. Yet Porsche’s claim isn’t as solid as it seems.
As Goodwood points out, there was at least one “GT3” before the 911 GT3. The Lotus Esprit GT3 predates it by a few years.
There’s also the Continental GT3-R from Porsche’s Volkswagen Group sibling Bentley.
Both the Bentley and the Aston got their ‘GT3’ appellations from the FIA’s GT3 class for production-based racecars. Racing versions of both of them compete internationally against other sports cars, including Porsches.
That’s why Aston felt entitled to call its car a GT3 in the first place. It’s not the same of one Porsche, it’s the name of an entire category of racing cars.
Nonetheless, Porsche insisted that it has a monopoly on naming road cars GT3, and Aston apparently didn’t feel like fighting the Germans on this one.
So goodbye Vantage GT3, hello Vantage GT12.