Remember when the new Vantage was shown off at the 24 hours of Daytona? If you don’t, we almost missed it too. Without any warning, Aston Martin sent the new Vantage GT3 out on track before it was informally revealed without telling anyone. Now that debut is official. Aston has not only told us a boatload about the new roadgoing version of the Vantage, but also provided insight into the race car.
The Vantage GT3 is, in a nutshell, a regular Vantage that’s been heavily modified to compete in endurance racing. It has a roll cage installed in its bonded aluminum chassis, carbon fiber body panels, and a slew of other changes to make it suitable for track use.
All of the machines in the GT3 class start their lives as actual production cars, and the new Vantage is no different. The cars in the class are all unique but have very similar performance despite the variety. Per the regulations, the Aston has the same basic engine as the production car, but it gets detuned to produce between 500 and 600 horsepower. All cars in the GT3 class must likewise weigh between 1,200kg and 1,300kg.
The old Vantage GT3 was a popular customer race car, and Aston thinks the new one will be no different. By the end of the 2024 season, the automaker expects to have 30 cars racing at circuits around the world. This is in part because Aston already has so many customer teams using its car, but also because it qualifies for so many different series.
Despite the success of the formula, the company described the previous car as having some “challenging” handling characteristics which it said have been corrected in the new model. Feedback from drivers after an extensive development program has been positive, with the car being described as having “no vices” and being very forgiving.
If you want to see a Vantage GT3 in action, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. As well as racing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship stateside, it will also compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), and the Nürburgring Langstrecken Series (NLS).
In the meantime, you can join us in admiring that massive rear wing.