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Aston Martin Is Ready For Le Mans With A New Vantage GTE

Bradley Brownell November 21, 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans 4 Comments

Sweet holy Moses, there’s a new Aston Martin GTE racer in town, and we are swooning like this is our first crush. We thought their 2017-spec Vantage GT2 was rad, but this brand new 2018 version is downright gorgeous. Here it is, folks, the car that Aston Martin will use to battle against the best from Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, and BMW in the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship megaseason. If you thought the road car was slick, just check out this monster and try not to weep from overwhelming joy. The lines of this car are so spectacularly gorgeous that you want to stare at it for hours, but then it fires up and flames shoot out of the massive side-exit exhaust and you might run away in fright. 

Full specs and more photos to see after the jump. 

For the 2018 season, Aston has returned to Michelin as their tire supplier, dropping Dunlop whom they worked with last season. They’re also working with technical partners Alcon (for braking) and Öhlins (for suspension) in order to attempt to gain an adVantage (sorry, that pun was unacceptable). Aston won the 2017 GTE Pro class at Le Mans this year with Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, who have both been retained to drive together. Also, the Danish duo of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen will return to pair. As a third driver in one of the cars, AMR has hired ex-GP2 winner and current Formula E driver Alex Lynn. The other team third-driver will be announced in the near future. 

Aston have worked to get this car ready for the season, spending lots of time on development and testing. For example, the team has already run two complete 30-hour tests between Navarra circuit in Spain, and harsh durability testing at Sebring in Florida. In total, they’ve completed more than 12,000 kilometers of testing. Like Ford’s GT program, the Aston Martin Vantage GTE was developed in conjunction with the roadgoing car, with an eye on maximizing the chassis for out and out GT racing bragging rights (as well as road comfort and driver enjoyment). 

Aston Martin Racing Technical Director, Dan Sayers said of the 2018 Vantage GTE: “Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process. We’ve collaborated closely with the Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters to develop the road and race cars in parallel. Attention to detail has been a priority at every step of this process and we’ve made big improvements in each area of the car. We’ve spent every second optimising the design right until the build of our test car, which has paid dividends during our current testing schedule. This project has been one of the most intensive but also rewarding of my career so far”.

Managing Director, Aston Martin Racing John Gaw said, “It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing. The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalising. To conduct the development process of this car so closely with Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams was essential for both road and race car to retain the same underlying DNA. We believe the Vantage GTE will bring further success worldwide to Aston Martin Racing in the coming years”.

President of Aston Martin Racing, David King said, “Motorsport is fundamental to the DNA of Aston Martin and our commitment to the FIA World Endurance Championship is stronger than ever. This is a golden era for GT racing and today’s launch of the new Vantage GTE will ensure that Aston Martin Racing remains at the forefront of the world’s greatest endurance series. The team has enjoyed incredible success over recent years with the outgoing V8 Vantage GTE and while this will hold fond memories for me, I can’t wait to see the new car race in anger at Spa next year and continue to write motorsport history”.

We can’t wait to see this highlighter yellow beast ready to run when the WEC season opens at Spa next May.

Engine

  • Bespoke BorgWarner turbos with integrated electric wastegates
  • Akrapovič inconel exhaust system
  • Dry sump lubrication system
  • Engine repositioned to optimise mass
  • Distribution
  • Power >400 kW*
  • Torque >700 Nm*
  • Variable by boost

Driveline / Transmission

  • Rear wheel drive with traction control
  • Xtrac six speed sequential transmission
  • Alcon motorsport multi-plate clutch
  • Mechanical limited-slip differential wit externally adjustable preload
  • Semi-automatic paddle shift gear change
  • Direct acting electric gear shift actuator
  • Carbon fibre propshaft

Chassis

  • Lightweight aluminium chassis based on the latest Vantage production car
  • Steel roll cage to FIA safety standards
  • High speed pneumatic jack system

Suspension

  • Optimised geometry double wishbone suspension front and rear
  • Ohlins 5-way adjustable dampers
  • Adjustable anti-roll bars

Steering

  • Electro-hydraulic power assisted steering
  • Quick release carbon fibre steering wheel

Fuel System

  • 100 litre fuel cell to FIA safety standards
  • Single point fuel coupling

Brakes

  • Alcon monobloc six pot front calipers
  • Alcon ventilated wide annulus front brake discs
  • Alcon monobloc 4 pot rear calipers
  • Alcon ventilated rear brake discs
  • Integrated caliper temperature and pad wear sensors front and rear
  • Floor mounted driver adjustable pedal box
  • Driver adjustable front/rear brake bias

Cockpit

  • Optimised for driver access and visibility
  • RaceTech FIA 8862 safety seat
  • Schroth Six-point safety harness
  • Lifeline FIA 8865 fire extinguisher system
  • Cosworth driver display and shift lights
  • Rear view camera with Bosch collision avoidance radar system
  • Air conditioning
  • Electrically operated driver drinks system

Aerodynamics / Bodywork

  • Removable carbon-fibre body panels to FIA LMGTE regulations
  • Carbon fibre roof with regulation safety access hatch
  • Full length flat floor
  • Carbon fibre splitter and diffuser
  • Adjustable carbon fibre rear wing

Wheels

  • TWS forged magnesium 12.5” x 18” front
  • TWS forged magnesium 13.0” x 18” rear
  • Captive wheel nut design

Tyres

  • Michelin 30/68 – 18 front
  • Michelin 31/71 – 18 rear

Weight

  • Dry weight 1245kg (regulated base weight)
  • mseoul

    Did they start with a Hyundai Genesis Coupe body this time?

    Has there been a rule change or has AM changed the front end design of the road going cars too?

  • outback_ute

    The door intrusion bars look surprisingly low

  • Good for them – this year’s Le Mans was pretty successful, but quite a close call after that distance (<100s on the 2nd and 3rd (Ford GT and a limping Corvette)). You can't commission drama, but there it was.

    Also, I hope they'll have some decent livery (I imagine the one presented here, plus stickers, is a gaudy version of this year's Corvette), but the era of single sponsor by tobacco buying the entire team is over.