Aston Martin has unveiled its brand new 2018 Vantage GTE tonight, which will compete in the FIA WEC from next season onwards with its factory outfit Aston Martin Racing, replacing the nine-year-old outgoing Vantage.
The car – which is based on the brand new Vantage road car (below) – has already been out testing extensively prior to its launch, clocking up more than 13,000km at various circuits in Europe and at Sebring in Florida. The development work since its initial shakedown has also included a successful 30-hour run at the Spanish circuit of Navarra.
Together with Aston Martin Racing’s engineers, the factory drivers at the tests have worked hard to refine the drivability of the AMG-derived 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine, essentially the same unit as found in the road car.
As part of the announcement, Aston Martin Racing has also formally confirmed its switch to Michelin tyres from next year onwards. The team has used Dunlop rubber since the start of the 2016 season, winning the 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro Drivers and Teams titles, as well as this year’s Le Mans during AMR’s tenure as a Dunlop technical partner.
This change means that the entire GTE Pro field is once again set to run on Michelin rubber, BMW expected to confirm Michelin as its tyre supplier for next year too.
The car, DSC understands, did complete multiple tests ahead of today’s announcement on Dunlop tyres however, before making the switch to the French brand earlier this month.
In addition to revealing the car, it also confirmed five of its factory drivers who will be involved in its GTE programme going forward. Current AMR factory drivers Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen have been retained and will be a part of the programme, as well as the new addition of DS Virgin Racing Formula E driver Alex Lynn.
Further driver announcements will be made before the end of the year.
“Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process,” said Aston Martin Racing technical director, Dan Sayers, who has led the design and development of the out of AMR’s UK headquarters in Banbury.
“We’ve had a really close collaboration with the Aston Martin factory, effectively developing the road and race cars in parallel. Attention to detail is infinitely better and we’ve moved forwards a long way in terms of mass versus stiffness and centre of gravity.
“We’ve spent every last second optimising the design, which is perfect as the more time spent on initial design means less time re-designing things later.”
– Bespoke Borg Warner turbos with integrated electric wastegates
– Dry sump lubrication system
– Engine repositioned to optimise mass
– 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 with externally adjustable preload
– Semi-automatic paddle shift gear change
– Direct acting electric gear shift actuator
– Carbon fibre propshaft
– Lightweight aluminium chassis based on the latest Vantage production car
– Steel roll cage to FIA safety standards
– High speed pneumatic jack system
– Optimised geometry double wishbone suspension front and rear
– Ohlins 5-way adjustable dampers
– Adjustable anti-roll bars
– Electro-hydraulic power assisted steering
– Quick release carbon fibre steering wheel
– 100 litre fuel cell to FIA safety standards
– Single point Krontec fuel coupling
– Alcon monobloc six pot front calipers
– Ventilated wide annulus front brake discs
– Alcon monobloc 4 pot rear calipers
– 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
– Optimised for driver access and visibility
– FIA 8862 safety seat
– Six-point safety harness
– Carbon fibre dash
– FIA 8865 fire extinguisher system
– Driver display and shift lights
– Brake locking and traction control sensitivity 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
– Endurance LED bumper lights
– TWS forged magnesium 12.5” x 18” front
– TWS forged magnesium 13.0” x 18” rear
– Captive wheel nut design
– Michelin 30/68 – 18 front
– Michelin 31/71 – 18 rear
– Dry weight 1245kg (regulated base weight)