Sam Philip06 August 2009

Light artillery

American firm strips out Aston Vantage to do battle with lightweight Ferraris and Gallardos

LMV/R

Fancy a stripped-out Aston Vantage to do battle with the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and Gallardo Superleggera?

Well, there's always the race-prep N24. But if you want a car that won't force you to strip down to your skivvies whenever the sun comes out, you'll be wanting one of these: the LMV/R from Florida-based tuning firm Elite.

Based on the V8 Vantage, it's a lightened, street legal racer with a whole lot of carbon fibre on board. Virtually every panel on the LMV/R is rendered in the lightweight weave, including the bonnet, quarter panels and boot lid.

Which means the LMV/R is a proper featherweight. Elite hasn't confirmed exactly how much lighter it is than the stock Vantage, but given that the Challenge Stradale and Gallardo Superleggera were each around 100kg lighter than their full-fat cousins, we reckon the LMV/R will weigh in around 1,450kg.

There's more going on here than mere lightness, though. The LMV/R gets bigger wheels and tyres, stiffer springs, uprated brakes and a new exhaust system which should add a few extra horsepower's to the Vantage's already sufficient 420bhp. In the cabin you'll find lots and lots of Alcantara and more carbon fibre.

All this lightweight goodness doesn't come cheap: Elite is asking around £100,000 for the LMV/R - not including the 80-something grand you'll have to drop on a brand new donor car (nope, they won't rebuild a Vantage with a few miles on the clock).

That's a fair hunk of cash, but it does buy you exclusivity at least: Elite plans to build just 30 LMV/Rs. Anyone tempted?

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