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Meet the Aston Martin Vantage GT8
Race-inspired special is lightest Vantage ever, and little brother to the GT12
How on earth does Aston Martin find the time? Between launching the all-new DB11, announcing a joint-hypercar project with Adrian Newey and fitting a dog-leg seven-speed manual to the V12 Vantage S, it’s also managed to squeeze in another hardcore, limited-run special – this time based on the V8 Vantage.
It’s called the GT8 and takes its inspiration from the 2016 V8 Vantage GTE race car – that’s to say it features the holy trinity of less weight, more power and much downforce. It’s a similar formula to the monstrous, be-winged 595bhp GT12 that scrambled our minds when we drove it last summer, albeit in a lighter, less-potent package. Only 100 examples of the GT12 were built at £250,000 a pop, whereas the GT8 will be positively common with 150 examples earmarked for production, at £165,000 each.
Let’s start with the powertrain because the good news is, unlike the GT12, you can have one with a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automated manual. We implore you to go for the former. The engine is a 440bhp version of Aston’s sonorous 4.7-litre V8 (10bhp more than the V8 Vantage S), capable of 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds (0.2 quicker than the S) and 190mph flat out.
At 1,510kg it’s a full 100kg lighter than the V8 Vantage S (and 55kg less than the GT12) thanks to plenty of carbon-fibre. Aston has deployed the black stuff for the front splitter, front and rear bumpers, side sills, and rear diffuser. Need more downforce? Course you do. You’ll need the optional Aero Pack that adds the rear spoiler and extra winglets on the front splitter.
Further weight is stripped thanks to manually-adjustable carbon-fibre bucket seats, carbon door panels and a slim line lithium-ion battery (as standard), plus a carbon-fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and titanium centre-mounted exhaust (all optional). Aston hasn’t gone full commando spec though, because there’s still a 160W stereo, air-con and sat-nav to keep you entertained, comfortable and pointing in the right direction.
But how will everyone know you’re driving the most special and expensive V8 Vantage ever? Fear not: 19-inch five-spoke centre-locking magnesium wheels are unique to the GT8, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, while there’s a choice of three retina-searing, two-tone colour schemes (China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or Stirling Green and Lime).
So, readers, it’s a go-faster Aston with a ruddy great wing. What’s not to like? You’ll be lapping your local B-roads like Aston WEC driver, Darren Turner, in no-time.