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Aston Martin’s ability to squeeze a surprise out of a familiar shape is legendary. Nudging its tenth birthday it may be, but add the suffix ‘GT3’ to the Vantage and suddenly it’s day one all over again.

To be fair, this is one highly evolved Vantage. Since that first car rolled off the line in 2005, Aston Martin has transformed itself into a seriously successful customer racing outfit (scoring a podium finish in the Bathurst 12 hours enduro just a few weeks ago), and the GT3 positively dribbles with competition-spec know-how. Peel away the lairy graphics and what you’re left with is lower and wider than any previous iteration.

Everything bar the doors is made of carbon fibre, so it tips the scales a chubby human 100kg less than the standard car. The 6.0-litre V12’s power output is pumped up from 565bhp to a few horses short of 600.

Aston has some ex-F1 guys on the payroll now, so there’s a lot of trick aero on the GT3: the intakes on the bonnet are angled to send air in the optimal direction along the side of the car, and there are artful slats and cuts behind the front and rear wheel arches.

There’s a magnesium torque tube and inlet manifold, while the exhaust system is titanium and exits above the rear diffuser in a deliberately unapologetic manner. “Yep, we decided to let some of the guts hang out,” an Aston spokesman tells us.

Inside, the door mouldings are single-piece carbon items, the seats are manually operated, and even the sat nav screen is fixed. The centre console is nicked from the Vanquish, and there’s Alcantara all over the top of the dash.

You will want this car, make no mistake, which is problematic for three reasons. It costs £250,000. Only 100 are being made. And they’ve all been sold.

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