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Aston Vantage GT3 becomes Vantage GT12
A month ago, Aston Martin unveiled its race-inspired, road-going V12 Vantage, christened GT3. This week, it has emerged that the Gaydon firm has been forced to take a chisel to that GT3 badge, replacing it with one reading ‘GT12’.
Why? Because Porsche.
The German manufacturer claims it has exclusive rights to use that ‘GT3’ suffix for motorsport-derived road cars that are for public sale - something it kicked off in 1999 by slapping the GT3 badge on the back a 996.
Thus, Aston Martin has been requested to change the name of its 600bhp, limited edition lightweight from ‘Vantage GT3’ to ‘Vantage GT12’.
However, in a change from the industry norm, the dispute seems to have been resolved rather magnanimously.
Instead of dragging GT3-gate through a horrendously expensive court process, Aston Martin has raised its hands, called off the lawyers and gone its own way.
“Rather than distract ourselves having a naming disagreement with Porsche and the VW Group,” Aston said in a statement, “we would prefer to focus our energy and investment on the car and on making sure our customers receive the best possible Aston Martin.” How very British.
The GT3 moniker was Aston’s nod to the FIA race series that inspired the fast Vantage. The new GT12 badge, meanwhile, serves to remind how many cylinders are drumming away under the Vantage’s bonnet.
No matter the name, one thing is still clear: you can’t have the wider, harder, faster GT12 anyway - it’s still sold out.
Note, too, that while Porsche kicked up a fuss about Aston muscling in on the GT3 badge, it apparently has no issue with VW Group stablemate Bentley calling its fast Continental the GT3-R…