EVERYONE loves a performance edition, and no one more so than Aston Martin, with the new Vantage F1 Edition set to be its most track focused production car to date. Better still, it’s been confirmed for Australia and New Zealand.
Representing a new breed of Aston Martin, one that celebrates the marques return to Formula 1 for the first time in over 60 years, the F1 Edition establishes the Vantage as a true sports car.
It is also the first core model to benefit from direct input from Aston Martin’s recently appointed CEO Tobias Moers. A core offering, the new Vantage F1 Edition sits at the top of the model line.
Motivated by an exciting return to Formula 1 and as a direct result of the engineering that went into the development of the Vantage as an Official Safety Car of Formula 1, the Vantage F1 Edition is the ultimate expression of performance and dynamism.
Not only is it the most powerful, but the Vantage F1 Edition benefits from unique and significant chassis and aerodynamic improvements developed by Aston Martin’s hugely experienced engineering team, and its development of the safety car version.
The task was to develop significant performance enhancements, driven by improved lap time performance in order to successfully carry out its role on the F1 track as a safety car, but without compromising its on-road capabilities.
Following the success of these enhancements, Moers instructed the integration of these into the production car, ultimately developing the new Vantage F1 Edition, with multiple improvements across the auto-only powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics.
Starting with the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, power is up to a new maximum of 393kW. Peak torque remains unchanged at 685Nm, but that peak is sustained for longer to further increase tractability and in-gear urgency.
This relentless, muscular performance has been further enhanced by work to the 8-speed automatic transmission, with an optimised torque cut during upshifts that reduces shift times and increases the feeling of directness and precision.
This torque management also enhances the driver’s sense of control and connection during downshifts, specifically under heavy braking, and allows for finer control when the driver is balancing the car at its limit of traction.
Moving to the chassis, the team’s focus centered on the suspension and steering, with further detailed underbody modifications to increase front structural stiffness for a further improvement in steering feel and response.
Reworked damper internals have increased effective force range. This increase in bandwidth brings a noticeable improvement in vertical body control – both through high speed compressions and over crests – without any deterioration in low-speed compliance.
To compliment changes to the dampers, the chassis also benefits from increased rear spring rate and lateral stiffness to help sharpen turn-in, increase traction (especially over bumps) and ensure the rear-end is tuned to compliment the front-end’s rate of response.
Further improvements to response and – crucially – to what the driver feels have been made to the steering system, allowing feedback from the road to be transmitted more clearly, which in turn helps build a detailed sense of available grip.
Much like the other dynamic changes, a switch to a lower profile tyre and 21-inch wheels provides greater feedback to the driver to ensure progressive on-limit handling to give maximum confidence in even the most extreme track driving scenarios.
Completing the Vantage F1 Edition’s performance enhancements is a comprehensive aero kit, bringing improvements that can be felt from the driver’s seat and measured against the clock.
Designed to deliver positive front and rear downforce, totalling 200kg more downforce than the existing Vantage at top speed – as well as optimising the overall balance of the car, the aerodynamic changes comprise a full-width front splitter and front dive planes.
Additionally, underbody turning vanes, and – most obviously – the new rear wing complete the package. The Vantage F1 Edition also expresses its intensified performance with limited, yet distinctive colour palettes, in satin or gloss, and trim options.
These include one that celebrates Aston Martin’s return to Formula 1 with an Aston Martin Racing Green colour scheme, as well as Jet Black and Lunar White, all of which are complimented by a Solid Matte Dark Grey racing graphic.
Inside, the Vantage F1 Edition features new Obsidian Black leather and Phantom Grey Alcantara upholstery and trim, with a choice of Lime Green, Obsidian Black, Wolf Grey or Spicy Red contrast stripe and stitching.
The Vantage F1 Edition – available as a Coupe and Roadster – is further distinguished by its vaned grille as standard, 2×2 twill carbon fibre exterior detailing, unique graphics, quad exhausts and a new Satin Black Diamond Turned 21-inch alloy wheel.
The new Vantage F1 Edition is on sale in the UK from today, with a recommended retail price from £142,000 (around $255,000 AUD), with deliveries scheduled to begin in May 2021.
It has been confirmed that the new Vantage F1 Edition will be available in Australia and New Zealand, with local pricing to be announced shortly. First local deliveries in ANZ will commence during Q4 2021.