Aston Martin unveils GT4 Vantage racer

Following the introduction of the new Vantage road car and GT3 race car, Aston Martin has launched its GT4 offering. Aimed at partner racing teams and serious circuit driving enthusiasts, it completes the car maker’s formidable GT line-up.

The new model is expected to be an immediate force in GT racing’s junior category and benefits from the performance and technology improvements seen in the newly unveiled Vantage road car.

This latest version of the Vantage GT4 brings a host of chassis, aerodynamic, drivetrain and efficiency improvements, engineered by Aston Martin Racing (AMR). Strict regulations also mean the race car remains very close to its production sibling.

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The two share about 80 per cent of the same structural and mechanical architecture, including the bonded aluminium chassis, which is fitted with a full custom roll cage to comply with stringent safety requirements before the bodywork is attached.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and transmission are both based on the Vantage road car components, the primary changes being to the electronic control systems; the former running a Bosch Motorsport ECU with bespoke software developed by AMR.

The latter is installed with ZF/AMR Motorsport software to control the otherwise production standard automatic transmission. The bespoke software ‘converts’ the eight-speed transmission into a six-speed paddle shift without an auto mode.

Changes to the electronic systems are made primarily to ensure precise control of the engine’s management and turbo control systems to meet strict Balance of Performance criteria defined by GT4 championship organisers.

They are also employed to optimise gearshifts and run motorsport-specific traction control. The Vantage GT4 cockpit also features the latest Bosch BDU 11 display, which replaces the road car’s instrument visuals.

Chassis modifications are also driven by regulations. Inboard suspension mounting points remain the same as the production road car, with some permitted changes to suspension linkages.

A highlight of the dynamic package are new two-way adjustable KW dampers, supplied as part of AMR’s wider technical partnership with the renowned suspension manufacturer, and designed to inspire an increased feeling of precision and control.

Visually the Vantage GT4 closely resembles the stunning design of the new Vantage, with regulations permitting only modest changes from the road car design. Likewise, the majority of the Vantage GT4’s body panels are standard production items.

The exception is the bonnet, which allows for the incorporation of air outlets and is made from a sustainable natural flax fibre composite, with stiffening via a cork core material. GT4 regulations also allow limited aerodynamic changes.

In the case of the new Vantage GT4 this means a larger front splitter and the addition of a new rear wing. The result is an increase in downforce and a reduction in drag compared to the previous track version.

Having made its debut at the recent IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona meeting in Florida in the United States, production is now well underway for more than 40 race cars.

News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.

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