Under development for the past six months, Aston Martin has taken the wraps of its new GT4 race car. The GT4 is based on the new model 4.7L V8 Vantage road car and will take the reins from the outgoing 4.3L Vantage N24.
The new Aston will have some big shoes to fill with the N24 having won the Nurburgring 24 hour event and a handful of FIA GT4 races this year.
In standard guise, Aston's 4.7L V8 produces 313kWs, already more than the 305kWs of the N24, but we've been unable to obtain official output figures for the GT4. What we do know is that the ECU has been re-jigged and that free-flowing exhausts and air filters have been fitted. Given the N24 was around 22kWs more powerful than standard, the GT4's output should be in the 330-340kW range.
More power is nice but reduced weight is even better when it comes to racing and the GT4 doesn't disappoint. A staggering 300kgs has been lopped off the donor vehicle for a kerb-weight of 1330kgs. To achieve this, Aston has almost completely stripped the interior with the exception of the facia molding which is now trimmed in Alacantra and the console and door trims which have been replaced by lighter material.
A high-strength steel roll-cage improves safety and chassis rigidity while Recaro competition racing seats combine with a Sabelt six-point harness to keep the driver securely in place. A suede-trimmed quick-release steering wheel and Lifeline Zero 360 extinguisher system complete the interior appointments.
Naturally, suspension has been heavily revised with the re-tuned Vantage set-up receiving larger diameter front and rear anti-roll bars and adjustable ride height aluminium dampers. Single rate, flat ground springs with separate helper springs and a modified front subframe (for extra camber) complete the revisions. The standard dry-sump lubrication system found on the V8 Vantage is carried over to keep oil surge under control during hard cornering.
Braking upgrades are minimal with the larger front discs benefiting from revised cooling to keep brake fade at bay. Braking performance is improved thanks to the addition of Yokohama high-performance A048-R tyres which now come fitted to the GT4's cast magnesium wheels as standard.
Manual or sportshift automatic transmissions (with paddle-shifters) will be available and both gearboxes will receive the same Valeo twin-plate 'cerametallic' racing clutch and lightweight flywheel.
The standard Vantage's active safety systems are still in place and include dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS and electronic brake-force distribution (which should make even the least-experienced drivers look like professionals).
The GT4 will go on sale in January next year and will come in around the AUD$220,000 mark. That might seem like a lot of coin but remember it is an Aston Martin and it can be driven on the road. James May might not have enjoyed the experience of driving the N24 on public roads, but we'd be more than happy to give the GT4 a fling.