Sport Cars: Aston Martin Launches Vantage GT4 Racer

Aston Martin's Racing division has revealed the 2009 specification Vantage GT4 race car that's based on the firm's latest 4.7-liter V8 Vantage model. Set to replace the outgoing 4.3-liter Vantage N24, Aston Martin's new competition car has been built to FIA GT4 regulations and it targets professional and semi-professional drivers but also enthusiasts who wish to use it for track days and club racing. It is priced from 96,645 ($143,000 U.S. or 114,150) and is available to order now with delivery in January 2009.

The GT4 makes use of the new Vantage's 4.7 litre V8 engine that has been upgraded with a free flow exhaust system and air filters and is matted to either a six speed manual, or a Sportshift transmission with paddle controls. Both versions have a Valeo twin-plate cerametallic racing clutch and lightweight flywheel to complete the powertrain specification.

Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Racer Weighing in at 1,330 kg or 2,932 pounds, the GT4 is approximately 300 kg or 660 pounds lighter than the standard Vantage V8. Aston Martin Racing's engineers managed to achieve this through a range of weight reduction measures that include the elimination of the interior trim and the replacement of the console and door casings by new lightweight mouldings.

Other changes in the interior concern the addition of a high-strength steel rollcage and Recaro competition seats. A suede-trimmed steering wheel with a quick release mechanism is also fitted as standard while the car's safety features are completed with a Sabelt sixpoint safety harness with a push-button release and Lifeline Zero 360 gas extinguisher system.

Aston Martin Racing team performed only minor upgrades to the V8 Vantage road car's suspension. These include larger diameter front and rear anti-roll bars and adjustable ride height aluminium dampers, as well as single rate, flat ground springs with separate helper springs. The front subframe is modified for extra camber and castor while the GT4 sits on cast magnesium front and rear wheels wrapped in high performance Yokohama A048-R tires. The brakes are uprated with Pagid RS 29 race pads.

The road car's basic active safety systems including the dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution have been carried over to the Vantage GT4.



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