Based on the current V12 Vantage S yet strongly influenced by the race spec V12 Vantage GT3, the GT12 Special Edition boasts a weight saving of at least 100kg over the regular V12 ‘S’ version, and a power boost from 565 bhp to a whisker below the magic 600.
Almost all the bodywork of the GT12 is unique to the car, only the aluminium doors are common to the regular Vantage, the remainder is mostly made of lightweight carbon fibre. The aerodynamic additions to the car include a unique ‘horseshoe’ bonnet air intake, designed to send air along the side of the car and angled slats both behind the front and ahead of the rear wheels. The rear wing, largest fitted to a road going Aston Martin is actually optional but does provide so much downforce that the road going GT12 has more than the race spec Vantage GT4.
The inside has been well stripped out yet retains some creature comforts such as a fixed sat-nav screen. The seats are lightweight carbon fibre, manually adjusted, the interior has a covering of Alcantara, the door cards are single piece carbon items and the centre console also in carbon fibre has been taken from the Vanquish. This was the first indication that the new centre console would be standard equipment in the entire Vantage range for the 2017 model year.
In standard form, the GT12 weighs 1565 kg, although opting for the lightweight options such as polycarbonate rear and rear quarter windows and carbon fibre roof can shed another 50kg. During the spring, the GT12 will undertake further testing and calibration, often in the hands of AMR regular, Darren Turner. The AM57 engine is currently producing 592 bhp but perhaps a little more is anticipated. Zero to 60 comes up in 3.5 seconds, 0.2 quicker than the V12 ‘S’ although due to greater downforce and a larger frontal area, top speed drops from 205 to 185 mph.
With production strictly limited to just 100 examples, even with a price around £250,000, virtually all the cars had sold even before the Geneva Show opened. Especially created by ‘Aston Martin Special Projects;’ the GT12’s were delivered to their new owners from the autumn of 2015. As it AML was committed to only building 100 customer cars, a similar lightweight V8 Vantage known as the GT8 was offered from the spring of 2016.
Six examples of the GT12 were built with a colour scheme inspired by the AMR Gulf liveried GTE car, such cars and are unofficially known as the GT12 Gulf Edition.
Why the change of name? Well shortly after the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche threatened a law suit as they believed that they owned the right to the ‘GT3’ name. What is rather odd is that GT3 was the name of an FIA race class and it was Lotus that first used the term with the Esprit GT3 from 1996 to 1999. Even so, Aston Martin have climbed down and Andy Palmer has given the following statement;-
“Matters have now been resolved and Aston Martin has decided not to waste valuable cash on litigation and instead opted to rename the car the Aston Martin Vantage GT12. To reinforce the message, the Aston Martin Vantage race car will also be known as the GT12 from now on too”