The key evolution of the V8 Vantage GTE from the previous GT2 was to make the process of servicing both quicker and easier. As an example, the process of changing the engine in the GT2 could take four hours. In the GTE, the engine can be pulled straight from the car without disturbing the suspension in around an hour. Other improvements included reduced weight, revised front apron, wide revised rear with and better cooling for the driver.
In it’s first year, 2012, the Vantage GTE took second place in the world endurance series, securing six podium finishes, including a third place at Le Mans and its debut win at the final round of the WEC at Shanghai. It also proved it was the fastest of the GTE cars by qualifying on pole three times and setting numerous fastest laps.
While visually similar, the 2013 Vantage GTE featured significant enhancements with development focussed in three key areas: reducing the centre of gravity; improving rear stability; and increasing torsional rigidity. Both the front and rear suspension have been revised and the geometry optimised. New purpose-designed uprights and wishbones have replaced the original parts carried over from the V8 Vantage road car, while the upper damper pick-up points have been relocated to increase the installation stiffness. The changes have also saved 8kg per corner.
Further weight has been saved by the removal of the torque tube surrounding the propshaft. The engine now mounts directly to the chassis, while the clutch and starter motor have been integrated to the rear mounted gearbox, improving weight distribution and reducing the driveline inertia, making it more responsive. This design has the added benefit of reducing yet further the time it takes to replace the engine and gearbox. Visually, the only changes to the car are the openings in the front wings to allow air to escape from under the wheel arches reducing lift, and the noticeable wider ventilated sills, allowing the exhaust to be fully insulated and moved away from the car to reduce cockpit temperatures.
The cars shown here are a 2012 spec works car, displayed at AM Works, Newport Pagnell in 2013 and the prototype GT2, chassis /X2 wearing the 2012 spec GTE bodywork.