In addition, the Vantage N24 was also very eligible for the new European GT4 series, the Grand-Am Cup and SCCA Touring Car Class in the USA. The production car was eventually unveiled at the Autosport International Show at the Birmingham NEC on the 11th January 2007, as a guest car on tyre partner, Yokohama’s, stand. It also featured on the AML stand at the Geneva Motor Show a few weeks later.
The N24 was based on a standard European specification production V8 Vantage; initially fastidiously hand built in a dedicated facility initially within Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters (Special Vehicle Operations) but later production transferred to Aston Martin Racing in Banbury. The 14 Gaydon built cars will doubtless be highly sort after by collectors in the future.
The N24 was striped bare with a huge 250kg weight loss over the standard car (down to 1330kg). Gone was most of the interior trim, standard seats, air bags, air-con and entertainment system.
Key specifications of the N24
- Engine modified to enhance throttle response and performance; including lightning and balancing of the crankshaft, conrods and pistons
- Cylinder heads re-profiled to optimise compression ratio and gas flow
- Engine management system calibrated for race use.
- Free flow exhaust system and catalysts plus improved air filters and secondary air injection
- Power output of 410bhp (305KW) at 7500rpm
- 6-speed manual transmission with Valeo twin plate cerametalic racing clutch and lightweight flywheel
- Facia moulding re-trimmed in Alcantara.
- Console and door casings replaced by lightweight mouldings
- Full high strength steel roll cage
- Recaro Pole Position competition shell drivers seat
- Passenger seat with safety harness is an optional extra
- A suede-trimmed steering wheel with a quick release mechanism
- Schroth six-point safety harness with a push button release.
- Lifeline Zero 360 gas extinguisher system.
- Underframe and body discreetly modified to save weight
- Tapping plates to accommodate the use of pneumatic jacks
- Motor sport towing eyes attached to the chassis.
- Side and rear windows in clear polycarbonate – sliding opening on the driver’s side
- Quick release bonnet and tail latches
- Larger diameter front and rear anti-roll bars
- Adjustable ride height aluminium dampers
- Single rate flat ground springs with separate helper springs
- Modified front subframe with extra camber and castor
- Speedline cast magnesium front and rear wheels with high performance Yokohama AO48 tyres
- Brakes uprated with Pagid RS 29 race pads
- Dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution carried over from the standard car
- Modified sill panels with carbonfibre inserts. Grille with less horizontal slats, lightened wing vent brightwork.
An alternative to the standard V8 as a roadcar? I personally think the N24 is a little too extreme as regular road transport but it is wonderful to see a production AM perfectly equipped for the track and a worthy successor to the DB4 GT. Although, strictly speaking, the N24 is a racecar, AM Works Service can make the N24 road legal under the single vehicle type approval rules with a few modifications. To do this the N24 needs number plates with lights, indicators, a horn, a proper handbrake, steering column with steering lock, fuel filler restrictor, RHD headlights, catalytic converter mods to comply with noise and emission regs and a normal drivers window to replace the fixed Perspex type with sliding panel. This process was estimated to cost around £9,000 and at lest two cars have been made road legal.
Production of the N24 begin at Gaydon during the early part of 2007. The price for the N24 started at £78,720 + local taxes (17.5% VAT in the UK at the time) and delivery. By 2008 this had risen slightly to £84,500 for the standard car and £95,000 for FIA GT4 spec – (plus options and taxes). A pucka professional racing team would perhaps be able to reclaim the VAT which is why the price is split like this. It also made the N24 appear less expensive than the standard road car which, in fact, it was not.
The N24 was upgraded in 2008 with the 4.7 litre engine, and renamed the GT4.