The Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Aston Martin V12 Vantage are a series of hand-built sports cars from the British manufacturer Aston Martin. Aston Martin has previously used the "Vantage" name on high-performance variants of their existing GT models, notably on the Virage-based car of the 1990s. The modern car, in contrast, is the leanest and most agile car in Aston's lineup. As such, it is intended as a more focused model to reach out to potential buyers of cars such as the Porsche 911 as well as the exotic sports and GT cars with which Aston Martins traditionally compete.
The V8 Vantage was initially powered by a 4.3 L (4300 cc) quad-cam 32-valve V8 which produced 380 hp (280 kW) at 7,300 rpm and 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 5,000 rpm. However, models produced after 2008 had a 4.7 litre 420 hp (313 kW) V8. Though based loosely on Jaguar's AJ-V8 engine architecture, this engine was unique to Aston Martin and featured race-style dry-sump lubrication, which enabled it to be mounted low in the chassis for an improved center of gravity. The cylinder block and heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, inlet and exhaust manifolds, lubrication system, and engine management were all Aston Martin designs and the V8 engine was assembled by hand at the AM facility in Cologne, Germany, which also built the V12 engine for the DB9 and Vanquish.
The engine was front mid-mounted with a rear-mounted transaxle, giving a 49/51 front/rear weight distribution. Slotted Brembo brakes were also standard. The original V8 Vantage could accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.7 seconds topping out at 175 mph (282 km/h). Vantages with the enhanced 400 bhp version of the 4.3 L V8 engine (included with the "N400" package or available individually as a Power Upgrade kit), as well as later models with the 4.7 L V8 and 5.9 L V12, were even faster.
The Aston Martin Vantage GT2 is the most powerful racing variant of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage family. The Vantage GT2 is based on the V8 engined Aston Martin Vantage road car but is designed to run on both standard race fuel or E85 bio-ethanol.
For the 2012 season, Aston Martin Racing returned to a GT based program, after an ill-fated attempt the previous season with their LMP1 class petrol-powered contender, the AMR-One. With the Vantage GT2's specification varying slightly from the updated Le Mans GT2 (now GTE) regulations, development took place with the car relaunched as the Vantage GTE.
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