The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition is a special edition inspired by motorsport
BY CALLUM HUNTER
ASTON MARTIN has returned to the Formula 1 grid in both a competitive and official capacity with the brand being selected as the official safety car provider for the 2021 season.
To celebrate its return to the highest level of motor racing, the iconic British marque has debuted its most focused and hardcore production Vantage to date, in the form of the aptly named F1 Edition.
Due to arrive here towards the end of the year, the F1 Edition will slot straight in at the top of the local Vantage range boasting more power, a fettled drivetrain and comprehensively reworked underpinnings.
The first Aston to be overseen from start to finish by former Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers, the new CEO threw down the gauntlet to his engineering team that the F1 Edition had to be worthy of its name and more than just a tyre and aero upgrade.
“Vantage was already the most focused sportscar in our range but in the development of our Official Safety Car of Formula 1, it had to be a true athlete: more powerful; more agile; more immediate and more exciting to drive,” he said.
“The results speak for themselves. A Vantage to appeal to the most discerning drivers and a new model that marks an exciting moment in Aston Martin’s history”.
Power from the AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 is up 18kW to 393kW with torque remaining steady at 685Nm, albeit available over a widened rev range.
The standard eight-speed ZF automatic transmission has come in for a tweak too, scoring a more aggressive mapping to facilitate sharper and more intuitive gear changes during hard driving.
Despite the extra firepower and snappier transmission, the F1 Edition is no faster from 0-100km/h than the regular Vantage, still stopping the clock in 3.6 seconds before pushing onto an identical top speed of 314km/h.
One limiting factor contributing to the stagnant v-max – save for the unchanged gear ratios – is the F1 Edition’s more aggressive aero features, comprising of a carbon front splitter, canards, underbody turning vanes and a fixed rear wing.
Save for upping the visual stakes, Aston says the new aero kit generates an extra 200kg of downforce when travelling flat out compared to the standard car, something that will doubtless pay dividends in the corners.
Also helping to up the handling prowess are reworked damper internals, increased rear spring rates and an upgraded power steering system, while some extra underbody bracing helps increase body rigidity.
Gluing the F1 Edition to the road is a bespoke set of Pirelli P Zero rubber, wrapped around exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels.
If for some reason you miss or look past the extra aero features and bigger wheels – the standard Vantage rolls on 20-inch units – the F1 Edition is also adorned with a louvred grille, carbon-fibre exterior trim, matte grey body decals and quad exhaust tips.
The hero colour for the new flagship is a hue labelled ‘Aston Martin Racing Green’, however ‘Jet Black’ and ‘Lunar White’ are also offered with all three available in gloss or satin fishes.
Similar changes have been made within the cabin too with the F1 Edition launching with a new ‘Obsidian Black’ leather and ‘Phantom Grey’ Alcantara upholstery mix and the choice of ‘Lime Green’, ‘Obsidian Black’, ‘Wolf Grey’ or ‘Spicy Red’ contrast highlights and stitching.
While the local pricing and specification levels are yet to be announced, most of the F1 Edition’s standard equipment is expected to match that of the regular Vantage with highlights including an 8.0-inch touchscreen with iPhone integration, digital radio and satellite navigation, sports seats and dual-zone climate control.
In classic Aston fashion, both coupe and roadster versions will be offered globally with local enquires for both currently being taken.
For those champing at the bit to get a hold of one, the flagship coupe carries a starting price of £142,000 ($A254,403) in its UK home market, however given the Vantage range starts here from $278,900 plus on-roads, we would expect the Aussie pricetag to be well clear of $320,000.