Aston Martin documentary tells development story of Vantage GTE racer

Aston Martin doesn’t merely go racing, the carmaker’s name enshrines racing: Company co-founder Lionel Martin conquered the Aston Hill Climb in 1914 with a tuned Singer automobile; when Lionel needed a name for the car he built with funding from Robert Bamford, Lionel’s wife suggested “Aston-Martin.” That makes the Vantage GTE racer that will enter the 2018 FIAWorld Endurance Championship not only an obvious descendant, but a necessary one. To show us what went into the new standard-bearer, Aston Martin produced a nine-minute documentary on the Vantage GTE’s development.

The endurance challenger replaces the six-year-old V8 Vantage GTE race car that — even at the end of its development path — took WEC team honors in 2016 and class victory at Le Mans this year. The short doc visits Aston Martin Racing over the course of 18 months spent creating the new Vantage GTE, finding out how the road car got upgraded to race spec, what new partners like Ohlins and Alcon provided, and revealing that electrical wiring can’t be mapped out entirely in CAD beforehand, the wiring has to be laid into the chassis by hand in order to find the shortest paths.

The Vantage GTE rings in at 2,745 pounds dry, roughly 500 pounds lighter than the Vantage road car. The AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 gets around 536 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque depending on circuit regulations, and shifts through an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission with a carbon fiber driveshaft. Ohlins created a five-way suspension, Alcon supplies the brakes, clutch, and limited-slip differential, the Akrapovic inconel exhaust exits just behind the front wheels, and 18-inch forged magnesium TMS wheels wear Michelin tires.

Unanimous feedback from the drivers says the new racer is already more durable, more torque-y, and more reliable than the one it replaces. The Vantage GTE debuts on track at the 6 Hours of Spa on May 5, 2018. You can watch it now in the video above.

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