Aston Martin's New Vantage GT4 Has An Eight-Speed Gearbox With Six Usable Gears

3 months ago - 29 February 2024, Motor1
Aston Martin's New Vantage GT4 Has An Eight-Speed Gearbox With Six Usable Gears
Minor changes turn the road-going Vantage into a dedicated race car.

Just like the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that turned laps at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the next Vantage GT4 was also there. You didn't see it like this though, because it still wore some clever disguises to hide at least some of the changes. Now, it's time for the new Vantage GT4 race car to step into the spotlight.

Since GT4 regulations require race cars to be closely tied with production models, the newest track-focused Vantage doesn't look much different from its street-going sibling. In fact, Aston Martin says the Vantage GT4 shares approximately 80 percent of its mechanical and structural bits with the road car, including the aluminum chassis, engine, transmission, and a majority of the body panels. You'll notice a GT4-spec wing at the back, a big splitter at the front, and a vented hood for better airflow. These changes, according to Aston Martin, increase downforce and reduce drag compared to the old Vantage GT4.

Speaking of airflow, there's more going to a larger radiator for improved cooling. There's also more air getting to the brakes. They sit behind 18-inch wheels, a big step down versus the 21 inchers on the road car. Dare we say, the Vantage GT4 looks better with smaller wheels – leaner and just a bit meaner. Admittedly, the overall aero changes could be clouding our vision.

Things are largely the same under the skin, too. Suspension-wise the GT4 gets adjustable dampers and more adjustability for camber settings. There's no mention of hardware changes for the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, but it's operated by a dedicated racing ECU from Bosch Motorsport. Aston Martin installs a bespoke tune, and something similar is done with the eight-speed automatic transmission. Technically, there are still eight cogs inside, but a software remap locks out the top two and disables automatic shifting. The six that remain are manually shifted through paddles on the wheel.

The biggest changes come in the cockpit, which looks totally transformed for race duty. Digital displays replace standard-issue equipment, and the posh center console is long gone, filled with a carbon fiber box containing various controls. The roll cage and fire suppression systems are obvious requirements, but beyond that, this is largely the same Aston Martin Vantage you can buy at the local dealership.

“The new Vantage GT4 is very much an evolution of the previous car,” said Adam Carger, Aston Martin's head of endurance motorsport. "Closer synergies between Aston Martin’s road and race car programs have enabled AMR to capitalize upon improvements made to the new Vantage road car for increased speed and efficiency, while retaining the core qualities that made the outgoing GT4 so popular with teams and drivers.”

Having made its racing debut at Daytona, Aston Martin is hard at work fulfilling orders for race teams. More than 40 Vantage GT4s are planned for production this year.

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