Focused. That’s the word that best describes the new Aston Martin Vantage F1® Edition. Created to celebrate the company’s return to Formula 1™, the most track-focused Vantage to date is a purist sports car. The new flagship variant is the road-going version of the Official Safety car of Formula 1®. Influenced in both design and engineering, it is truly shaped by performance. “Of course, performance is at the heart of every Aston Martin,” says Tobias Moers, Chief Executive Officer Aston Martin Lagonda, “but when it wears an F1™ badge, it has to be a truly exceptional car. Vantage was already the most focused sports car in our range, but in the development of the Official Safety Car of Formula 1®, it had to be a true athlete: more powerful; more agile; more immediate and more exciting to drive.”
Now this performance is available in a road car. Moers tasked Aston Martin’s Chief Engineer - Vehicle Attribute Engineering, Matt Becker, with imbuing the Vantage with an even more aggressive set of dynamic qualities, creating what is in essence a replica of the Official Safety Car of Formula 1®. “This car is about performance enhancement above and beyond the existing car,” Becker says. “Our ambition was to increase the power output, improve the aerodynamics, suspension and handling.” The result is the most dramatic road-going Aston Martin ever built, outside of a special series car. Fitted with a deep full-width front splitter and looping rear wing, Vantage F1® Edition looks as purposeful as it is powerful.
There is also a new benchmark to set, as Aston Martin increases the focus on its performance around the most challenging of all circuits, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a target of a seven-minute 30-second lap. Becker outlines the characteristics that define the Vantage F1® Edition. “For a start, the power output of the twin-turbo V8 has been increased to 535PS. Although the torque level stays the same, it is delivered for longer, so the extra power comes at a higher rpm.” The acceleration target is 3.7 seconds to 62mph, while a top speed of more than 195mph is expected.
The bold visual changes are down to the enhanced aerodynamic package. To tackle the Nürburgring, exceptional downforce is required. The Vantage F1® Edition has a new aero package that creates an extra 200kg of downforce over the standard Vantage, an increase that benefits high-speed stability and increases the load on the tyres for better cornering dynamics.
“Vantage F1® Edition is quicker and more capable in a race-track environment,” says Moers, who admits that he set the engineering team a “tough target”. “I was insistent that gains in performance came via genuine improvements in the car’s dynamics and not by fitting track-optimised tyres. This means our on-road abilities are uncompromised. This is now a Vantage to appeal to the most discerning drivers and a new model that marks an exciting moment in Aston Martin’s history.”
Available as both a coupe and a Roadster, the Aston Martin Vantage F1® Edition is the first in a new breed of performance-focused variants, each defined by a strong visual character and a more focused driving experience.
This story is an extract from an article featured in the AM47 issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story.