Given the rapid-fire pace of today's information stream, we're simultaneously mourning the loss of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24 while welcoming the 2009 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the world.
Well, okay; they're more or less the same thing -a stripped-down V8 Vantage built to the FIA's GT4 class rules - but the GT4 includes a few notable improvements. We'll start first underhood, where a 4.7-liter V-8 lurks in lieu of the N24's 4.3-liter unit. The bigger engine produces more torque all around and is more responsive than the outgoing engine.
To help channel the increased power, Aston Martin Racing also updated the suspension for better handling, including a modified front upright to allow for more camber, bigger front and rear anti-roll bars, and adjustable aluminum dampers. The six-speed manual transmission is a carryover from the N24, but a Sportshift transmission is added as an option. The same Valeo twin-plate cerametallic racing clutch and lightweight flywheel are used in both transmissions. To make sure the drivers remain safe the GT4 comes with the active safety systems offered on the standard V8 Vantage and gets a high-strength steel rollcage. The safety features are finished with a six-point harness and a Lifeline Zero 360 fire-extinguisher system. The interior is a bare-bones deal, as all of the trim has been removed except for the fascia molding. Even the console and door casings have been replaced for weight reduction. To complete the package, the Vantage GT4 replaces the plush leather seats with Recaro competition seats. All of this helps the Vantage GT4 to lose a total of 660 lbs. over the normal V8 Vantage. Aston Martin Racing is taking orders for delivery in January 2009. Prices start at $143,000.