The oldest known Aston Martin, the A3, celebrates its centenary this year and is making a rare appearance in public at the The Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court in September whilst the latest F1 edition launched this week.
The A3 was the third car ever built by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, and was extensively driven by the founders. This year, it celebrates its centenary.
Given its name because it is built on chassis no.3 and uses a Type A engine, ‘A3’ produces just 11hp from its four-cylinder side-valve engine. Nevertheless, it was raced in period, and proved capable of setting speed records, achieving an average of more than 86mph over 100 miles at the Brooklands circuit.
Move forward 100 years and we see the new Vantage F1® Edition as a new breed of Aston Martin. One that celebrates the marques return to Formula 1® for the first time in over 60 years and establishes the Vantage as a true sports car. It is also the first core model to benefit from direct input from Aston Martin’s recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers.
A core production offering, the new Vantage F1® Edition sits at the top of the Vantage model line. Motivated by an exciting return to Formula 1® and as a direct result of the engineering that went into the development of the Vantage as an Official Safety Car of Formula 1®, which makes its debut at the Formula 1® Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 this week, the Vantage F1® Edition is the ultimate expression of performance and dynamism; it is the fastest and most focused of the already sporting Vantage .
Not only is it the most powerful, but the Vantage F1® Edition benefits from unique and significant chassis and aerodynamic improvements developed by Aston Martin’s hugely experienced engineering team.
Set to work by Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers, the task was to develop significant performance enhancements, driven by improved lap time performance in order to successfully carry out its role on the F1® track as the new safety car, but without compromising its on-road capabilities.
The engineering team targeted intelligent, incremental improvements across multiple areas of the Vantage F1® Edition’s auto-only powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics to bring out more character, increase tactility and expand its outright capabilities.
Starting with the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, power is up by 25PS to a new maximum of 535PS. Peak torque remains unchanged at 685Nm, but that peak is sustained for longer to further increase tractability and in-gear urgency. This relentless, muscular performance has been further enhanced by work to the 8-speed automatic transmission, with an optimised torque cut during upshifts that reduces shift times and increases the feeling of directness and precision.
This torque management is meant to also enhance the driver’s sense of control and connection during downshifts specifically under heavy braking and allows for finer control when the driver is balancing the car at its limit of traction. While noticeable in all circumstances and conditions, these improvements are especially beneficial when driving on track.
Not quite but then again, why would you?! Looking at these, as a lover of this marque, seeing the famous green on the cars is a joy to see! The Vantage F1® Edition expresses its intensified performance with limited, yet distinctive colour palettes and trim options, including one that celebrates Aston Martin’s return to Formula 1® with an Aston Martin Racing Green colour scheme, mimicking that of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula OneTM Team car, as well as the Official Safety Car of Formula 1®.
Exterior paint colours are available in both a Satin or Gloss finish, and other colour options include Jet Black and Lunar White, all of which are complimented by a Solid Matte Dark Grey racing graphic. Inside the Vantage F1® Edition features new Obsidian Black Leather and Phantom Grey Alcantara upholstery and trim, with a choice of Lime Green, Obsidian Black, Wolf Grey or Spicy Red contrast stripe and stitching.
The Vantage F1® Edition – available as Coupe and Roadster – is further distinguished by its vaned grille as standard, 2×2 Twill Carbon Fibre exterior detailing, unique graphics, quad exhausts and a new design of Satin Black Diamond Turned 21” alloy wheel.
“Performance is at the heart of every Aston Martin, 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 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. And – of course – quicker and more capable in a race-track environment. I set the engineering team a tough target, as I was insistent that gains in performance came via genuine improvements in the car’s dynamics, and not by fitting track-optimised tyres. 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”.Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers
The new Vantage F1® Edition is on sale now with a recommended retail price from £142,000 in the UK and €162,000 in Germany with deliveries scheduled to begin in May 2021.
If you’ve got a release, new model for test driving, motoring news or event news, get in touch.
Written by: Steve