With safety car duties for this year’s Formula 1 season being shared for the first time between Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin, Gaydon has celebrated its return to the sport after almost 60 years with the debut of the road-going Vantage derived from the FIA safety car.
A limited edition version offered as either a coupe or roadster, the simply titled Vantage F1 Edition does without the usual safety car attire such as emergency lights and FIA mandated accessories, but comes with more power than the standard model.
Eschewing the safety car’s track-biased tyres for conventional road rubber designed specifically by Pirelli, the F1 Edition also receives stiffer rear springs, revised steering for better feedback, upgraded dampers and 21-inch satin black diamond turned alloy wheels instead of the standard Vantage’s 20-inches.
The most prominent visual addition though is the rear wing which works together with the front splitter, underneath and side aero vanes, as well as the unchanged rear diffuser to create a claimed 200 kg of downforce at top speed.
Along with the mentioned exterior tweaks, which also includes a reworked grille, unique graphics and carbon fibre detailing, the F1 Edition’s interior makeover is more subtle with a choice of two upholstery finishes, Phantom Grey Alcantara or Obsidian Black leather and four for the contrasting stitch work and stripes, Wolf Grey, Obsidian Black, Spicy Red and Lime Green.
As mentioned, the main drawcard is a more powerful version of the AMG derived 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, uprated to produce 393 kW as opposed to 375 kW. Torque is unchanged at 685 Nm with the same applying to the eight-speed Touchtronic gearbox. Surprisingly, no performance figures were revealed.
Going on sale from May with offset set to be limited in spite of no amount being announced, the Vantage F1 Edition carries a sticker price of £142 000 (R2.9-million) and is unlikely to be offered outside Europe.