In celebration of its return to Formula 1 racing this year, Aston Martin has revealed a new flagship Vantage derivative, called the F1 Edition.
The new Vantage F1 Edition is the first car to feature direct input from Aston Martin's new CEO, Tobias Moers, who previously headed Mercedes-AMG. It also features engineering spin-offs that came as a result of the development of the Vantage as an official F1 Safety Car.
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 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine, power is up by 18kW to a new maximum of 393kW. Peak torque remains unchanged at 685N.m, but that peak is sustained for longer to further increase tractability and in-gear urgency. The 8-speed automatic transmission features an optimised torque cut during upshifts that reduces shift times and increases the "feeling of directness and precision". This torque management also enhances 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.
Moving to the chassis, the team’s focus centered on the suspension and steering, with further detailed underbody modifications to increase front structural stiffness for a further improvement in steering feel and response. Reworked damper internals have increased the dampers’ effective force range. This increase in bandwidth brings a noticeable improvement in vertical body control - both through high speed compressions and over crests - without any deterioration in low-speed compliance.
To compliment changes to the dampers, the chassis also benefits from increased rear spring rate and lateral stiffness to help sharpen turn-in, increase traction (especially over bumps) and ensure the rear-end is tuned to compliment the front-end’s rate of response. Further improvements to response and - crucially - to what the driver feels have been made to the steering system, allowing feedback from the road to be transmitted more clearly, which in turn helps build a detailed sense of available grip.
With the chassis hardware optimised, attention turned to the wheels and tyres, increasing from 20-inchers on the regular Vantage to 21-inch items as standard for the Vantage F1 Edition. Developed specifically for the F1 Edition with Pirelli, it is the first time Vantage has been fitted with 21-inch tyres. Much like the other dynamic changes, the switch to a lower profile tyre provides greater feedback to the driver to ensure progressive on-limit handling to give maximum confidence in even the most extreme track driving scenarios.
Completing the Vantage F1 Edition’s performance enhancements is a comprehensive aero kit, bringing improvements that can be felt from the driver’s seat and measured against the clock. Designed to deliver positive front and rear downforce, totaling 200kg more downforce than Vantage at top speed - as well as optimising the overall balance of the car, the aerodynamic changes comprise a full-width front splitter, front dive planes, underbody turning vanes, and - most obviously - the new rear wing. The rear diffuser remains unchanged but is still a core feature in the delivery of the aerodynamic performance working in tandem with the new aerodynamic features.
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 One 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, 2x2 Twill Carbon Fibre exterior detailing, unique graphics, quad exhausts and a new design of Satin Black Diamond Turned 21-inch alloy wheel.