Track-special Aston Martin V12 Vantage spied at Nürburgring

Widebody Aston Martin Vantage mule hints that Aston is developing a more hardcore racer

This strange-looking Aston Martin Vantage mule provides the first hint that Aston is working on an even more focused racing version of its two-seater sports car.

Spotted undergoing fast-lap testing at Germany’s fearsome Nürburgring circuit, the Vantage (exposed as a V12 version by its distinctive bonnet vents and a numberplate data check) sports massively flared wheelarch bodywork and a substantially wider track than a regular V12 Vantage. It’s also wearing race-spec wheels and appear to have hollowed-out front grille and side vent apertures for enhanced cooling.

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It’s not thought that this is a test mule for the next-gen Vantage. That car isn’t due until after the existing DB9 is replaced, when Aston’s tie-up with Mercedes starts to bear fruit. Top of the wish-list is twin-turbo AMG engines with more punch and better economy than today’s soulful but ageing 6.0-litre V12.

It’s understood Aston is using the lessons learned from its very successful Vantage GT3 racing cars to develop an even more hardcore version of the V12 Vantage, aimed at deep-pocketed enthusiasts who want an Aston Martin’s that’s built for track days.

With the V12 Vantage S’s V12 recently upgraded to deliver 565bhp, it’s likely Aston will focus on chassis and aerodynamic upgrades for the track-special Vantage. Wider tracks and sticky tyres as seen in these spy shots are a given, and Aston may well offer an extrovert aerodynamics package in a nod to the GT3 racer’s front splitter and rear spoiler-dominated appearance. 

However, with Aston Martin busy rolling out the new V12 Vantage S Roadster and the limited-run Lagonda super-saloon for Middle Eastern markets, the ultimate Vantage won’t be seen in public until early 2015.

Does Aston Martin need a more hardcore Vantage than the 565bhp V12 Vantage S? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below... 

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