Aston Martin’s 2016-spec Vantage GTE car has broken cover, featuring a variety of updates for competition in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship, while also being eligible in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The V8-powered car has been adapted to the new regulations, which allows for significant aero changes, most noticeable with the expanded rear diffuser and splitter on the Vantage GTE.
Per regulations, the diffuser can now extend 100mm beyond the rear of the car, with the rear wing also being able to be extended in the same distance.
“The FIA wants to increase the performance gap between GTE and GT3 and by focussing primarily on the underfloor aero, it means the cars still retain the identity of the road car,” said Dan Sayers, Aston Martin Racing technical director.
“Also the focus on aero, rather than engine or mechanical changes, also means we avoid the need for extensive and costly endurance testing.”
The majority of the car’s bodywork is all new, while also complying to the FIA’s latest safety standards, including a mandatory roof escape hatch, impact foam on the driver’s door and a new seat.
Aston Martin team principal John Gaw told Sportscar365 that existing Vantage GTE cars will be easily upgraded to the new specification, which also calls for an increase of roughly 50 horsepower.
A test car, built around the No. 97 Vantage from 2014, is currently undergoing Balance of Performance testing at Ladoux in France, alongside all other 2016-spec GTE and GT3 machinery.
Updates have also been made to the Vantage GT3 and GT4 models, including a new cylinder heads and camshaft for the GT3 car’s 6.0-liter V12 powerplant, as well as updated oil and water radiators.
Additionally, there’s a revised top gear on the V12 Vantage as well, plus a similar four-way adjustable damper and new FIA-homologated seat that are both also found on the GTE car.
“We have also taken the opportunity to increase the commonality of parts across the range, taking parts proven in WEC and Le Mans on the GTE and using them in the GT3, and likewise with components from the GT3 for the GT4,” said Sayers.
“Not only will this improve our customer cars, but it should also allow us to pass on cost savings too.”
Changes to the 2016 Vantage GT4 include a road car hood and an updated seven-speed semi-automatic transmission.