Aston Martin has unleashed a racy version of the Vantage. The Vantage N24 is a near-standard V8 Vantage which has been stripped back to the bare essentials in an effort to take on the racers such as the Porsche 911 GT3.
Aston Martin N24 is a true racer
At the 2006 British Motor Show, Aston Martin announced that it would build a limited production run of cars based on the V8 Vantage that completed the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race that June 2006.
The near standard V8 Vantage finished 24th overall out of 220 starters, completing some 130 laps ? in a field of mostly specialised race-homologated entrants.
The Nürburgring 24-hour race not only gives its name to the V8 Vantage N24, but provided a conclusive demonstration of its abilities; a near standard car capable of tackling the demands of one of the world's most arduous racing circuits.
The Vantage N24 subsequently went on to finish eighth overall in the inaugural 24-hour race of Bahrain in December 2006, again competing with highly modified race cars.
During the course of the race, the Vantage N24 covered over 2600km, needing only fuel, brake pads and tyres.
With the formation of Aston Martin Racing in 2004, the company made a long awaited and successful return to international sports car racing firstly with the GT1 DBR9 in 2005 followed by the GT3 DBRS9 in 2006.
The Vantage N24's engine is modified to enhance throttle response and performance; including the crankshaft, conrods and pistons being lightened and balanced, the cylinder heads re-profiled to optimise compression ratio and gas flow and the engine management system is calibrated for race use.
The N24 also benefits from a free flow exhaust system and improved air filters. The standard V8 dry sump lubrication system is retained helping prevent oil surges during extreme cornering. The result is 305 kW at 7 500 r/min ? a 21 kW increase over the standard car.
The N24 is available with a 6-speed manual transmission only.
At 1 330 kg the Vantage N24 weighs in at 250 kg lighter than the standard car.
The interior trim of the standard car is removed apart from the facia moulding which is re-trimmed in Alcantara. The console and door casings are replaced by new lightweight mouldings.
The air-conditioning system is removed as are the airbags. The interior features a full high strength steel roll cage and Recaro Pole Position competition shell (a passenger seat and safety harness is an optional extra).
A suede-trimmed steering wheel with a quick release mechanism is also fitted as standard. The Vantage N24's safety features are completed with a Schroth six-point safety harness with a push button release and Lifeline Zero 360 gas extinguisher system.
The Vantage N24's underframe and body has also been discreetly modified to save weight and increase trackside practicality. Tapping plates have been included to accommodate the use of pneumatic jacks, and motor sport towing eyes are attached to the chassis. The side and rear windows have been replaced with clear polycarbonate, with a sliding opening on the driver's side.
The V8 Vantage's acclaimed suspension has required only minor adjustments to optimise it for track use.