Around since 2005, the current-generation Aston Martin Vantage might seem a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the finest luxury grand tourers you can buy. Updated over the years and offered in numerous limited-edition models, the Vantage will definitely be missed when a new generation comes around. But, the current iteration isn’t going away anytime soon and Aston Martin decided to spice things up by including it in its brand-new AMR program, which was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
If you’re familiar with the company’s intense racing program, you probably already know that AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing. The reason why the Brits are using the same letters for this project is because all non-racing AMR cars will be inspired by the successful GT3- and GT4-spec racers you’ve seen on the track in recent years. In short, Aston Martin just launched its very own high-performance department. And the good news is that it will make both road-legal and race-ready models.
Specifically, the AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR versions closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars on the more extreme side of things. This Vantage falls in the latter category and the AMR Pro badge also means that its development was led by the Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, the department that helped create vehicles such as the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8, and the Vulcan.
Although just a concept here, the Vantage AMR Pro is set to become a full-fledged, fully customizable production model, joining the Rapide AMR concept that was also displayed at the Geneva Motor Show.
What Makes The Aston Martin Vantage AMR Concept Special
Heavily-based on Aston Martin Racing’s WEC-winning V8 Vantage GTE, the Vantage AMR Pro is as aggressive as its track-only sibling. This isn’t surprising, as the coupe was conceived as a track-only model. And it’s more than obvious given the large amount of race-spec features, starting with the menacing bumper and double splitter up front. The grille is also bespoke, featuring a honeycomb mesh and a black finish. And unlike the milder Rapide AMR, the Vantage AMR Pro is equipped with the same engine hood as the V8 Vantage GTE race car. Yup, it has the massive vent in the middle and thin intakes on each side of the center bulge. Sexy!
Heavily-based on Aston Martin Racing’s WEC-winning V8 Vantage GTE, the Vantage AMR Pro is as aggressive as its track-only sibling.
The profile is equally aggressive thanks to its extremely wide side skirts and beefed-up wheel arches. The wheels are also race-spec, measuring 19 inches and featuring a center-lock design and Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires. Around back, the AMR Pro sports the same rear wing as the GTE race cars, along with a new deck lid spoiler, and aggressive diffuser. Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a wide range of carbon-fiber parts? Yup, the front splitter, side skirts, mirror caps, rear wing and diffuser are all made from the lightweight material. The exterior is rounded off by the AMR-inspired Stirling Green body paint with yellowish lime green accents.
Inside, the center stack, console, and door panels are made from carbon-fiber for added lightness, while almost everything else is wrapped in Dark Knight Alcantara. Much like the exterior, the cabin is highlighted by lime green accents. The bright color can be seen on some of the buttons on the center stack, as well as on the seats in the form of contrast stitching and “AMR” lettering.
Inside, the center stack, console, and door panels are made from carbon-fiber for added lightness, while almost everything else is wrapped in Dark Knight Alcantara.
The Vantage AMR Pro also rides on a race-spec suspension system, while the standard 4.7-liter V-8 has been replaced by a development of Aston Martin Racing’s GT4 racing engine. Specifically, the V-8 cranks out 500 horsepower, a 70-horsepower increase over the standard unit, which makes the Vantage AMR Pro the most powerful Vantage ever created.
Production of this track-only car will be limited to only seven units. Needless to say, the Vantage AMR Pro will be one exclusive vehicle, but as a result of this, it will also be pretty expensive. Pricing is not yet available, but expect to pay significantly more than the most expensive road-legal Vantage out there.
Aston Martin has chosen the 2017 Geneva Motor Show to launch AMR – an exciting new brand that brings a new dimension of race inspired dynamism and performance.
Reflecting Aston Martin’s racing pedigree, AMR takes technology and inspiration from motorsport to amplify the sporting prowess present across the model range. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, AMR takes Aston Martin’s road cars to new and exciting extremes.
The AMR brand follows in the wheeltracks of successive iconic Aston Martin road cars which boasted top-level racing pedigree. In the mid-1930s the success of Aston Martin’s Team Cars in the Ulster TT road race led the marque to build further examples of the lightweight two-seater for sale to the public. In 1951, Sir David Brown introduced uprated and highly desirable ‘Vantage’ specification models, and steered the marque to an historic outright win at Le Mans with the iconic DBR1 in 1959.
Since the formation of Aston Martin Racing (AMR) in 2004 Aston Martin has enjoyed success in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), winning the 2016 FIA WEC GT Drivers Championship, while also securing three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over this period. Similarly, Aston Martin Racing’s GT3 and GT4 racers have secured countless victories and championship titles around the world.
Two AMR concepts have been unveiled in Geneva: The Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro. The Rapide represents the first tier of AMR, enhancing the four-door sports car with a comprehensive suite of power, chassis and styling upgrades, plus a spectacular new interior treatment. The Vantage AMR Pro – heavily influenced by Aston Martin Racing’s WEC winning V8 Vantage GTE – is the pinnacle; an uncompromising demonstration of AMR’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ philosophy whereby race technology is transferred to road cars.
While future development of the core AMR models will be part of Aston Martin’s central vehicle engineering teams, development of all AMR Pro models will be led by Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations. This highly-skilled department – managed by Aston Martin’s VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King – already has extensive experience of creating extreme Aston Martins, with recent projects including the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8 and Aston Martin Vulcan.
Underlining Aston Martin’s commitment to its new high-performance brand, AMR’s European development and brand centre will be based at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art Nürburgring Test Centre, which is situated within sight of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, says that the AMR brand was a logical next step after the ’sold-out’ success of limited edition sporting versions like the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12: “Each time we have pushed the boundaries and done something extreme, the customers have loved the cars. AMR enables us to take Aston Martin into a new dimension. One where we can turn-up the sporting DNA present in all of our models and make a true statement. An AMR model will have an instantly recognisable design language. One that accentuates and amplifies, together with the latest GT race car technology for the road. They will be special and rare cars that are credible, thrilling to drive and hugely desirable to own.”
The Vantage AMR Pro is an extreme, track-only expression of performance and the ultimate iteration of the Vantage. Powered by a 507PS development of Aston Martin Racing’s GT4 race engine, the Vantage AMR Pro is the most powerful V8 Vantage ever. Race-spec adjustable suspension, competition engine and transmission mounts and new 19in x 9.5in front and 19in x 11.5in rear centre lock wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tyres, the Vantage AMR Pro promises inspirational handling precision and exceptional levels of grip and traction.
This race car performance is matched by authentic motorsport styling. Once again painted in Stirling Green with lime green accents, the Vantage AMR Pro not only takes its colour scheme from Aston Martin Racing’s V8 Vantage GTE racer, but uses the same bonnet and rear wing as the World Endurance Championship winner.
To compliment these authentic motorsport parts, Aston Martin’s design team has designed a new front bumper that incorporates a new bold full-height front grille, a new front valance and splitter, front fenders, sill appliques and a revised rear diffuser.
The racing theme continues inside, with extensive use of carbon fibre, lavish Dark Knight Alcantara upholstery with lime green accents and a custom roll cage designed by Q by Aston Martin. The result is a Vantage that looks as spectacular as it drives.
Aston Martin’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andy Palmer, was quick to confirm that both the Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro concepts are set for production: “As passionate enthusiasts of Aston Martin’s competition pedigree, AMR is something we have wanted to bring to fruition for some time. Cars such as the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12 confirmed that our customers love raw, race-bred models, but we also knew there was an opportunity to create cars that offer a sharper performance focus but stop short of those truly hardcore, special series models. With the AMR brand we have the perfect platform to deliver both.
As proof of that intent I’m incredibly excited to announce that we will be putting both the Vantage AMR Pro and Rapide AMR into production: the Vantage in an extremely limited series of no more than 7 cars; the Rapide as a run of only 210 cars. They are the start of something very exciting – a programme that will eventually see an AMR version of every model in the Aston Martin range”.