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Old 10-04-2006, 12:27   #1 (permalink)
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Aston Martin V8 Vantage Spawns Rally GT

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Spawns Rally GT


(Photo courtesy of Aston Martin)
Prodrive modifies the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and turns it into what Aston calls "the world's most exclusive rally car."

(Photo courtesy of Aston Martin)
Aston Martin Rally GT adds a roll cage, a competition-modified 4.3-liter V-8, upgraded shocks and springs, and a six-speed gearbox to the V8 Vantage.

LONDON — When a Subaru seems too mundane and a Peugeot has become passé, maybe it's time your rally team stepped up to the plate with some serious hardware.

Aston Martin is filling the market for exclusive rally cars with the new Rally GT, based on the V8 Vantage and re-engineered by Prodrive, the British rally and motorsport specialist.

Aimed at independent rally teams, the Rally GT is a joint effort between Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive, which not only preps Subarus but has considerable experience in running Aston Martin DBR9s in international competition.

Prodrive starts with the V8 Vantage chassis and fits a roll cage of its own design. The stock 4.3-liter V8, which makes 380 horsepower in U.S.-spec production trim, has been tweaked specifically for competition. Output rises to 420 hp, with torque at 302 pound-feet. Power is transferred through a six-speed gearbox that has been upgraded to make it more capable of withstanding the rigors of racing.

Prodrive has carried over the V8 Vantage's basic wishbone suspension but has added Eibach competition springs and EXE-TC adjustable shocks. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are fitted.

Aston Martin Racing intends to build only a handful of cars, with the first vehicles to be delivered to customers by the end of the year.

What this means to you: Aston is going for a little different market in order to spread its good name.
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