Earlier this month, the Aston Martin Vantage debuted as the official safety car of Formula 1. That's a really big deal and a pretty easy way to link the F1 safety car to a new, more powerful road-going version of the Vantage.
Making its debut Sunday, the Vantage F1 Edition gets a number of aerodynamic improvements. A full-width front splitter, dive planes, underbody enhancements and a huge rear wing are said to improve high-speed stability, providing an additional 441 pounds of downforce at max speed. Special interior and exterior colors are available, including a Racing Green scheme that mimics the look of the actual F1 safety car.
However, the F1 Edition's enhancements extend well beyond its appearance. The Vantage's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine gets an increase of 24 horsepower, for a total of 527 hp. Torque output, meanwhile, remains unchanged, at a more-than-ample 505 pound-feet. Aston Martin made a few small tweaks to the eight-speed automatic transmission, too, resulting in quicker upshifts and more aggressive downshifts under braking.
Under the skin, the Vantage F1 Edition has stronger front-end bracing and retuned dampers, as well as increased rear spring rates. The Vantage's usual 20-inch wheels are swapped out for larger 21-inch rollers, wrapped in new Pirelli summer tires. All of these changes are supposed to improve steering feel and on-road agility -- and considering the Vantage already knows how to cut a rug, we're pretty stoked to give this one a shot.
The F1 Edition treatment is available for both the Vantage Coupe and Vantage Roadster. Look for these special-edition models to hit showrooms this summer. Aston Martin says interested customers can pre-order the F1 Edition now, with prices starting at $162,000.