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Aston Martin Vantage GT8 is as extreme as road cars come

Taking loads of inspiration from its racing efforts, Aston Martin's built itself one seriously hard-core street-legal machine.

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Run into one of these on the street, and you might wonder whether or not you've accidentally stumbled onto a nearby racetrack.

Aston Martin

When it comes to building a road car using motorsport inspiration, it's hard to strike the proper balance between outright aggression and some semblance of on-road demeanor. Aston Martin thinks it's hit the sweet spot with the new Vantage GT8, which the company claims is the most extreme V8 Vantage ever.

The GT8 draws a line back to Aston's V8 Vantage GTE race car, which you can occasionally find on television, on a race track, sandwiched between hours of advertisements. To give the GT8 that proper racy look, Aston borrowed a panoply of elements from the track, including a wider body and some slick front-wheel-arch cutaways.

It also scooped up carbon fiber bits by the handful and applied them liberally across the GT8's body. You can find the lightweight material in both bumpers, the front splitter, sport seats, fenders, side sills and rear diffuser. As an option, you can get a roof made out of the stuff, along with polycarbonate rear and side windows.

The focus on lightness extends beyond carbon fiber. The battery is lithium-ion to shave more than a few grams off the curb weight, and the seats feature manual adjustments because they're not as heavy. All in, Aston claims 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of weight savings over a traditional V8 Vantage.

One thing it doesn't lose in its transition from road car to insane road car is the V8. The Aston Martin's 4.7-liter engine puts out about 440 horsepower in the GT8, and the buyer will have his or her choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic.

Despite all these promises of being ridiculously hardcore, there are still more than a few creature comforts to remind you that this is a road car, first and foremost. You still get air conditioning and an audio system, and you'll even get Aston Martin's latest infotainment system.

If you want one of these GT8s for yourself, you'll have to act fast -- only 150 copies are being produced, and you'll have to imagine that demand is high. Deliveries start in the fourth quarter of this year, and it'll set you back at least £165,000 ($233,607), although I'm not sure why I even translated the dollar value, since it's not coming to the US at all.

Aston Martin Vantage GT8
Aston Martin