While it’s not the only high-end marque experiencing a downturn, Aston Martin has had a rough time of it lately. But it’s now under the guidance of a new CEO, former AMG boss Tobias Moers. And one of the first fruits of his leadership is already here. It’s the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition, a special-edition version of the standard Vantage. And it’s much more than just an appearance package.
What makes the 2022 Vantage F1 Edition different from a regular Aston Martin Vantage?
Besides a new CEO, 2021 also sees Aston Martin’s return to Formula 1 with a full factory-works team. And since March, an Aston Martin Vantage has served as the official F1 safety car. However, although it resembles the safety car and was developed alongside it, the 2022 Vantage F1 Edition’s changes are more than skin deep, Car and Driver says. Indeed, the car that became the F1 Edition was already in development before the safety car materialized, Top Gear notes.
Like the standard Aston Martin Vantage, the F1 Edition has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. But while both models have 505 lb-ft of torque, the F1 Edition has 527 bhp, rather than 503 bhp. And while the standard car has a manual option, the F1 Edition only uses an eight-speed automatic transaxle with an electronic limited-slip differential. On paper, though, the two Vantages have the same 3.6-second 0-62 mph time.
However, more straight-line speed isn’t what Moers asked the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition team to do. He wanted the F1 Edition to be faster around the Nürburgring than the standard Vantage. And “the improved lap time couldn’t simply be down to better tires,” MotorTrend explains. As a result, although the F1 Edition has larger wheels, it shares the standard car’s Pirelli compound.
But while the tire compounds are the same, their aspect ratios and construction aren’t. And the rest of the car is just as subtly different.
The 2022 Vantage F1 Edition’s front axle is stiffer and has a different geometry. There are stiffer bushings in the steering column and suspension, too. The adaptive dampers are retuned, as are the rear springs and electronic LSD. Plus, the F1 Edition has a new aero kit, with a front splitter and dive planes, rear wing, and underbody vanes. And not only does the transmission have new software, but there’s now a damper between it and the rear subframe.
The 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 “feels like the car the Vantage…should have been all along,” Road & Track says
That damper is one of the biggest signs of Moers’ involvement with the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition’s development. The last AMG model released before he left was the AMG GT R, another RWD transaxle car. And the insights and approach from that car all went into making the F1 Edition, MT and TG explain.
The result is an Aston Martin Vantage as it should’ve been from the start, Road & Track reports. Compared to the standard car, the Vantage F1 Edition is sharper, cornering flatter and turning in more eagerly. It’s calmer, less vague, and more planted, Car and Driver says, but still willing to dish out easily-controlled drifts. The steering is heavier but no less communicative and the shifts are smoother. Plus, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes hold up well to abuse. Overall, the F1 Edition is “more agile and alert, yet also more trustworthy than the regular car,” MT muses.
To be sure, the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition isn’t quite a Porsche 911 GT3 rival, TG says. The latter car is even sharper and more focused, and its interior is better laid out. However, while the F1 Edition has a firmer ride than the standard Vantage, it’s still a comfortable sports car. And in that regard, it’s more of a 911 GTS rival, R&T claims. Only the 911 doesn’t have a V8.
How much does it cost compared to the regular car?
The 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition is currently arriving in US dealers in both Coupe and Roadster trim. Both are roughly $23,000 more expensive than the standard versions. For the F1 Edition Coupe, that works out to a base price of just over $165K, Car and Driver reports. As for the F1 Roadster, it starts at just over $173K.
As noted earlier, the Vantage F1 Edition is more 911 GTS than GT3. So, while it can be tracked, it’s more of a sharpened sports car for the street. But it’s demonstrably better than the standard Vantage. And it’s a good sign of what Moers’s leadership could bring to Aston Martin.
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