AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The first-ever season of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is less than two months away.
The newly-updated 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage will be making its way Stateside with a starting price of $118,370 for the coupe and $132,870 for the Roadster variant.
Most of the changes for the 2012 V8 Vantage are cosmetic, with the same 4.7-liter V8 with 420 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque under the hood. The engine however can be mated to a new Sportshift II seven-speed automatic transmission as an option. In addition, the British automaker tweaked the brakes and suspension on its entry-level sports car.
The Vantage S with 430 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque will have a starting price of $137,670 that also features carbon fiber details on its aerodynamic package.
GALLERY: 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The facelifted 2012 V8 Vantage receives the Vantage S treatment with a lowered front bumper with aero splitter, new side skirts, and a new rear bumper with diffuser.
While the engine performance is the same with 420-hp out of a 4.7L V8 as its predecessor, there is an all-new Shortshift II seven-speed automatic transmission available as an option. Other aspects of the vehicle’s performance has been updated, however, with a refined chassis, more agile steering, bigger two-piece six-piston brakes, and wider tires.
Take a look at a video featuring the new 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage below.
Aston Martin has updated its Vantage GT4 race car for the 2012 season, with the revamped model making its debut this past week at Silverstone for some shakedown runs.
Sporting a new aerodynamic body kit with a carbon fiber rear spoiler, the Vantage GT4 will also make an appearance at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show for race enthusiasts to enjoy. The carbon rear spoiler is the first time it has ever been seen on the Vantage GT4 race car, which we have to admit looks a little out of place, but is certainly a necessity for the race car.
Inside, Aston Martin redesigned the roll cage to increase legroom for the driver, while the fuel tank has also been moved to lower the vehicle’s overall center of gravity. It appears that the powerplant will remain untouched from its 2011 update, retaining the 4.7L V8.
GALLERY: Aston Martin Vantage GT4
What better way to ring in the Chinese new year than with some special edition Aston Martins?
Available only for the Chinese market, 88 special “Dragon88″ models of the V8 Vantage S, Virage, and DBS will be made featuring some Chinese cultural references and iconography.
This news comes right after Rolls-Royce announced that their “Year of the Dragon” Phantom has sold out. It seems that those $1.2-million Phantoms were just right for the Chinese market, and here comes Aston to make a few sales of its own.
The Dragon88 models will be available in three color schemes: Champagne Gold, Volcano Red, and Amethyst Red. Each scheme representing a virtue like wealth and fortune, peace and protection, and “dragon fire.”
Inside, the cars will feature dragon embroidery inspired by the Nine Dragon Wall at Beihai park in Beijing. Other identifying features include special 10-spoke dragon edition alloy wheels, black brake calipers and a Bang and Olufsen sound system.
Aston Martin has six dealerships in China, and believes that China will be their third biggest market, after U.S. and U.K. in just a few years.
Pricing and availability of the Dragon88 models is likely to be announced in April at the Beijing Auto Show.
Aston Martin has announced a pair of V8 Vantages will be joining the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Multimatic campaigning at least one of them.
For those wondering who Multimatic is, they’re recognized as a world leader in composite technology and recently worked with Aston Martin to develop the full carbon fiber monocoque chassis found on the One-77. Multimatic is also well known for their advanced vehicle analysis and dynamic simulation, helping Aston Martin to bring unrivaled specialist capabilities to the One-77 model.
Another collaboration between Aston Martin and Multimatic includes their DSSV Dampers on the V12 Zagato Concept. Multimatic Motorsports is in charge of designing, engineering, building and campaigning several race cars in North America and Europe, and seeing a Vantage V8 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series will be a nice addition.
In fact, the new Vantage GT3 has already logged over 620-miles in shakedown runs, preparing it to take on several race series including the FIA GT3 championships, Blancpain Endurance Series and the VLN Nürburgring Series.
The V12 Vantage GT3 is replacing the outgoing DBRS9 and weighs in at a scant 2,755-lbs. Aston Martin hopes to start delivering the race vehicle to teams in early 2012 with a cost of around half a million big ones.
GALLERY: Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3
The recently released Aston Martin V12 Zagato which was recently spied testing on the Nürburgring, has now been priced.
According to AutoWeek, Aston Martin will only build 150 examples of the V12 Zagato and the car will be priced at £330,000, or nearly $500,000 USD, twice the price of the high-performance DBS. It is also two and a half times the price of a V12 Vantage which the Zagato is based on. Some will think that is too much to pay but Aston will sell every last one of them.
Gallery: Aston Martin V12 Zagato
CEC Wheels has just announced their fleet of six vehicles attending this year’s Bullrun Rally. Starting from New York City and ending at Las Vegas, Nevada, we’re fairly confident this year’s Bullrun (which has just gotten underway) will be full of crazy antics. This year’s all star lineup from CEC Wheels consists of a pair of Mercedes-Benz C63s, an Aston Martin Vantage convertible, a pair of Ferrari 430s (one of them being a Spyder) and our favorite of the bunch, a Black Series-converted Mercedes-Benz SL63.
But let’s not overlook one of these Ferrari F430s. At a quick glance one may think it’s simply flat black, but on closer inspection this stallion sports a wicked carbon-fiber wrap. It’s got quite the sinister look and feel to it. The pair of C63′s don’t stand out to us, and neither does the red Spyder F430. (Aren’t we snobs?).
The Black Series-converted SL63 is worth taking a closer look at. The flat white exterior is definitely a nice change of pace from the matte black we’ve seen everywhere over the years. Our biggest complaint though is the ride height, but we’re sure CEC dialed-it in before they departed this past weekend on July 10th.
We’ll be sure to follow-up this week as things surface related to this year’s Bullrun.
GALLERY: CEC Wheels Six Car 2010 Bullrun Team
[Source: CEC Wheels]