Well, it seems we were onto something, Aston Martin really did give us a pace car edition of the Vantage. Or, in F1 parlance, a safety car edition. It's technically called the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition, and fortunately, it's not just a Vantage with a fancy paint job. It actually boasts several performance improvements that it shares with the real safety car.
You can even see some of those upgrades. The car features a front splitter and canards, rear wing, and under body tweaks. They all allow the F1 Edition to make an additional 441 pounds of downforce at top speed over a standard Vantage. Though not majorly affecting performance, the Vantage F1 Edition also receives a slatted grille, carbon fiber accents, quad-tip exhaust, exclusive 21-inch wheels, and a matte dark grey stripe. Only three colors are available, Aston Martin Racing Green, black and white, all three of which can be matte or gloss. Inside, the car gets black leather and grey Alcantara with your choice of green, black, grey or red stitching and center stripe.
The F1 Edition gets extra power, too. The twin-turbo 4.0-liter AMG V8 makes 527 horsepower, an increase of 24, though torque is unchanged at 505 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and Aston Martin says it has been retuned to shift faster. Acceleration and top speed don't change, with 0 to 60 happening in 3.5 seconds for the coupe and 3.6 seconds for the roadster. The coupe's top speed is 195 mph and the roadster's is 190. Besides the extra grunt, the F1 Edition gets stiffer springs and retuned shocks along with a steering rack that Aston says provides better feedback.
To pick up one of these upgraded Vantages, you'll need $162,000 for the coupe. Pricing hasn't been given for the roadster, but it will likely cost a bit more. Aston is taking orders now, and cars will be delivered to customers and dealers starting in late summer this year.