What does it take to build a serious FIA WEC challenger?

Aston Martin is ready to defend its Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class crown in the FIA World Endurance Championship from this year with a brand new contender. The second generation Vantage GTE, based on the stunning new road-going Vantage, made its public premiere in London earlier this week and will hit the race track for the first time next year.

We are not motorsport experts here, but there’s no denying Aston Martin has put a lot of work into developing its new race car. How do we know that? The British manufacturer has just released a lengthy video, explaining all the small steps it has made during the long development process of the car.

Discover the new road-going Vantage:

It all started back in February 2016 on the drawing board and the first prototype was assembled between May and August this year after monts of calculations, simulations, and drawing. This car has already completed more than 8,000 miles (12,875 kilometers) of testing, including two impressive 30-hour race simulations at Sebring.

"Attention to detail has been a priority at every step of this process and we’ve made big improvements in each area of the car,” Aston Martin Racing technical director Dan Sayers explains.

2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE

Just like the production vehicle, the Vantage GTE race car uses a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter biturbo engine with undisclosed power. The machine is built around a bonded-aluminum chassis with super sleek and aerodynamically-optimized body. As Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer explains in the video above, it’s a really stiff construction.

But why does a successful car need to be replaced? It’s not just because there’s a new road-going version but, as Aston Martin Racing factory driver Marco Sorensen says, it’s because the old car was very close to the point where nothing can be further optimized. With this new car, the team is only “improving, improving, improving…”

Source: Aston Martin Racing on YouTube.

Gallery: 2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE