V8 Vantage N24

V8 Vantage N24 Description

In production: 2006 – 2008

Chassis numbers: Gaydon SVO built cars - AMLVANTAGEN24001 to AMLVANTAGEN24015 (excluding N24013), Prodrive AMR built cars - AMLVANTAGEN24S001 to AMLVANTAGEN24S039

During the middle weekend of June 2006, AM enthusiasts had their eyes glued to the 24 Heures du Mans giving support to the works DBR9s. But at the same time in Germany, AM were involved in another 24 hour race, the ADAC 24h Rennen Nürburgring organised by the ADAC, Germany's biggest automobile club, on a circuit that includes the Northern loop (Nordschleife) and is 25.3km in length. The German race, little known in the UK at the time, was for production cars although many of those competing were really motorsport-homologated cars. As if to show a point, Aston Martin took over a virtually standard V8 Vantage to prove the quality of its road car against the stiff opposition. From an entry of 220, the Vantage achieved a 4th in class (SP8) and 24th overall driven by Dr Ulrich Bez, Chris Porritt (Aston Martin’s Vehicle Engineering Manager), Horst von Saurma, editor-in-chief of Sport Auto magazine, and development driver Wolfgang Schuhbauer. Despite the heat (perhaps hotter than Le Mans) the Vantage completed 130 laps. The three cars in class SP8 that finished ahead of the Aston were a Dodge Viper GTS-R, a Lamborghini Gallardo GTR, and an Audi RS 4 and all were believed to be road legal, full race cars.

The car used by AM was CP025, initially registered in April 2004 and christened Rose (English Rose). It was a late confirmation prototype identical to a production car. CP025 had already had a full life as a calibration vehicle, mostly on a dynometer, and as such was actually in very good shape. Modifications for the race were limited to the full mandatory safety cage, special racing fuel tank and fire system, racing seat, slick tyres and built-in air jacks; all for safety and pit-lane efficiency. Weight was shaved off by the use polycarbonate side windows, deleting almost all of the interior trim and fitting a lightweight exhaust system. Even the trademark AM side strakes on the wing vents were lightened from 800g down to just 85. The finished car weighed 220kg less than the standard V8 Vantage.

In a surprise move, at the start of the British Motor Show in London on the 18th July 2006, AM announced that they were going to build just a small number of replicas of the Nürburgring Vantage to be known a N24s and to be eminently suitable for trackdays and race series such the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring, the Britcar endurance series, the Dutch Supercar Challenge, the Australian GT Championship, the European Endurance Championship and of course, AMOC Club Racing. In addition, the Vantage N24 was also eligible for the new European GT4 series, the Grand-Am Cup and SCCA Touring Car Class in the USA.

Shortly before Christmas 2006 (15/16th December 2006), Rose was in action once again in the inaugural Bahrain 24 hour race. Drivers on this occasion were Horst von Saurma, editor-in-chief of Sport Auto magazine, development driver Wolfgang Schuhbauer and Aston Martin’s Chris Porritt. Starting from 14th on the grid of mostly motorsport homologated cars, the N24 finished in 8th overall despite the unexpected heavy rain at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The production car was eventually unveiled at the Autosport International Show at the Birmingham NEC on the 11th January 2007, as a guest car on tyre partner, Yokohama’s, stand.

The N24 has proved to be a popular race car in club, national and international competition. 2008 saw the introduction of the Aston Martin Asia Cup – an all new one-make race series featuring up to 18 identical Aston Martin Vantage N24 Sportshift racing cars competing in 10 races on Asia’s most prestigious circuits. The series only lasted a year, but some of these cars have returned to the UK and been sold to European based teams.

The Vantage N24 was based on a standard left hand drive European specification production V8 Vantage but stripped bare achieving a 250kg weight loss over the standard car (down to 1350kg). In addition to weight reduction, the N24 also gained an additional 30bhp over the road car (to 410bhp) plus safety and suspension modifications.

The first 14 cars were built in a dedicated facility within Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters known as Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). Production later transferred to Aston Martin Racing at Prodrive in Banbury where another 39 cars were built, 27 with a Prodrive designed Sportshift (S in chassis number) and 12 with manual gear change (M in chassis number). Although the N24 was normally supplied with left hand drive, at least one Gaydon built car was built with right hand drive.

The launch price for the N24 started at £92,500. By 2008 this had risen slightly to £99,500 for the standard car and £116,325 for one to FIA GT4 spec.

Although, strictly speaking, the N24 is a racing car, AM Works Service have been called upon to make two N24s road legal under the single vehicle type approval rules, with a few modifications. To do this the N24 needed number plates with lights, indicators, a horn, a proper handbrake, steering column with steering lock, fuel filler restrictor, catalytic converter modifications to comply with noise and emission regulations and a normal driver’s window to replace the fixed Perspex type with sliding panel. Left hand drive cars also needed an MPH speedometer and RHD headlights. This process was estimated to cost around £9,000 plus VAT.

V8 Vantage N24 Specification

Based on a standard production, European specification (left hand drive), V8 Vantage with the following modifications:

Body
FIA approved full roll-cage in 40 mm x 1.5 mm 15CDV6 high-strength steel
Preparation for pneumatic jacks incorporating tapping plates
Motorsport towing eyes
Polycarbonate side and rear windows – with slide opening on driver’s side
Re-styled side sill with exposed carbon fibre rib
Quick-release bonnet/tail safety latching with hinges retained
Lightweight aluminium side strakes
Underframe
Single-rate, flat ground, 2.5in ID Eibach springs with separate helper springs
Stiffened front and rear anti-roll bars
Bilstein Suspensions adjustable ride height aluminium dampers
Front subframe modified for extra camber and castor
Wheels & Tyres
Speedline 10in X 18in ET45 mm cast magnesium front wheels
Speedline 11in X 18in ET48 mm cast magnesium rear wheels
Yokohama A048-R tyres
Standard radial-mounted four-piston monobloc calipers fitted with high-performance Pagid RS 29 race pads.
Electrical
Reduced weight and optimised route wiring harness
Optima gel battery
Battery cut-off relay
New switch panel mounted in centre console incorporating re-settable circuit breakers for each fuel pump, extinguisher button, battery cut-off button, heater controls, mirror switch and toggle switches for fog lights, hazard lights, traction control and heated front screen.
Panel graphics illuminated by electroluminescent film
Original V8 Vantage instrument pack
All other standard production ancillary electrical systems removed
Interior
Recaro Pole Position competition shell seat embroidered with Aston Martin logo
Schroth six-point safety harness – push-button release
FIA compliant Lifeline Zero 360 plumbed-in extinguisher system (gas) – four engine bay and two interior nozzles
Raised driver’s footrest
New simple door casings moulded in ‘Twintex’ for weight saving and compatibility with roll-cage
Weight-reduced facia, trimmed in Alcantara
Shortened one-piece carbon fibre centre console
Quick-release, suede-trimmed steering wheel
All other standard production trim and airbags removed
Options
Passenger seat and safety harness
Automated manual Sportshift transmission
Dry break fuel filler
Dual fuel filler
HANS seat and safety harness
Air jacks including lance
Pair of N24 Xenon sport lights
Dimensions & Performance
Length 4380mm
Width 1865mm (excluding mirrors)
Height 1210mm
Wheelbase 2600mm
Front track 1580mm
Rear track 1590mm
Maximum power 410bhp
Maximum torque 313lb/ft
Kerb weight 1350kg
Fuel tank size 100 litres
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