Le Mans debut for

hot new Astons

Aston Martin Vantage AMR V12 Coupe front
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V12 Coupe front threequarter
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V12 Coupe front overhead
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V12 Coupe rear
Aston Martin Vantage AMR with aero kit
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8 interior

ASTON Martin will be looking for more racing honours at this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours race - but the British luxury sports car maker will also be punting for a few lucrative sales.

While the hugely successful Aston Martin Racing team's Vantage GTEs roar round the legendary circuit in search of honours in the race, the company's sales force will be hoping to sign up customers for the hot new Vantage AMR road car.

Production versions of the new high-performance models are being shown in public for the first time at the Sarthe circuit and, even at prices starting from almost £100,000, there are sure to be plenty of punters.

For it will be a rare and exclusive model with only 300 examples being built - 100 of them with 595bhp V12 engines and the rest with 430bhp V8s.

Both engines are fitted with automated sequential manual paddle-shift transmissions, or for the purist, six and seven-speed manual gearboxes in the V8 and V12 Vantage AMRs respectively.

Coupe and Roadster body styles are available with recommended retail prices starting from £97,995 in the UK. First deliveries are scheduled to commence in the autumn.

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the AMR brand is designed to build on the sporting prowess of the British marque's road cars by taking inspiration or direct influence from Aston Martin Racing's participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship in which the marque tasted victory last season.

The AMR brand has two distinct tiers. Series production limited-edition models such as the new Vantage AMR sit at its entry point, while extreme and extensively modified AMR Pro models, created by Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, sit at the pinnacle of the range, including the exclusive Vantage AMR Pro unveiled at this year's Geneva Motor Show.

Lightweight carbon fibre seats are offered as part of the extensive range of interior and exterior options. These include a suite of other carbon fibre features, including a lightweight front grille, side strakes, lamp infills and mirror caps on the outside, instrument surround, door tops and door grabs on the inside.

The Vantage AMR can be specified with additional options from the new AMR Accessories range, the most dramatic of which is the AMR Aero Kit. Produced in partnership with Aston Martin Racing, the extensive aerodynamic package for coupe models is constructed from carbon fibre and features front splitter and dive planes, plus side sills and a fixed rear spoiler.

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