The car above is the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. At least, it used to be.
The car is now the Aston Martin Vantage GT12, thanks to a threat of a lawsuit from Porsche, who feel like they own the whole 'GT3' thing.
Indeed, if you look at what Aston did to make their GT3, they did pretty much what Porsche would do. There's the same blend of dropping the car's weight and suspension while correspondingly jacking up its price tag. You could nearly pluck the rear wing off the Aston and swap it with a Porsche's and without anyone spotting the difference.
However it's not like Porsche are the only people to use the GT3 name. I mean, the 911 GT3 is specifically named for the GT3 class of sports car racing, a class which includes a number of other manufacturers' cars. You could argue that Porsche has as much of a right to the name as any other car company that races in GT3. As Chris Harris recently pointed out, a number of those other companies did indeed name their cars after the same GT3 class, such as Bentley (with the current Continental GT3-R) to Lotus (with the Esprit GT3 from the '90s).
Lotus was actually using the GT3 name before Porsche stuck it on the 1999 996.
In any case, Aston has backed down from any drama, as Chris reports.
Matters have now been resolved and Aston Martin has decided not to waste valuable cash on litigation and instead opted to rename the car the Aston Martin Vantage GT12. To reinforce the message, the Aston Martin Vantage race car will also be known as the GT12 from now on too.
The funniest thing about this case is that Porsche themselves backed out of an incredibly similar drama with the name of their new car stepping on another manufacturer's toes.
The veritable 911 was originally designated the 901, but Porsche renamed the car after Peugeot pointed out they had that naming scheme (number-zero-number) first.
Photo Credits: Aston Martin, Porsche
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