Before it makes its debut next season, Aston Martin is testing its new Vantage GTE race car at Sebring. What's surprising about this is the noise it's making. Previous spy videos of the Vantage GTE featured a car making some lovely old-school V8 sounds, but this car sounds totally different. What's going on here?
We know for certain that the next-generation Vantage road car, which will debut later this month, is powered by a Mercedes-AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. It's a version of the engine used in the Mercedes-AMG GT road car, but interestingly, AMG hasn't used it in competition yet. The AMG GT3 uses the company's old workhorse 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8, which was raced in the SLS GT3. AMG's 4.0-liter will see its first competition next year in the AMG GT4 race car.
But the Vantage GTE prototype's engine doesn't sound like either AMG engine. Frankly, it almost sounds like the 4.4-liter V8 used in , which uses a crossover exhaust manifold, giving a more flat-plane McLaren-esque sound than a traditional V8.
So what's Aston doing here? We don't know, but hopefully we'll find out when the 2018 Vantage makes its debut later this month.