1998 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V600
Built by Aston's Works service in Newport Pagnell, the V600 dynamic driving package was a comprehensive upgrade that could be installed on any Virage V8. It was also the the fastest Aston Martin in 1992. Close in appearance to the Virage, the V600 was actually re-paneled for a more agressive look. This was justified by a supercharged version of Aston's V8 engine under the hood.
Using twin mechanically-driven Eaton superchargers, the 5,340cc produced a a colossal 550 lb/ft at 4,000rpm. Engineer Steve Bolton describes development of the engine: "I had done some work previously with the Vantage and had established that one of the concerns with the car in extreme climates was that the inter cooling system wasn't as efficient as it could have been. We need to liberate more power, as well as revise the superchargers and the exhaust system to improve the inter cooling and thus, the performance was a necessity.
We found that by improving the cooling we could take advantage of the increased charge being developed by the new superchargers and get a robust 600 bhp."1
In the end, modifications to the supercharger system where mainly focused on cooling with an additional intercooler radiator that could cope with the increased supercharger pressure. This meant the exhaust was also enlarged to bigger bore.
Ventilated & Grooved Discs w/AP Racing 6-Piston Calipers were fitted as standard to the V600, as was the suspension with Eibach springs, Koni dampers and a stiffer anti-roll bar. The package was finished off with 5-spoke Dymag wheels and Goodyear Eagle GSD tires.
Autocar described the V600 as "a real Aston Martin; a big, very beautiful, very fast, albeit expensive GT with so much appeal and purpose behind it that it is more an experience than it is mere transport." They were able to reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Along with the V600 transformation, the Works Service typically fitted a small badge and chrome surround on the grill. 56 customers opted for the V600 package with another 25 cars built up as special projects.1
Sources & Further Reading
1.Dowsey, David. Aston Martin: Power, Beauty and Soul. Peleus Press: 2007
Story by Supercars.net