British Invasion | McLaren 720S & Aston Martin V8 Vantage for Assetto Corsa Competizione
In this video I take a look at two of the new cars in Assetto Corsa Competizione, the McLaren 720S & Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Both of these cars are blank sheet of paper designs replacing older GT3 models that competed during the 2018 Blancpain GT Series. So stick around to find out more about these two fantastic cars.
So you may have noticed that I’m British. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that might have something to do with why I’ve separated these two cars out from the other 4 new cars that have debuted with the Assetto Corsa Competizione 2019 update. But, as I explained in my video detailing what’s new in the 2019 update, which you should watch by the way, these two cars are completely 100% new, while the other’s are evolutions of a previous model, sharing a reasonable amount of commonality. The 720S GT3 is a new car that’s not raced before 2019 and in the case of the Aston, all it has in common with it’s predecessor is the name and the badge on the front.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3
Back in the mid 1400s a young Christopher Columbus was dreaming of a future in which misleading information about his exploits would be popularised by a hit song. And it was about that time that Aston Martin introduced the original Vantage. Much like the aforementioned song, the venerable vantage stuck about for a while, because, well, everyone agreed it was pretty great. But all good things eventually come to an end. 2018 saw an all new Vantage road car, and predictably also the GT3 variant we’re taking a look at today. While the old girl had garnered a bit of a reputation for being an engine on wheels, the new Vantage makes use of air, to push the car into the ground. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’ll catch on.
Ok, so stupid analogies aside, the new Vantage GT3 trades out the much loved 6 Litre V12 for a twin-turbo V8, which is much more sensible from both a packaging and weight perspective. And, those of you with an eye for such things will notice that the styling cues aren’t merely cosmetic. Starting at the front of the car you’ll see the usual clues that something important is going on at the rear, and channelling air to that, frankly massive diffuser is clearly an important part of the overall concept. The traditional rear wing mounts are gone, replaced with the very en-trend swan neck supports that make sure the airflow isn’t disturbed over the more important lower surface of the wing. So, you could certainly describe the new Vantage as being significantly more sophisticated in the aero department. And, it certainly drives like it.
The old Vantage was characteristically difficult to coax into corners, and quite lairy once you got on the loud pedal. But the new car is much more refined, and dare I say it, fast. The V12 was pretty quick as well, as long as you didn’t throw too many corners in its way. But, the new car feels tighter, more responsive and drivable. It remains to be seen how well it stacks up against the rest of the cars in a competitive environment, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
The McLaren 720s comes to Assetto Corsa Competizione courtesy of the McLaren Shadow Project. The Shadow Project is the McLaren’s ESport wing and font design department, which adds a different flavour of Esport competition to ACC the the SRO Esport series. Those that know me and the channel will know that I’m a massive McLaren fan, thanks entirely to their racing heritage, and nothing to do with the fact that I live in a neighbouring village to the McLaren Technology Centre. So, for me, more McLaren is more… good.
While the Aston Martin upgrade felt a bit like a sophisticated modern Gentleman replacing a brutish cave dweller, the new McLaren feels more like a slightly shinier model of space-ship than it’s predecessor. The 650s was a pretty tidy racing car, and the Assetto Corsa Competizione version handled beautifully. But the car, then in it’s final year of Blancpain competition lacked competitiveness on the track, and that that was mirrored in game as well. We’ll get on to the driving side of things in a minute, but first a word about the looks.
I was a fan of the 650S, it was modern, beautiful, purposeful and a whole bunch of other adjectives along those lines. The 720S is all of those things but with a side helping of mental. And the GT3 version with it’s aggressive front end setup, broad wheel arches and uncompromising rear aero pushes the car further into the territory of ‘serious business’. And that’s the thing, the 720S really does look like a proper race car. And, you either like that or you don’t. I’m hugely biased, so I don’t need to tell you which side of the fence I sit on. Whatever your feelings about the looks of the McLaren, you have to admire the job Kunos have done representing it in Assetto Corsa Competizione. This thing really looks the part. At the moment, the only Skins for the car are variations on the McLaren Shadow Project theme, but presumably when the Intercontinental GT DLC becomes available you’ll be able to select the car that Mika Hakkinen drove in this year’s 10 Hours Of Suzuka as well.
On to the driving side of things, and perhaps unsurprisingly it drives very, very well. Like it’s predecessor, this thing handles like a dream. The front end is purposeful and planted, while the rear is controlled and gives confidence throughout every part of the corner. It’s planted through direction changes and aggressive changes in pitch and roll, like any well sorted race car should be. But the question is, will it be fast? Well, you’ll be able to find out soon enough how this car stacks up against the rest of the field, and how you stack up against other drivers as part of the McLaren Shadow Project hotstint event which launches on October 27th.
So there you have it. Two cars that, in the real world at least, look to have taken a step forward from their predecessors. In the racing sim that would appear to be the case as well, though only time will tell just how competitive these two cars are. And the same goes for the other 4 cars that are coming with the 2019 update, the Audi R8 LMS Evo, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, Honda NSX GT3 EVO and the snappily named Porsche 991 II GT3 R. If you haven’t watched my main video on Version 1.1 and the 2019 update then there should be a link in the top of your screens, and there’s one in the video description as well if YouTube has broken things! I hope you enjoyed the video, if you did it would be great if you could hit the like button and subscribe to the channel so you can see more content like this in the future. So all that’s left to say is goodbye, thanks for watching and enjoy the rest of your day.
Assetto Corsa Competizione 2019 Update First Look: https://youtu.be/sPE8IsDDj1M