Steve’s Widebody 2012 V8 Vantage
Even though Steve’s car looks closer to a race car than a street car thanks to its low ride height and widened body, the suspension couldn’t be more different. The wheels and tires are as wide as can be to maximize both traction and bragging rights, but it rides on air suspension that was chosen for its versatility rather than track-only performance.
Wheels and tires
ACR provides their own specs for wheels being used with their wideboy aero kit. They’re absolutely massive, made even larger by Steve’s choice of 20” diameter wheels. After a bit of deliberation he decided on a set of BC Forged EH309 wheels, 11” wide in front and 12.5” wide in the rear with custom offsets to make them fit just right. One of the fun things BC Forged does is send pictures showing the completed wheels before they ship from the factory - it’s done both to tease the coming delivery and to ensure the customer is getting exactly what they had requested.
The wheels are wrapped in Nitto INVO tires, chosen based on their available sizes to match the huge wheels and for their great ride quality and low road noise. The fronts are sized 285/25R20, wider than the original rear tires that came on his V8 Vantage, and the rears are 345/25R20, one of the widest tires available. Needless to say, this car has a relentless amount of grip available. Steve added some tire decals to spice up the look a bit and complete the race car aesthetic.
Prior to the ACR widebody build, Steve had a set of VelocityAP lowering springs on the car. Those springs and the factory struts were completely replaced when the bodywork was done.
I’m sure you noticed how absurdly low the car is sitting in the picture above. It’s too low to drive like that and even trying would result in tire and fender damage at a minimum, if not other parts of the car’s underside.
A lot of Aston owners would cry out in extreme conservative tones about the heresy of putting air suspension on an Aston Martin and slamming it to the ground for pictures - don’t argue with me on that because I’ve seen and heard the uproar myself. Meanwhile, those very same people would throw money at a solution allowing them to raise the nose of their cars as needed and many of them own Range Rovers with this very same air suspension technology.
But fear not, keyboard warriors! Steve’s car has air suspension and he can raise the car up to usable height with the push of a button. Not only can he raise the whole car, he can raise parts selectively. Check out the ride height in the front compared to the rear in the picture below (it’s easy to see if you look at the fender gap above the front wheel and the fender gap above the rear wheel).
Steve’s air suspension is composed of AirREX struts, Airlift Performance 3H control system, and an AccuAir CT Compressor and 5 Gallon Tank. He’d used a similar setup on another car so he had a line on most of the parts but was having trouble getting the AirREX struts. He came to Redpants for help and, although I have no connections with AirREX, I was able to source the parts for him so he could complete his build.
Altogether, the system provides utility beyond just driving. The car can be slammed down for dramatic pictures. It can be raised up for extra clearance. It can be left at a “normal’ ride height for driving. It does pretty much everything, making it incredibly versatile.
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