The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 race and road vehicles will henceforth be referred to as the Aston Martin Vantage GT12, due to intervention from Porsche’s lawyers.
According to a report on the Goodwood Road and Racing website, lawyers from Porsche contacted Aston Martin around the time that the English company launched the Vantage GT3 road car at the recent Geneva motor show.
Porsche’s lawyers asserted that it had control of the GT3 nameplate thanks to the 911 variant that’s been on sale since 1999. Aston Martin contended that the GT3 designation now refers to an FIA-sanctioned racing class and that its new limited edition Vantage was a homage to its GT3 racer.
Nonetheless, it’s reported, Aston Martin has decided to go with the cheaper, but more humbling, option of renaming the limited edition street-legal car as the Vantage GT12. Likewise, the company’s Vantage-based race car will also be renamed to GT12.
The Vantage GT3 — sorry, GT12 — is far from the first car to have been rechristened due to naming conflicts. There was the Hyundai Elantra, which was in Australia for the first few generations badged as the Lantra, due to the global nameplate’s closeness to the top-spec Mitsubishi Magna Elante.
A current vehicle that still lives with the legacy of name conflict is the Toyota Kluger. The Camry-based SUV is known as the Highlander in the US, but Toyota Australia was forced to adopt the Japanese market name due to the existence, at the time, of the Hyundai Terracan Highlander.