Some nameplates are synonymous with a brand. Veyron with Bugatti, MX-5 with Mazda, and 911 is the domain of Porsche. Porsche in particular have a fair few model names of note throughout their history of which they still use. Another noteworthy example is GT3, however, the GT3 name derives from the race series and not something of Porsche’s own invention. An apparent behind the scenes debate has lead Aston Martin to rename their latest Vantage GT3 road car.
The 592BHP V12 road going sports car is a limited run of 100 units that is based upon an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. Using their experience, and success in GT3 racing, Aston created what it believes to be a symphony of race car and road car. This machine has now been renamed the Aston Martin GT12 with Porsche not happy with the company using the name GT3. Excuse me one moment… Do Porsche even own the rights to the GT3 name? Many other brands in the past have used GT3 in their cars title. In fact, Porsche only started using the name on road cars in 1999. Whilst to most petrol heads the term “GT3” would likely mean you are talking about a Porsche, the term also relates to the FIA GT3 series and other models throughout history.
A Tweet to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer reveals that he shares that opinion. We Tweeted “Why did Aston back down on GT3? Porsche do not own the rights to the name, merely an association as do many cars.” To which he replied “We believe the same as you. We are small independent company & need to spend £ creating the best of best cars not paying lawyers.” We totally agree with Mr Palmer, Aston Martin shouldn’t be spending a load of money on lawyers, and with Porsche being backed by the might of VW we can understand why they would be cautious about challenging them. That said, we are still unsure just how much of a case Porsche has.
We have reached out to Porsche for comment and will update this article as and when.