Aston Martin Victor review


What is?

Meet Victor. This is a one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-kind piece, the latest creation from Aston Martin’s Q Advanced Operations department. There will be no more winners. Beneath it is mainly Vulcan, which itself was mainly One-77, Aston’s first million-pound hypercar. 77 of these were built, plus 24 Vulcans, meaning this is the 102nd and last car built on these foundations.

Before we get to that: Victor. How perfect is a name for this car? There’s the symbology: it bears the Latin-derived language of the coat of arms and the real name of the man who single-handedly ran the company into bankruptcy during the ’80s. Victor Gauntlet. The lantern-tongued industrialist who embodied the cars that were created under his command. He was the one who closed the deal to bring Bond back in an Aston for The bright daylights(and managed to sell producer Cubby Broccoli to Volante in the process), who rekindled Aston’s relationship with Zagato, introduced the Virage, laid the groundwork for the DB7 and oversaw the successful sale to Ford.

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This car pays homage to him. So maybe it’s just that there’s never just one. At a distance of 35 years, this unique car is now the lens through which we view the Gauntlett era. But it could have existed then, right? The styling perfectly captures that era, and the mechanical spec could be from the ’80s: a high-capacity naturally aspirated V12 driving the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. Yes, we know, a manual. A six-speed, clutch single to handle 836 hp and 613 lb-ft.

It is not a slightly improved version of the Vulcan V12. This used a bored-out 6.0-liter V12 racing engine from the Vantage GT3 and DBR9 program. The Victor uses the production 7.3-liter V12 from the One-77, but this went back to Cosworth for further tweaking. I dread to think about the financial implications of unleashing an extra 86 hp and 60 pound-feet from a single engine, but that means all One-77 owners could send their cars back for the same boost. Transform the engine. Aston doesn’t mention performance numbers, but this car isn’t about numbers. It’s safe to say the performance is plentiful.

But how well developed is this car? Shown below is the remaining One-77, an abandoned prototype that has been running at Gaydon for a few years. How much effort and energy could Aston have put into creating him? Surely it’s just a matter of gathering up some old parts, putting them on a bespoke body and finding a buyer. It’s not road legal (but it could be done that way, just like some Vulcans…) so I would have forgiven Aston for taking that route, but they didn’t.

We can’t pay you a higher compliment than to say that it looks like a stock car. And not just in terms of fit and finish, but also refinement and handling. He deserves a decent life. Imagine him hiding outside a Mayfair casino or a seedy club in Soho, or just hurtling down a motorway…

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What’s the verdict?

Aston is building the hypercar the ’80s never had. The Victor is perhaps the most beautiful single model ever created.

The lovely thing about the Victor, and why it is possibly the single most beautiful in history, is that there are no whims or fancies for the patrons. It’s not a car that seems to have been created to fulfill someone’s personal fantasy, rather it was designed by Aston Martin to celebrate the brand by encapsulating a particular era. It retrospectively restores the image of the company (which wasn’t that big at the time, never far from bankrupt) while also convincing us that this is the hypercar the ’80s never had.

As a vehicle to drive, the Victor also manages to cross the ages. Although it follows in the footsteps of One-77 and Vulcan, it has a character of its own. A nat asp V12 and manual gearbox certainly help in that regard, but this is a car that, when you drive it, seems to take you back in time.

It’s as a design element that this road-going dreadnought really stands out, successfully capturing the sheer brutality of those ’80s Astons. It became one of the most valuable design pieces Aston Martin has done since the DB5.

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