Aston Martin Vulcan review


What is?

It’s the Vulcan, Aston Martin’s answer based solely on the One-77 track for McLaren’s GTR and Ferrari’s FXX cars. It has 820bhp and, above 190mph, offers more pounds of downforce than it weighs. Only 24 were made, each costing £1.8m, and subsequently £300,000 was spent by various owners converting them to road use.

The backstory goes something like this: In 2014, Fraser Dunn, then chief engineer at Aston’s Q Advanced Engineering division, and David King, director of advanced operations and motorsports, discussed some early One-77 development prototypes that were circling. As expected, his first thought was to make a faster one. They imagined a One-77 R.

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The problem was that the project they were interested in and excited about was also buying the little kids from almost every other Aston Martin department. Design wanted a piece of the pie, and when they got the go-ahead to make some drastic changes, including configuring the body with carbon instead of aluminum, every other department started pushing for major changes.

Therefore, the plan to use the existing 7.3-litre V12 was abandoned. Aston Martin Racing noted that they have a very powerful 6.0-liter V12 in the Vantage GT3 driver that, with a significant amount of modification (including a one-liter gain in capacity), would meet one of the key parameters: over 800 horsepower. strength The 6,949 cc nat asp engine finished with 820 hp at 7,750 rpm and 575 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. It all goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed Xtrac sequential racing paddle and a magnesium torque tube. The carbon chassis comes from the One-77, as do the subframes and basic suspension design.

The aerodynamic package is obviously very different. The rear wing is powerful, but it doesn’t develop as much downforce as the underbody diffuser. And because the Vulcan is front-engined, the diffuser can be opened earlier, generating more suction later. An AMR upgrade package (as fitted to the brown car) added front dip planes, front wheel pressure-reducing vents and a second element on the rear wing, probably because Aston felt that 1,350kg of downforce at 190mph it was not enough.

Behind the 305-wide front wheels lurk carbon Brembos: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber-clad wheels. A full set of slicks is optional and will set you back £5000. A drop in the ocean at £1.8m sterling. The difference they make is not as pronounced as one might expect. During prototype testing at Nardo, the Vulcan was just four seconds slower around the driving circuit on wide-tread tyres. The time on the slicks, 2min 07s, was, according to Aston at the time, the track lap record.

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And then there is his appearance. Visually, it’s so compelling. Like most racing cars, it’s better from behind than from the front, there’s just more at stake. The low three-quarter angle of the rear where the view is mostly over the fender, the carbon bazooka running through a side-exit exhaust, and those lollipop-shaped taillights are all sensational.

With the upcoming release of the Valkyrie, it may seem like the Vulcan had its day, but it’s one of those cars that is more than the sum of its parts. Around a track, I wouldn’t be surprised if some rivals (a talent pool that includes the Brabham BT-62 and Senna GTR) are quicker, but as an event, show, experience, the Vulcan takes plenty of shots.

What’s the verdict?

As an experience, the mighty V12-powered Vulcan is hard to beat. A sensational machine

In the long run, Vulcan is likely to play a subordinate role to Valkyrie. This car, with its Newey/F1 pedigree, will define the pinnacle of road/track capability. But the Vulcan can still hold its head high, not because of its outright speed (although that’s nothing short of blazing), but because of the drama, excitement, and rumble of the driving experience.

With its stunningly responsive naturally aspirated V12 and surprisingly forgiving track behavior, it’s a car that, while fabulously intimidating at first, soon proves to be a much more open and less wild machine than you might think. Which means you relax and surrender to sit in the center of this maelstrom.

Yes, it is a large amount of money. Yes, unless you pay hundreds of thousands more to an outside company, it can only be used on one track. But look at it. What thing.

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