Aston Martin Vulcan to Debut at Geneva Auto Show

aston martin vulcan

Aston Martin will unveil their new track-only supercar next week at the Geneva Auto Show – the Vulcan. The 800-horsepower Aston Martin Vulcan is the replacement for the DB9 RS, a quintessential British race car. Only 24 Aston Martin Vulcans will be produced, each with a price tag of $2.3 million.

The automotive world is beginning to evolve from large-liter, V12 engines for more environmentally friendly, turbocharged V8 and V6 engines. Though, under the hood of the Aston Martin Vulcan will dwell a leviathan 7.0-liter, naturally-aspirated V12. Moreover, it is not simply the successor to their production 6.0-liter V12, it has been developed from Aston Martin’s GT3 Le Mans racing division. Therefore, it will rival its competitors of the Corvette Z06, Ferrari 458 Italia, and Porsche Carrera GT3.

The Aston Martin Vulcan is significant to the company for many reasons. Primarily, it is their first car that is made entirely of carbon fiber. It was developed in partnership with Multimatic; the same firm which helped develop the beautifully-crafted monocoque chassis of the recently unveiled Ford GT. Since the Aston Martin Vulcan will feature an all carbon fiber chassis and body, it will be hundreds of pounds lighter than its aluminum-bodied predecessors.

Car experts have said the transmission in the Aston Martin Vulcan is not the occasionally recalcitrant Granziano trans-axle, which is prototypical of Aston production cars, but a rear-mounted Xtrac, one which can be found in nearly all World Rally Championship cars and British Touring Championship cars. Engineers from Aston Martin say this is the only type of transmission that is able to put the colossal power of the V12 Aston Martin Vulcan to the ground. That power is put to the race track through four tires that were specially designed and tested by Michelin.

aston martin vulcan

As for the suspension of the Aston Martin Vulcan, the engineers at Multimatic crafted a Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) adjustable dampers, driver-variable anti-lock braking, and adjustable traction control with Formula One style pushrod-actuated suspension. This type of suspension pushes theweight of the car inboard during a turn, thus lowering the center of gravity and allowing for greater cornering speeds.

For the potential buyers of the Aston Martin Vulcan, the company will offer a track-driving course that starts off the owner at less-powerful Astons – ending with the Vulcan. One of the instructors is Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner, winner of the GT3 class in the 24-hour Le Mans.

Aston Martin is implementing the concepts from the Ferrari Classiche division that were pioneered in the late-2000s that allowed car buyers to drive recently discontinued Formula One cars at organized track day events. A similar program will be run with the Aston Martin Vulcan. Like Ferrari Classiche, all owners need to do is show up, insurance and logistics will already be taken care of.

Aston Martin is currently in a transition phase. For the past few years, the company has been adopting AMG powertrains from the tuning division at Mercedes. Moreover, Aston Martin needs to develop a more modern body architecture to meet the expectations of the 21st Century. Therefore, the company has hired Matt Becker, the co-developer of the Lotus Elise, Evora, and Exige. With Becker at the forefront of development, car experts believe the Aston Martin Vulcan and all other Astons will handle in an unbelievable fashion and will rate among the most enjoyable GT cars available for purchase. In conclusion, since the Aston Martin Vulcan handles well, has a modern chassis and body structure, and has a herculean amount of horsepower, it seems the days of British-built race cars are back.

By Alex Lemieux

Sources:

Wall Street Journal

Forbes

The Verge

Photo by Mundo Velocidad – Flickr License

Photo by Mundo Velocidad – Flickr License

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