Aston Martin seems to be on a bit of a roll. The company has previewed three new models in concept form and has a fourth on the way.
While Porsche and Maserati are downsizing and trying to go mainstream with the ‘Macan’ and ‘Ghibli’ respectively, Aston Martin is doing the opposite. Oh sure, two of its models are going to be SUVs, one of which is even (actually) electric, but it’s not those that are making headlines.
The other two are something equally new for the company: a pair of mid-engined supercars set to take on the Italians as well as McLaren.
The ‘Vanquish Vision’ concept previews what Aston Martin says will be its “first mid-engined series production supercar.” If the name rings a bell that’s because it has been used on two of Aston Martin’s flagship sports cars.
It will be joined by the AM-RB-003, another limited production ‘hypercar’ and the third mid-engined car in the company’s history following the ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Valkyrie AMR Pro’. Like its predecessors, it too was co-developed with Red Bull. The company has confirmed that a limited run of 500 coupes will be made, but more interesting than that is the technology which propels the car.
One matter that has been confirmed is that it will use F1 technology. This means a turbocharged V6 connected to a hybrid system helps the car achieve greater limits than pure petrol power ever could. Both the ‘AM-RB-003’ and the ‘Vanquish’ will make use of the system, with the former going on sale first.
But the cars will differ in a number of key ways. One of these is the construction. While the ‘AM-RB-003’ will use all-carbon fibre construction like the ‘Valkyrie’, the ‘Vanquish’ is expected to have a more cost effective bonded aluminium chassis. This means that it will never match its sibling’s performance, but this is what allows the company to make it in greater numbers.
But don’t let that make you think that this is going to be a mass-produced appliance. This is no ‘Toyota Corolla’. “The ‘Vanquish Vision Concept’ has a more seductive and less technical appearance than Aston Martin ’Valkyrie’ and ‘AM-RB 003’,” Miles Nurnberger, Aston Martin Director of Design said, “but it’s still extreme in terms of visual gestures.”
“It’s a prettier car, and purposely so, as it’s been designed to thrive in a less extreme performance envelope. But, while being very much at home on the road, it will still be equally capable when chasing lap times on a race track. As a result, it’s less provocative and more classical in its look.”
As uncertainty looms for the British car industry it is inspiring to see a British brand doing something like this. The sensible thing to do would be to play it safe, but Aston Martin has never been one to shy away from risks. Think back to the ‘Lagonda’ saloon from the 1980s. And we haven’t mentioned another ‘Zagato’ designed limited edition that’s also on the way.