All posts in “Aston Martin”

Aston Martin makes the DB11 and its configurator more powerful

Aston Martin sold 4,150 cars last year, but the luxury automaker said its configurator served up more than two million specification sessions. Going with the overwhelming numbers, for 2022 Aston Martin has focused on “the customer journey” for imminent and aspirational buyers by rolling out a new and highly featured configurator. At last, the firm greets potential customers and the merely curious with the kind of luxury one expects of the brand. This is especially important for a company working through its Project Horizon turnaround, and also because, as the official Safety Car and Medical Car sponsor of Formula 1, traffic to Aston Martin’s web site spikes every time its Vantage and DBX are called out on track during races.  

The configurator’s been built using Epic Game’s Unreal engine, a digital creation tool building portals for everything from real estate to fashion, supplemented by Nvidia GTX graphics. In the present Phase One, visitors can place their chosen model in studio or outdoor environments, with daytime or nighttime lighting, and get high-res, zoomed-in beauty shots of their their vehicle details. Yet while Aston Martin poured new features into the configurator, it has reorganized and simplified the site’s use. For instance, individual elements such as exterior paint are broken into six color groupings like Blacks & Greys and Bronzes & Oranges, providing users a glimpse at the range of hues on offer without overwhelming them into analysis paralysis.

The surfeit of choice carries on inside, naturally — there are eleven carpet colors on offer and 12 shades of headliner. The simplifying rationalization carries on in the cabin, too, with three themes available to establish a quick baseline for personalization. The starter theme is called Create, showcasing ornate stitching on the seat bolsters, perforated, patterned seatbacks, door cards, and arm rest. Next up is Accelerate, which “will appeal to customers who wish for a more focused interior.” This one puts Alcantara all over, notably on the entire seat faces and bolsters, with leather trimming the seat sides and headrests. Create and Accelerate can be had in ten colors in monotone and duotone arrangements. Inspire, the topmost theme and “the epitome of luxury,” can be had in 38 colors and in monotone, duotone, and light duotone. This one comes with “the very best of material and color choices,” even more ornate stitching and broguing, trim inlays, and — get this — seatback veneers for anyone diminutive enough to curl into the back seat of one of the coupes to enjoy them. 

As to the objects of configuration, Aston Martin has made a few tweaks to next year’s lineup. The DBX, which has provided half of the company’s sales so far this year, adds wireless charging and a new 23-inch wheel. The coupe formerly known as the DBS Superleggera becomes just DBS, and the V12 DB11 AMR sheds its AMR suffix, but nothing else. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the DB11 gets a 24-horsepower boost to 527 hp, and a higher 192-mph top speed. Drivers intending to use all of that puissance should option the new Sport Plus Seats which provide more shoulder, torso, and leg support. Finally, the DBS and DB11 can be had with new 21-inch wheel designs. 

The configurator is live now and has reported for service. Enjoy.

Related video:

Best V12 Engines Ever Produced

As far as internal combustion engines go, V12 engines are at the zenith. This is while still acknowledging the omnipotent W16 motors seen in today’s Bugatti hypercars, while not forgetting the likes of mainstream automakers – such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz – also having flirted with the idea of series-production V16 engines in the past. With the 16-cylinder power plants essentially synonymous with the French automaker, the V12 is the de facto ruler for the broader spectrum of ultra-high-performance automobiles.

The diversity of this list fully demonstrates the universal appeal that V12s have around the world, to both producers and consumers alike. This unanimous and long-spanning support for the technology has helped to spawn some of the most impressive engines ever produced. The usual suspects are at play here, with Ferrari and Lamborghini making their totally not unexpected appearances. The British – via Aston Martin, Jaguar, and GMA – have shared their own highly impressive interpretations as well, while more conventional brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Toyota have had their say.

For the most part, these engines are naturally aspirated and characteristically rev all the way to the moon. In totality, each and every one of them is nothing short of a legend.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, curated for your reading pleasure:

Ferrari Colombo V12Ferrari Colombo V12 Engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 Engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Jaguar V12

Jaguar V12 Engine

Jaguar’s first foray into the world of V12 engines began in motorsport as early as 1951, with its 1964 XJ13 Le Mans race car eventually serving as the trickle-down technology source for its production cars. For the latter, this would begin with a 5.3L naturally-aspirated unit in the 1971 Jaguar E-Type and would even go on to be used by other automakers such as Daimler and Panther. An HE (or “high-efficiency”) version of this engine would be released in 1981 – featuring on the XJ12, XJ-S, and Daimler Double-Six – which improved fuel economy by almost 50% compared to its predecessor, without affecting performance.

In its final iteration, the V12 would evolve into a 6.0L HE unit which produced as much as 333 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. It was likely to be some variation of this engine which was initially being marketed for use on the Jaguar XJ220, before the British automaker controversially decided on a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 engine instead. The last Jaguar V12 engined was produced on April 17, 1997.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 Engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 Engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 Engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 Engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE Engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.
That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 Engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12 Engine

This Bugatti engine has had a very decorated career, albeit a short one, which makes it all the more impressive. Featured exclusively on the (1991-1995) Bugatti EB110, this 3.5L quad-turbocharged V12 is responsible for some very notable distinctions. First, it is widely regarded as being one of the catalysts in the revival of the French marque even though it failed to be directly responsible for this. It became the world’s fastest production car of its time, beating the Jaguar XJ220 in the process.

Suffice to say, it grabbed all the headlines, and really, that was the whole point. I mean, for what other purposes would the use of four turbochargers be given the green light for? Sure, it produced a whopping 553 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, but you would have to argue that this likely could’ve been achieved with a more conventional design. After all, quad-turbocharged engines never really proliferated, and there’s probably good science behind why that’s been the case. Nevertheless, there’s nothing un-iconic about a V12 engine with almost as many turbochargers as you can count on one hand; and we love it all the same.

Aston Martin V12 Heritage Twins: The Return of the V12 Zagato

Who said that a great success can’t be repeated? In this case we are talking about something special that won Villa d’Este Concourse of elegance in 2011, raced at Nürburgring 24h race and had been truly appreciated by collectors from all around the world. We are talking about the awarded Aston V12 Zagato that in 2020, marking the celebrations of Zagato’s centenary, came back in the form of a limited production of cars called Aston Martin V12 Heritage Twins.

As the name says “the car” is in reality a “two cars package” sold at £1.75 million as a bundle that include a revised coupe plus an inedited speedster version of the original V12 Zagato born in 2011 to celebrate a fifty-year partnership since the DB4 GT Zagato. This time the manufacturing line won’t be based in Gaydon at AM headquarter but instead it will be established at the Warwick-based manufacturer R-Reforged, part of AF racing Group, under Aston Martin license.

19 units of each model will be produced and both will include some major upgrades compared to the 2011 version: like the most recent version of the NA 5.9-liter 48-valve engine that delivers 600 hp (85 more
the original), a full carbon fibre body, active aerodynamics with a retractable rear spoiler that improves stability at high speeds and a set of 19″ single nut alloy rims made ad hoc by APP Tech.

If that’s not enough, the purchase experience offers also a personalized gift package at the time of order with the possibility to establish every detail of their Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage TWINS. The buyers will be offered also the possibility to witness the production of their cars at the new plant in Warwick, where a team of highly specialized personnel workers who fuse traditional and modern production techniques: from hand-made finishes with Bridge of Weir leather to additive manufacturing.

GTspirit had been invited to ZAGATO Milan atelier to see in person the first two prototype examples
with the coupe configured in Platino Acanto and the Speedster in Oro angelica (Gold). Both cars
will later become part of the Zagato private collection.

Words and Photos by Yaron Esposito
Instagram: @Aaronandcars

Aston Martin Valhalla, ready for production

The Aston Martin Valhalla concept was introduced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, intended to become Aston Martin’s hybrid supercar with an in-house developed V6 engine coupled to multiple electric motors, and while the production of the 150 units has been postponed a few times, as late as 2023, another blow came when rumors surfaced Aston Martin wouldn’t be able to continue the development of their bespoke V6 engine, but instead would turn to a Mercedes AMG sourced V8 for their $3,000,000 Valhalla supercar.

Just about every car manufacturer out there is talking about electrification or at least hybridization, and that’s what Aston Martin’s Project Horizon is all about, the transition from internal combustion engines to hybrid, which will lead to full electrification later on, and not only will the Valhalla be a high-power hybrid, but it will also be Aston Martin’s first mid-engined supercar, a move away from ultra-luxury GT cars they are famous for globally today.

The Aston Martin Valhalla is a showcase of technology, with Lawrence Stroll as Executive Chairman and the return of Aston Martin in Formula One racing, it shouldn’t come as a surprise the Valhalla’s chassis, aerodynamics, and electronics are taken from Formula One experiences, add a mid-mounted V8 engine into the mix with the aid of electric motors, the torque is instant, the Valhalla will offer an amazing driving experience for the 150 fortunate owners that can enjoy this first for Aston Martin.

The total power output on the Aston Martin Valhalla is 950 hp, with 750 hp from the turbocharged V8 engine and the remaining 200 hp from the electric powertrain, and while 4-Liter V8 twin-turbo engine might have been sourced from Mercedes AMG, it is a bespoke unit for the Aston Martin Valhalla, at 7,200 rpm the maximum power of 750 hp goes to the rear wheels only, while a 150kW/400V battery hybrid system uses an E-Motor on the front axle, and a second E-Motor on the rear axle to add 200 hp more.

If the driver opts to use EV mode only, there will be power to the front axle exclusively, in all other driving modes, the electric motors are engaged on both axles, in a varying split front to rear, when conditions are right the full-electric power will be sent to the rear axle only, making sure the combined output from the V8 engine and the rear E-Motor offer exhilarating performance and acceleration to the driver.

Aston Martin’s CEO, Tobias Moers commented: “Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production. With Valhalla not only have we stayed true to our commitment to building a world-beating supercar, but we have exceeded our original aims. The result is a pure driving machine – one which exists right at the cutting edge of performance and technology yet allows the driver to feel the emotion and thrill of complete connection and control.”

Being a hybrid, the transmission had to be completely redesigned for the Valhalla, the 8-Speed DCT unit is also bespoke for the Aston Martin Valhalla, there is no real reverse gear, to move backward the electric motors are used, still this transmission comes with an Electronic Limited Slip Differential at the rear for top-of-the-line traction and handling, thanks to the fact the V8 and E-Motors can be in a different gear inside the DCT, the maximum torque of 1,000 Nm is possible.

A totally silent drive is possible in full EV-mode while a top speed of 80 Mph (130 km/h) can be achieved this way over a range of 15 km, but when that big twin-turbo V8 engine comes to join the top speed goes to 217 mph (330 km/h) with an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds, as this is a street-legal race car, Aston Martin is hoping to set a record time of 6:30 on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Ralph Illenberger, Head of Powertrain Engineering said: “Valhalla is our first opportunity to really show what we are capable of in a true production sense.  We have created our own bespoke air-to-air charge-cooled, flat-plane crank V8 engine and have combined it with a powerful hybrid system. And, of course, we also have our own bespoke Dual Clutch Transmission – a first for Aston Martin and an essential component both for Valhalla and future Aston Martin models. The result is a truly world-class powertrain for an efficient, ultra-performing supercar.”

The base for the Aston Martin Valhalla is a lightweight carbon fiber tub with F1 inspired pushrod front suspension while the rear suspension is a multilink design, with Multimatic Variable Spring rate and Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) Damper units, when in ‘Track mode’ the dampers aren’t only stiffer, but the ride height is considerably lowered for maximum downforce, but for more practicality, the front axle comes with a lift system to get onto driveways.

Stopping power comes from large carbon-ceramic disc brakes together with bespoke Michelin tires in a staggered 20-inch and 21-inch, as usual, the tires have been specifically designed for this car which comes in at an overall weight of 1,550 kg, thanks to the experience gained from the Valkyrie hypercar, the aerodynamics on the Valhalla have been optimized to create an impressive downforce of 600 kg at 150 mph giving this car amazing stability at speed and offers high-speed cornering with ease.

When opening the forward-hinged dihedral doors that have cut-outs in the roof for easier entry or exit of the Aston Martin Valhalla, you can be greeted by either an RHD or an LHD configuration as Aston Martin intends to offer both options to their clients, and in case you are too tall to fit into the Valkyrie, you’re in luck as interior space in the Valhalla is larger, and features a touchscreen HMI on the central console with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The two seats inside the Valhalla are fixed onto the carbon-fiber tub, instead, both the pedals and the steering wheel can be adjusted to fit the driver, with a raised footwell you’ll get that Formula One feeling behind the wheel of the Valhalla.

For Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, Valhalla is an opportunity for the Aston Martin design team to express extreme performance with fresh form and proportion, and to capture the brand’s bold future-forward approach: “When we created the Valhalla concept we were keen to emphasize the design legacy of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and that intent remains unchanged, but the execution has evolved considerably in order to reach production of this all-new car. Though the legacy of Valkyrie is clear, Valhalla is now a more mature, fully resolved piece of design. One which combines the pure aerodynamic function you would expect from a marque competing in Formula One® together with the beautiful form, striking proportions, and exemplary detailing for which Aston Martin is renowned.”

There is no mention in the latest press release about delivery dates for the first customer cars from Aston Martin, but while this amazing looking, classic British Racing Green finished ‘production prototype’ for the Valhalla is production-ready according to Aston Martin, there is still a long way of development to go before the first of the 150 units can be shipped out, I’m sure we’ll be seeing Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll, and Nico Hulkenburg behind the wheel of several Valhalla test mules to fine-tune the dynamic properties over the next year or so, and that 2023 date for initial deliveries sounds plausible.

Aston Martin Valhalla is ready to Ragnarok with 937 plug-in horsepower

The Aston Martin Valhalla is here. The company’s first series-production, mid-engine monster packs 937 plug-in hybrid horsepower in a lightweight carbon fiber chassis. This 217-mph hypercar is expected to run a 6:30 lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Originally, the hopeful Ferrari killer was referred to as Project 003. It was later renamed Valhalla and was on track to make its debut with an in-house, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 – the first engine Aston developed in-house since a 5.3-liter V8 entered production in 1969. After Daimler increased its stake in the British luxury builder in 2020, those plans went out the window. 

Rather than an in-house V6, the Valhalla will now be powered by a customized AMG Black series V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain. The twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter flat-plane-öcrank V8 makes a respectable 740 horsepower all on its own. Two electric motors combine for an additional 201. That should add up to 941, not 937; we’re assuming a few stray horses drowned crossing the Great Sea of Unit Conversion. 

The engine and motors are paired to a unique eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that has no physical reverse gear. Instead, the electric motors are run the opposite direction to simulate a backward gear, saving both weight and complexity in the gearbox. This is mated to an advanced torque vectoring all-wheel drive system can send 100% of available electric power to either the front or rear axles.

Aston Martin says it will do 0-60 in just 2.5 seconds on the way to a 217 mph top speed. Around town, it can also cruise in electric-only mode for up to 9 miles up to a speed of 80 mph, but we suspect you’ll deplete the battery much more quickly than that if you floor it up to its top EV speed. 

“Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production,” said CEO Tobias Moers. “With Valhalla not only have we stayed true to our commitment to build a world-beating supercar, but we have exceeded our original aims. The result is a pure driving machine — one which exists right at the cutting edge of performance and technology yet allows the driver to feel the emotion and thrill of complete connection and control.”

Its carbon fiber body construction makes it ultra-light (just 3,417 pounds, which is nothing for a PHEV) and super rigid. Its adaptive spring and damper suspension was developed with Multimatic, and like most modern supercars it offers adjustable ride height and a front-axle lift system for clearing troublesome obstacles. The aero was inspired by (and in some ways borrowed from) F1 and produces 600 kg (1,322 pounds) of downforce at 150 mph. 

While this may be a series-production model, don’t expect to see too many of them around town. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all already spoken for. Stay tuned for more details as Aston Martin ramps toward production and reveals more details about the Valhalla’s driving experience. 

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The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro isn’t just another version of the original Aston Martin Valkyrie with some added aerodynamic parts, the Valkyrie AMR Pro increases the wheelbase of the original chassis by 380 mm, adds 96 mm to the front track and 115mm to the rear track width, the added aerodynamic parts effectively lengthen the entire car by 266 mm making it a ‘longtail’ is McLaren would call it, and as we’ve seen on the new Bugatti Chiron Super Sport … the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro can reach a lateral acceleration in excess of 3G.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro still uses the Cosworth-built naturally aspirated V12 engine with a 6.5-Liter displacement … but now with 1,000 hp available at a screaming 11,000 rpm, a lot of weight has been saved on the Valkyrie AMR Pro by removing the entire hybrid system, using an extremely light carbon fiber body, carbon fiber suspension wishbones. The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro doesn’t use glass but comes with a Perspex windshield and side windows … thanks to the aerodynamic efficiency, the Valkyrie AMR Pro offers track performance previously only seen in Formula One cars.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is built to compete at the 24h of Le Mans, the design has been created to be able to lap the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe in a mere 3 minutes and 20 seconds putting her in front of the other LMP1 cars with a firm chance of actually winning this world-famous endurance race in France.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers said: “The entire Aston Martin Valkyrie programme has been an extraordinary adventure in engineering. As an expression of the passion and expertise that can be found within Aston Martin and its closest technical partners, Valkyrie AMR Pro is a project beyond compare, a true ‘no rules’ track-only version. The Valkyrie AMR Pro is a testament to Aston Martin’s commitment to pure performance and this performance DNA will be evident in our future product portfolio. Nothing else looks like it, nothing else sounds like it, and I am absolutely certain nothing else will drive like it!”

Only 40 clients will be able to obtain one of these Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro cars as production is limited, in addition to the 40 customer car, 2 prototypes are built by Aston Martin, working closely together with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One® Team drivers to finetune the dynamic setup of this amazing Valkyrie AMR Pro. Customers will also be invited to a bespoke track day on an official FIA circuit somewhere in the world, where they will have both track and pitlane access with support from the Aston Martin Valkyrie Instructor team, as well as FIA exclusive racewear and a VIP hosted dinner.

The first units of this brand new, exhilarating Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro are expected during the final quarter of 2021 already, but no word in pricing at this moment.

Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster

Back in 1921, the Aston Martin production facility was located at Abingdon Road in Kensington, London, and exactly 100 years ago a prototype of what would become the first Aston Martin production series left the gates, of the five prototypes built at the time, A3 was the third one, and currently the oldest Aston Martin still in existence in the world, in 1921 none other than Lionel Martin, co-founder of the company, used this specific car regularly.

Equipped with a four-cylinder engine, 1.5-liter of displacement, and ‘only’ 11 hp, the A3 still set records in 1921, like a first place at the Essex Motor Club Kop Hill Climb in 1922, and I’m sure you know about the famous Brooklands circuit in the UK, in 1923 the Aston Martin A3 managed a speed of 84.5 mph (136 km/h) on the track thanks to its streamlined racing body in her heydays.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the A3, Aston Martin HWM requested the Aston Martin bespoke builds division, known as ‘Q by Aston Martin’, to create a tribute car to the one that started it all in 1921, and the request was to do so using the stunning Aston Martin Vantage Roadster. Based in Walton on Thames, HWM is the longest-serving Aston Martin dealership in the world, established in 1938 and moved into their current building back in 1948.

To create this unique Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster the intention was to combine details from the century-old legacy of A3 with a modern-day supercar using the expertise of Q by Aston Martin, this starts with a unique grille with shiny aluminum surround with a black mesh that includes the original 100-year-old badge as used on the A3 back then. Back in those days, the engine cover was usually held down with leather straps, this Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster comes with customized fenders complete with a saddle color leather strap, painstakingly finished Ecurie Bertelli, the leading specialist in pre-war Aston Martin models.

The Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster rolls on stunning but also bespoke glossy black 20-inch Lightweight Forged wheels that cover bronze brake calipers to remind us of the A3 detailing that was also done in bronze as we’ve seen on cars from that era, it isn’t unusual to refer to these cars as ‘cars from the bronze era’, or ‘brass cars’. In 1921 Aston Martin used a different script for their name, and that identical font is used on the interior of this 2021 Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster that complements the Obsidian Black leather, and the Chestnut Tan accents in similar leather complete with Chestnut Tan Contrast stitching.

Simon Lane, Director of Q and Special Project Sales at Aston Martin, said: “It is only right that this great marque takes the opportunity to celebrate the centenary of its oldest surviving model and I am thrilled that my team, working with the AMHT and Aston Martin HWM, have been able to create this tasteful yet suitably exhilarating tribute to our historic forebear.”

You’ll notice an embossed Aston Martin logo on the central console, but period-correct to 1921, while the rotaries found inside this 2021 Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster were cast from brass to recreate the ambiance from the 1921 car in this day and age, and as yet another tribute to the A3 car, there will only be three units of the Q by Aston Martin Vantage Roadster available to customers, and only through the Aston Martin HWM dealership … the press release doesn’t mention a price, but you know what they say: “if you have to ask the price …”

Aston Martin sues dealer over $3.5 million Valkyrie supercar

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings said it’s suing a company affiliated with one of its dealers in Switzerland, alleging that it withheld customer deposits collected for the $3.5 million Valkyrie supercar.

The automaker accused Nebula Project AG of failing to pass some deposits taken from customers along to Aston Martin and said it has terminated an unconventional commercial arrangement its previous management team entered in 2016. Under the now-dissolved deal, Nebula had agreed to fund development of the Valkyrie and other mid-engine cars in exchange for royalty payments.

As a result of terminating the agreement with Nebula, Aston Martin is no longer liable for any potential royalty payments, which could have been “significant” over time, the carmaker said in a statement Tuesday. The company also cut off its dealer arrangements with AF Cars AG, the company that operates Aston Martin St. Gallen in Switzerland, whose board members manage Nebula.

A spokeswoman for the cantonal prosecutor’s office in St. Gallen said they are expecting a lawsuit to be filed but hadn’t received it as of noon Tuesday. A spokesman for Aston Martin St. Gallen was not immediately available to comment, according to a receptionist.

The canton of St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland is home to just 510,000 people but generates gross domestic product of almost 39 billion Swiss francs ($42 billion), making it a natural fit for wealthy fans of supercars. The Valkyrie, which Aston Martin expects to start shipping in the second half of the year, is intended to compete with mid-engine models made by the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

While Aston Martin believes the net impact of its actions against Nebula will be positive over time, it’s expected to reduce cash flow and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by as much as 15 million pounds this year. The automaker’s shares traded down 1.9% as of 11:50 a.m. in London, paring an earlier decline of as much as 4.9%.

Valkyrie customers will still receive their cars as scheduled, Aston Martin said, despite the company not having received all the deposited funds. The company said it will take deposits for special vehicles directly from customers going forward instead of through dealers.

Aston Martin racked up significant losses after going public in 2018 and has spent the last year restructuring itself after a rescue by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who took over as chairman. The 61-year-old fashion mogul has injected much-needed cash and forged closer ties with Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz to ensure the company survives tumultuous times for the auto industry.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster: Deliveries to Begin Soon, 88 Cars Worldwide

Aston Martin has announced a new DBR1 optional specification for their limited edition V12 Speedster, this specification pays tribute to the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1.

The DBR1 was constructed by Aston Martin and has remained a successful racing car thus far since accomplishing its victory in 1959 while staging both the 1000km of Nurburgring and 24 hr Le Mans. It won the latter, the 1957 Spa Sportscar race and the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in 1958.

The new V12 Speedster is powered by a high-performance 5.2 litre V12 twin-turbo engine which is capable of generating an output of approximately 700PS and 753 Nm of torque. A ZF automatic 8-speed transmission mounted at the rear of the vehicle is used for power transfer. The acceleration speed from 0-100km/h is achieved in 3.4 seconds and the top speed is 198mph.

The DBR1 was designed and styled in-house by Frank Feeley alongside Chief racing Designer Ted Cutting. The vehicle was powered by a 2992 cc straight six engine connected to a David brown five speed gearbox and features an estimated top speed of 150mph.

Aston Martin Chose to create the new Speedster based and dedicated to the DBR1 due to its important history, only five units of the DBR1 were created Worldwide four of which were used to such commanding effects and one for private use. Only 88 V12 Speedsters will be produced.

The new Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 spec features Martin racing Green paint finish, Clubsport White pinstripe and roundels and anodised grille with clubsport lipstick graphic in Satin Silver. The interior also features Conker saddle leather and Viridian Green technical textile/Caithness leather as highlights of the iconic Aston.

In addition, helmets for the driver and the passenger are available in Racing Green as well and have been positioned under transparent windows while the solid silver ‘wings’ badges sparkle under a transparent enamel. The Aluminium switchgear of the new Speedster’s open cabin is brushed in Satin Silver and has been designed in gloss carbon fibre and Caithness Green leather.

The vehicle has been fitted with a set of 21 inch centre lock wheels finished in Satin Black Diamond, the painting process took place at Aston Martin’s paint facility and each car took at least 50hrs for completion of the painting process alone.

The DBR1 custom V12 Speedster is currently available for order and deliveries are expected to begin in mid 2021.

The Aston Martin V12 Speedster

The Aston Martin brand has been around for many years, and always been recognized as a high-end, luxury sports car brand, with amazing road cars, but also with at least as impressive race cars, with a Palmares of winning the most prestigious races known to date, like the Aston Martin DBR1 from the Fifties, that not only won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1,000 km of Nürburgring in 1959, but also the latter both in 1957 and 1958.

The Aston Martin DBR1 debuted back in 1956 and become one of the most successful racecars on the scene, with some impressive drivers behind the wheel, for instance at the Spa Sportscar Race (1957, Tony Brooks); the Goodwood Tourist Trophy (1958, Sir Stirling Moss, Tony Brookes; 1959, Sir Stirling Moss, Carrol Shelby, Jack Fairman); and the 1000 Km at the Nurburgring (1959, Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman) in the same year as that famous Le Mans triumph which culminated in Aston Martin taking the World Sportscar Championship.

Back in the late Fifties, this 3-0 Liter straight-six engine was already capable of reaching speeds over 150 Mph, only five were ever made, four of them used by Aston Martin Works themselves, and one as a private entry … none of them were ever legal to drive on the open road, however, this changes today with the introduction of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 specification.

For this new limited-edition Aston Martin, only 88 units will be available to customers worldwide, there is only one shade that would be appropriate … Aston Martin Racing Green, complemented with Clubsport White pinstripe and roundels, a Satin Silver anodized grille with Clubsport lipstick graphic, Conker saddle leather, and Viridian Green technical textile/Caithness leather … as a reminder of what made the classic DBR1 the undisputed icon almost seventy years ago.

It seems open-top cars without a windshield are ‘en vogue’ these days, and this new Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 is no exception, there is no protection from the elements inside this purposeful looking car, this car is meant to go fast without compromise, still, Aston Martin gives you the option of wearing a bespoke, color-coded helmet for both the driver and the passenger, sitting under transparent windows.

On the interior, we’ll find a mixture of gloss carbon fiber, Caithness Green leather, and satin silver brushed aluminum switchgear in the V12 Speedster’s open cabin that further underlines the homage to the motoring legend from the Fifties, while the massive 21-inch Satin black diamond polished wheels bring us back to the present day.

Each of the 88 units of this Aston Martin V12 Speedster will be hand-built at the Gaydon headquarters in the UK, after spending over 50 hours to create the perfect paint finish, the lucky customers will receive their car by mid-2021, and they might want to consider wearing those helmets, as this car, with no windshield or roof of any kind, is capable of reaching a top speed of 198 mph, the 700 PS V12 Twin Turbo engine with a capacity of 5.2-Liter puts down an acceleration of 0 to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds …

Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 specification pays homage to a beautiful race car

Aston Martin debuted the limited-run V12 Speedster over a year ago, and today it’s introducing a special edition version of the roofless and windshield-less supercar. It’s called the DBR1 specification, as it takes after the DBR1 race car from the 1950s. 

You’ll immediately see the resemblance between the two in the gorgeous photos above. The V12 Speedster is finished in the same Aston Martin Racing Green paint, and features the same Clubsport White pinstripe and roundels. A Satin Silver anodized finish is applied to the grille to match, and a Clubsport lipstick graphic caps off the front. You also get 21-inch center-lock wheels finished in a Satin Black paint — Aston says each Speedster in this spec spends over 50 hours in the painting process alone.

You’ll get Conker saddle leather on the inside that is complemented by Viridian Green textile and Caithness leather. The interior also features glossy carbon fiber trim and satin silver brushed aluminum switchgear. Aston says this combo is its modern interpretation of the DBR1’s interior. And do remember that there is no roof — we have a feeling that you don’t want this interior getting wet.

In case you were curious as to why Aston Martin is using the DBR1 as inspiration here, you should know that the car has a rather commendable history in racing. It won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a three-time winner of the 1,000-km of Nürburgring and also took the World Sportscar Championship the year it won Le Mans. On top of that, it’s just flat-out gorgeous.

“Creating a bespoke specification that nods to the glory of the DBR1 has been a huge privilege for my team and I, and I very much look forward to seeing these cars being driven with the same enthusiasm that we have applied to their design,” says Marek Reichman, Aston’s chief creative officer.

This DBR1 specification features the same vitals as the standard V12 Speedster. That means it has a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 under its hood that makes 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. It’ll do 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to a 198 mph top speed. Have fun doing that without a windshield.

Aston says you can order a V12 Speedster in this spec now and expect delivery in mid-2021. No price for the DBR1 was given, but the car starts at about $950,000. We suspect this one is a good bit more, likely arcing past the $1 million mark.

Related video:

The Vantage F1 Edition

Previously we already published the return to Formula One by Aston Martin and the fact they would bring along the official 2021 F1 Safety Cars for the first time in history, because the special Aston Martin Vantage F1 Safety car was a modified version of the ‘normal’ production model, Aston Martin deemed it interesting to offer their wealthy customers the possibility to obtain a similar car to be driven on the road instead of on the track.

In comes the Vantage F1 Edition, a track-focussed road car based on the Vantage as an Official Safety Car of Formula 1 that comes with the uprated engine, modified chassis, and naturally the special aerodynamic upgrades as seen on the Safety car, the first deliveries of the Vantage F1 Edition are foreseen for May 2021 already.

The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition is a celebration of the return to Formula One racing after six decades, this model is now the top-of-the-line offering in the Vantage line up at Aston Martin, the most sporting Vantage in the product range and in essence, a replica of the Vantage Official Safety Car of Formula 1.

The Vantage F1 Edition comes with a 25PS power increase, to 535PS in total, and while the maximum torque of 685Nm is the same as the base Vantage, on the F1 Edition this number can be maintained for longer in the 8-speed automatic transmission by implementing an optimized torque cut during upshifting.

A modified suspension comes with reworked dampers and more structural stiffness for the front, the result is less vertical body roll, both at speed and over crests while still maintaining a relatively comfortable driving experience at low speeds, while the larger 21-inch wheels for the Vantage F1 Edition come with bespoke Pirelli tires specifically developed for this F1 Edition to ensure progressive on-limit handling to give maximum confidence in even the most extreme track driving scenarios.

While the rear diffuser is taken from the base Vantage, the full-width front splitter, the front dive planes, and the underbody turning vanes are specifically designed for the F1 Edition, as is that impressive rear wing … with these modified aero parts, the Vantage F1 Edition creates 200 kg more downforce at top speed compared to the regular Vantage.

With every special edition model comes a bespoke color palette, and the Vantage F1 Edition is no different, so your first option for the bodywork of this new Aston Martin is naturally the famous Aston Martin Racing Green color scheme, which mimics the Formula One team car and the Safety Car livery … on the Vantage F1 Edition you can opt for either a glossy finish or a satin topcoat.

Other options are either Jet black or Lunar White, while no matter what color you choose, you’ll get Solid Matte Dark Grey racing graphics on your F1 Edition, while for the interior you have the option of Obsidian Black Leather and Phantom Grey Alcantara upholstery and trim, with a choice of Lime Green, Obsidian Black, Wolf Grey or Spicy Red contrast stripe and stitching.

MSRP in the UK is set at £142,000 while for the German market they list at €162,000, a price for the US market hasn’t been listed at this moment … and just in case you prefer top-down driving, fear not, this new Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition is also available as a Roadster next to the Coupe version.

Aston Martin Safety Cars

At the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix we will not only see the return of Aston Martin to Formula One racing with two cars, but for the first time in F1 history we will be seeing an Aston Martin as the Official Safety car and a second one as the Medical car, the first based on the Vantage while the DBX will be seen in the event of an emergency.

The Aston Martin Vantage Safety car will not be a factory standard model however, it is a custom built version with a modified chassis and improved aerodynamics, developed by the in-house team at Aston Martin’s Headquarters in Gaydon, the UK, this one-off will be driven by Bernd Mayländer (DE) who has been at the helm of the F1 safety car for over twenty years, the Aston Martin will remain on standby in the pit lane throughout the race.

In case of a problem on the track, and the safety car takes the lead, the slower speeds can cause the race cars tires to decrease in temperature, so the pace car has to able to reach high speeds quickly, this special Aston Martin Vantage has it’s power increased to 535PS from the 4.0-Liter twin-turbo V8 … she’s able to reach 60mph in only 3.5 seconds.

The Vaned grille coupled with a new front splitter creates 155.6kg of downforce at 200km/h; more than 60kg than the production Vantage produces at the same speed.  Modifications to the suspension, steering and dampers have also been undertaken, with further detailed underbody bracing modifications to increase front structural stiffness.  All this, together with a comprehensive aero kit and a switch to lower profile Pirelli tyres, the Aston Martin Vantage Official F1 Safety Car has all the credentials to handle a F1 circuit.

The return of two Aston Martin F1 race cars from the Cognizant Formula One Team comes with a new livery, 2021 Aston Martin Racing Green, specifically created to celebrate their return to F1 after 60 years, the front splitter is emphasized in Lime Essence, a shade we’ve already seen on the Vantage that competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The otherwise luxurious leather seats of the Vantage have been replaced by FIA-approved racing seats, complete with six-point safety harness, a pair of displays show a live feed of the race and individual car position of the competitors, the necessary switches for the lights and siren for instance have been placed on the central console. The Aston Martin Vantage Safety car even comes with outside cameras so they can broadcast a live feed from this car on the track.

The official Medical Car for the 2021 season is based on the Aston Martin DBX, the larger SUV comes in the same livery combining Racing Green and Lime green, powered by the same 4.0-Liter twin-turbo V8 engine, in the DBX she pumps out 550PS and 700Nm which allows the DBX Medical car to reach 62mph in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 181mph.

Whilst the interior trim is fully representative of a customer vehicle, the central rear seat has been removed, and the remaining four have been replaced with sport bucket seats, each equipped with a 6-point safety harness.  These provide seating for the driver, Alan van der Merwe and Dr Ian Roberts – the FIA Formula 1® Medical Response Coordinator, as well as a Local Doctor, leaving one spare.

The development of both these Official Safety Car of Formula 1® and Official Medical Car of Formula 1® was carried out by the engineering team at Aston Martin.  Both vehicles have endured significant testing, which included high-speed durability assessments and aggressive circuit driving at the Aston Martin facility at Silverstone, totting up almost 15,000km collectively.  The vehicles have also been tested in a dyno climate chamber to ensure they will perform in all race conditions.

Aston Martin fans will be able to see the Aston Martin Vantage Official Safety Car of Formula 1® in action for the first time during the three-day pre-season test at Bahrain on 12-14 March, and then again during the opening round of the FIA Formula One® World Championship, at the same venue two weeks later.

Aston Martin Valhalla, powered by Mercedes?

We have only just learned about the Aston Martin Valhalla that was introduced back in 2019 already at the Geneva Motor Show, will be postponed to 2023, that’s a four year development, but that’s apparently not the worst for all those people that have signed up to buy one of these hypercars from the Gaydon carmaker.

Things might not be looking too bright for the bespoke built V6 hybrid engine that was developed to power the new Aston Martin Valhalla, and that showed similarities with the unit we’ve just seen in the new McLaren Arturo. This 3.0-Liter V6 engine would have been completely developed in-house by Aston Martin, a first since their 5.3-Liter V8 engine back in 1969, and with the addition of hybridization this engine would become the most powerful ever in an Aston Martin, which means it would have become more powerful than the 1,160 hp engine in the Valkyrie.

But 2020 has been a disastrous year for Aston Martin, losses quadrupled due to the COVID pandemic and dropping sales figures, and while they hope their DBX will continue to gather sales, for the Aston Martin Valhalla this meant a return to the drawing board, and a one-year postponement on deliveries of the 150 units limited production run.

Tobias Moers, Aston Martin’s current CEO, confirmed they have an agreement in place with Mercedes-Benz to supply the engine for their Valhalla, it will still be a hybrid model, as Aston Martin plans to have a 90% electric line up by 2030, but the in-house V6 engine that sounded so amazing back in March of 2020 will be shelved and in comes, probably, an AMG unit.

And here comes the catch … which engine will Aston Martin use, as Moers stated “everything is a reasonable cost situation” during an interview, so will they go with the massive V8, 4.0-Liter twin turbo hybrid that will be introduced in the upcoming AMG 73 models, rated at 800 hp or more … or will they go for the much smaller M139 four-cylinder engine that will power the new AMG C63 with hybrid addition putting down about 500 hp?

Mercedes actually owns 20 percent of Aston Martin thanks to a recent technical partnership between the two, and part of that deal included using a German sourced engine for the new Valhalla, and, to be honest, with a price tag of $3,000,000 for each of these Aston Martin Valhalla … as a customer I wouldn’t be too happy with a four-cylinder engine, even if they manage 600 or 700 hp … that’s still a far cry from the ‘more than 1,160 hp’ they mentioned before.

Aston Martin Pushes Valhalla to Launch in 2023

Aston Martin’s new CEO Tobias Moers has just given an update on one of Aston’s latest hypercars named Valhalla. Previously, deliveries were said to take place in mid-2021 but that was pushed back to 2022.

Originally, the Valhalla (under the code name “AM-RB 003”) was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show as a concept. It was to be released as a hypercar you could actually get your hands on, unlike the Aston Martin Valkyrie due to the limited production of just 150 cars. The Valhalla was said to have a 500 car production and have deliveries take place in early 2022. 

Valhalla Concept

According to MotorAuthority, Moers has pushed back the delivery date to the last half of 2023. The reason for this additional delay is so the Aston Martin team can “reassess” the hypercar’s design, inclusive of the powertrain. The revised Valhalla will be ready for viewing for potential buyers within the next four months according to a report from Autocar

Aston Martin Valhalla Testing

The original powertrain design of the Valhalla was similar to that of the recently released 2022 McLaren Artura. The Valhalla was to be comprised of a V-6 engine combined with a hybrid powertrain. The V-6 was going to be a brand new engine developed in-house at Aston Martin, but it’s been said Aston Martin may be sourcing a Mercedes-Benz powerplant instead. 

Mercedes-Benz owns 20% of Aston Martin and currently supplies them with V-8 engines from the AMG division. Mercedes is also supplying Aston’s F1 team with engines for the 2021 season. With all of that in mind, it would not be unusual for Aston Martin to source a Mercedes-Benz V-6 for the Valhalla.

Vettel Sells Ferrari Collection for a Fresh Start with Aston Martin

After finishing the worst year of his F1 career, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will no longer be racing for Ferrari. He will also be cutting ties with his amazing Ferrari collection he had gathered throughout the years. He will begin a fresh start for the 2021 season with Aston Martin.

Vettel’s Ferrari collection currently rests in Switzerland at his home and they are now for sale through veteran supercar dealership Tom Hartley Jnr located in the United Kingdom.

Sebastian Vettel

Among the collection cars that have been listed for sale include a Ferrari LaFerrari, Enzo, F50, F12 TDF, and 458 Speciale, and the majority of them are already sold or spoken for. Vettel has also listed a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, AMG SL65 Black Series, and a BMW Z8

Sebastian Vettel's LaFerrari

Though the split between Vettel and Ferrari is said to amicable, it does seem like Vettel is throwing away all memories and making way for his new love. This comes as no surprise as the Ferrari’s in his collection were acquired after his start with the Italian F1 team in 2015. 

Vettel's Ferrari F50
Image from: Tom Hartley Jnr

Vettel has also been seen sporting the Aston Martin DBX SUV in promotional footage. He could be making room for some new British supercars in the near future.

Vettel will be driving alongside Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll. Aston Martin will be unveiling its new F1 car on March 3rd and complete official testing on March 12-14. The first race of the F1 season will be the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28. Ferrari has since replaced Vettel with Carlos Sainz who will be alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2021 F1 season.

The Aston Martin DBX Bowmore® Edition

Aston Martin’s SUV, the DBX, has been revealed in an exclusive ‘Q by Aston Martin’ specification to celebrate the brand’s innovative partnership with legendary single malt whisky distillery, Bowmore.

The striking Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition has been created by the marque’s personalization service, Q by Aston Martin, in celebration of the partnership between the two British luxury brands. Just 18 special edition Bowmore DBX’s will be built before they are delivered to customers at a private lifestyle experience in Scotland.

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer said: “Aston Martin DBX has provided the perfect canvas for the highest level of Q by Aston Martin customization. The Aston Martin and Bowmore brands share the same vision of creating timeless beauty and a lasting legacy, loyal to their heritage but also embracing new methods and this is reflected in the DBX Bowmore edition. Strips from the copper whiskey stills are inlaid into the side strakes and Bowmore Tweed accents the interior, Q by Aston Martin has once again created a beautiful, limited edition, Aston Martin.”

The Bowmore DBX is enrobed in a striking paint color, named Bowmore Blue, an existing archive color that has been brought back exclusively by Q by Aston Martin for this car. Customers will have the option to choose an alternative exterior paint color should they so wish. Xenon Grey paint, which displays a blue metallic fleck throughout, will be offered as an additional exterior option. Bowmore-branded copper inlays using copper from the original whisky still have been used to accent the side strakes of the DBX, as a nod to the traditions maintained by the company.

Optional black brake calipers provide a subtlety to the smoked wheels and the overall elegance of the exterior is highlighted by both script and wing Aston Martin badges and Q by Aston Martin fender badges.

Customers can choose either the Obsidian Monotone or Copper Tan Metallic/Obsidian Duotone interior, both choices accented throughout by flashes of Bowmore Tweed, reflecting the company’s Islay ancestry. Created by the world-renowned Islay Woollen Mill, which was first established in 1883, the subtle and sophisticated design incorporates copper and blue inspired by the island’s terroir and lochs, making it inherently unique to Bowmore and its island home.

In addition, the interior holds many Q by Aston Martin design details such as polished copper cupholders, and sill plaques, made of recycled copper from the original Bowmore still. The gloss black center console trim inlay features bespoke hand-laid, copper foil detailing. Each car comes with a selection of specially designed Q by Aston Martin accessories such as a Bowmore tweed picnic blanket and leather holdall.

Launched in 2019, DBX celebrates the Aston Martin design language in a new form. With a unique body architecture engineered just for DBX, the design and proportions reflect the unmistakable style. The 5-seater SUV provides a world of luxury and features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, tuned to deliver 550PS and 700Nm of torque, providing the exhilaration of a modern GT. While it’s not a traditional Aston Martin sports car, the DBX is everything an Aston Martin should be: beautiful, hand-built, and technologically-advanced.

Each of the 18 Bowmore DBX owners will be invited to an exclusive Aston Martin Art of Living experience in Scotland.  Guests will travel to Edinburgh where they will be presented with their own special edition DBX, before embarking on a 170-mile road trip through the spectacular Scottish countryside, taking in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park before driving onto the ferry bound for Islay.

Alongside a trip to Islay Woollen Mill and fine-dining throughout their three-night stay, owners will be treated to a private tour of the Bowmore Distillery. During this very special tour they will have the opportunity to hand-fill their own bottle of a 39-year-old, specially selected Bowmore straight from the cask.  They will also be given exclusive access to the No 1 Vaults the oldest maturation warehouse in the world which has played host to a number of VIPs over the years, including members of the Royal Family.

Aston Martin’s unique partnership with Bowmore has already created ‘Black Bowmore DB5 1964’, bringing together an exceptional single malt and a genuine piston from the legendary Aston Martin DB5. As the two iconic brands continue to collaborate, further luxury products and incredible lifestyle experiences will follow.

Francois Bazini, Global Managing Director of Scotch at Beam Suntory, owners of Bowmore, commented: “Our partnership with Aston Martin continues to be an exciting and enthralling collaboration and the unveiling of this special edition Bowmore DBX is another exciting step on our collective journey.  We cannot wait to welcome each of the owners of this beautiful car to our distillery on Islay and show them all that Bowmore and our island home have to offer. Although we make entirely different products, our shared values and passion are very much aligned so you can expect more exciting announcements in the future.”

The Q by Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition is on sale globally now and customer deliveries will take place in Q4 2021.

1980 Aston Martin Bulldog concept will reattempt to break the 200-mph barrier

Aston Martin’s 1980 Bulldog concept will receive a second chance to break the 200-mph barrier after it emerges from a complete, 18-month restoration. It was developed with all-out speed in mind — the British company had hoped the coupe would become the fastest car in the world, but it missed its target before getting shelved.

Had things gone as planned, car-crazed kids in the 1980s would have grown up with a picture of the Bulldog on their bedroom wall. Aston Martin wanted to hoist itself up the exotic car pecking order by building the fastest car in the world, though it didn’t envision more than a limited production run of 15 to 25 cars. Penned by William Towns, who also drew the Lagonda, the Bulldog looked like nothing else on the road (let alone in the Aston Range) due in part to its five center-mounted lights, and it broke with tradition by adopting a mid-mounted engine.

Engineers floated a top speed of 237 mph, according to The Drive, but the Bulldog ran out of breath at 191 mph. Victor Gauntlett axed the project shortly after taking the top job at Aston Martin in 1981 because the numbers didn’t add up; the firm wasn’t in a position to chase speed records. Now, 40 years later, it’s almost time to try again.

Classic Motor Cars began the lengthy process of restoring the Bulldog on behalf of a private owner in 2020, and it enlisted the help of Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner to see if it can break the 200-mph barrier once it’s back in one piece. Richard Gauntlett, the son of the company’s former boss, is overseeing the project. We don’t know precisely when or where the speed run will take place, but Classic Motor Cars aims to have the Bulldog running by the end of 2021. In a statement, it said that the car is “well on the way to being restored.”

Restoring any exotic car from the early 1980s is a meticulous, expensive, and time-consuming process, and bringing a one-off concept car back to life increases the number of challenges exponentially. Classic Motor Cars can’t order parts from Aston Martin, for example, and it’s not able to study another example to find out how a specific panel is welded. It helps that the Bulldog hasn’t been significantly modified over the past four decades, though some parts (like the door mirrors) were added later, and that it was complete when it arrived at the shop.

Power for the Bulldog comes from a 5.3-liter V8 that’s twin-turbocharged to 600 horsepower, figures that are still respectable in 2021. Classic Motor Cars won’t make any major mechanical modifications to the drivetrain, so the Bulldog will need to attempt to reach the 200-mph mark in its original configuration, but the shop is sidestepping originality in the name of safety by adding an internal roll bar that it plans to conceal under the sheetmetal.

“What has been revealed is that the basic structure showed a lack of torsional rigidity by today’s standards, and a complete lack of rollover protection. For a vehicle with such enormous performance, we felt this was an essential safety improvement to allow the car to be driven in the manner for which it was designed,” the shop wrote.

Reaching the 200-mph mark will be an impressive feat for the Bulldog and for the folks giving it a new lease on life, but it will no longer be enough to claim the world’s top-speed crown. That honor ostensibly goes to the SSC Tuatara, which averaged 316 mph in October 2020. YouTubers called the record into question after noticing irregularities in the video, and SSC aborted its second attempt in December 2020 due to mechanical issues but plans to try again.

Aston Martin Poised For Growth, Greater Things

Aston Martin, that uniquely British builder of beautiful sports luxury cars is planning to expand its horizons and its sexy product portfolio. And it’s now in an excellent position to do so.

Tobias Moers, the man who took the reigns of Aston Martin Lagonda this summer as it’s new CEO, released a positive and optimistic progress report on Aston Martin’s aggressive new business plan today. Moer’s bold ambitions to build and expand Aston Martin’s product portfolio, increase sales, and make Aston Martin one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world are one step closer to reality.

The lynchpin of that plan is a cooperative agreement with Mercedes-Benz AG that was struck last week. This agreement gives Aston Martin access to Mercedes-Benz advanced technologies that will assist Aston Martin in the areas of design, engineering, and manufacturing while easing the associated financial burden. This sharing of technologies is essential to Aston Martin’s future as it will allow it to both remain competitive on the world stage and to focus more of it’s investment capital in the areas that truly differentiate Aston’s products from it’s competitors.

As a result of this cooperation and shared expense, Aston-Martin has been able to retool their business plans to include an expanding product portfolio. As a result, a wide range of new, exciting, and of course beautiful products are in development. According to Moers, they are now in an excellent position with the right management team, the right business partner, and the funding necessary to transform Aston Martin into one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world and a cutting-edge automotive tour de force.