Gaydon’s answer to the Ferrari FXX K and McLaren P1 GTR

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about Aston Martin’s financial troubles and whether or not the brand will manage to survive on its own. Reports suggested at some point that the Brits might receive financial backing from various companies., but while that scenario didn’t come to fruition, Aston Martin buckled up and launched an all-new vehicle nevertheless. Dubbed Vulcan and described as "something very special," Aston Martin’s new project turned out to be a track-focused supercar in the vein of the Ferrari FXX K and the McLaren P1 GTR. At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Brits unleashed the Vulcan for the whole world to see, and, as it turns out, Gaydon’s new baby is as special as it gets.

Skeptics that expected to see a beefed up, race-spec Vantage were in for quite a surprise, as the Vulcan was brand-new not only in design, but under the hood as well. What’s more, it arrived with its own racing program and the kind of exclusivity only Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren were able to deliver until then. There’s a lot of PR talk coming with all-new vehicles nowadays, but Aston Martin nailed it when it described the Vulcan as the "brand’s most intense and exhilarating creation to date." Keep reading to find out why.

Updated 08/22/2016: A very cool 2016 Vulcan failed to sell at a Mecum auction during the 2016 Monterey Car Week. Check the "Prices" section to see why and the "Pictures" tab for some shots taken at the event.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan.

  • 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    800
  • Displacement:
    7.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    225 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    300000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Video Walkaround

Exterior

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Note: standard Vulcan left, Vulcan AMR Pro right.

The Vulcan’s nose is a rather significant departure from what we’ve come to expect from the brand

Not surprising, the Vulcan’s exterior is a blend of Aston Martin’s current design and other styling cues, most of them based on AM Racing’s family of Vantage race cars. However, the Vulcan’s nose is a rather significant departure from what we’ve come to expect from the brand, with both the headlamps and the grille relocated lower into the fascia. The grille is now part of a separated, bare carbon-fiber piece that also incorporates the splitter and side canards, while the LED headlamps are thin, and less noticeable in the big picture. As a result, the vented hood is wider than on any other cars in the brand’s lineup.

The fenders have been reshaped as well, but retained the trademark Aston Martin vent, albeit the piece is now integrated into the wheel arches and extends rearward toward the doors.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro Exterior High Resolution
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Note: standard Vulcan left, Vulcan AMR Pro right.

When viewed from the side, the Vulcan has very little in common with Aston’s current sports cars.

The rear fascia’s design is brand-new as well, but some details, such as the taillights, the side vents, and the massive wing, are reminiscent of the Vantage GT3 and GTE race cars. Everything else is unique to the Vulcan, from the design of the deck to the menacing rear diffuser.

When viewed from the side, the Vulcan has very little in common with Aston’s current sports cars. The muscular rear haunches and the redesigned greenhouse give it an aggressive supercar stance, while the race-spec side mirrors and carbon-fiber side skirts, plus the side-exit exhaust, are indications that this Aston Martin was built for the race track.

Speaking of carbon-fiber, the entire body is made from the lightweight material, which likely makes the Vulcan the lightest Aston Martin to date. I say "likely" because the Brits have yet to reveal any specifics on this matter as of February 2015.

Interior

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Nearly every surface is made from carbon-fiber and everything from the dashboard and display cluster to the steering wheel and the seats were crafted with professional racing in mind

The interior of the Vulcan is downright radical when compared to the Vantage GT3’s. Nearly every surface is made from carbon-fiber and everything from the dashboard and display cluster to the steering wheel and the seats were crafted with professional racing in mind. The bucket seats come wrapped in Alcantara, while the race-spec steering wheel is festooned with buttons and switches.

2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro Interior High Resolution
- image 721706

Vulcan AMR Pro interior.

Naturally, a full roll cage is in evidence. The black and carbon-fiber theme of the cockpit is only interrupted by the orange stripe and red buttons adorning the center console. The same orange inserts are present on the driver-side door panel.

The large instrument cluster provides all the vital information, including speed, lap time, tire pressure, and fuel consumption.

Drivetrain

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Drivetrain
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Not only the Brits went ahead and dropped a V-12 powerplant under the hood, they also increased displacement to a massive 7.0 liters.

This is where Aston Martin’s track-day special stands out even more. Not only the Brits went ahead and dropped a V-12 powerplant under the hood, the company’s racing division also increased displacement from the standard 5.9 to a massive 7.0 liters. The unit is also based around the architecture of the engine found in the compay’s GT3 cars and was upgraded with a new block, pistons, liners, conrods, and crank — all controlled by a Cosworth-designed ECU.

The engine is located completely behind the front axle for better weight distribution and dynamic performance and features three-position adjustable power outputs which allows the driver to unleash the car’s performance potential as their track skills develop.

2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro Exterior High Resolution
- image 721704
The Vulcan comes with a whopping 820 horsepower on tap.

The transmission behind the engine is a six-speed transaxle developed by Xtrac and controlled by steering wheel-mounted paddles. It houses a straight-cut gearset with drop gears to the crown wheel and pinion and, at more than 200 mph, is geared for a higher top speed than Aston Martin’s fast GT cars. Compared to a standard gearbox, the design for the Vulcan features a higher grade of steel for the gears as well as a unique set of gear ratios. The gearbox weighs only 70 kg (154 pounds) and features a lightweight aluminium casing.

The exhaust system is made from Inconel and Titanium for maximum weight saving, while the side exit exhaust design allows for the shortest exit from the car and ensures maximum rear downforce is generated by not altering the rear diffuser.

But what about output? Well, the Vulcan comes with a whopping 820 horsepower on tap. Specific performance data isn’t available, but Aston Martin says that the Vulcan hits 60 mph in "less than three seconds," toward a top speed of "200+ mph." Needless to say, this supercar should deliver some pretty fast laps on just about any race track in the world.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 7.0-litre V-12
Output +800 HP
Torque TBA
0 to 60 mph TBA
Top Speed TBA
Transmission race-bred rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential shift gearbox

Suspension and Brakes

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 685974
The Vulcan rolls on a front suspension with a double-wishbone layout with anti-dive geometry operated with a pushrod mechanism.

The Vulcan rolls on a front suspension with a double-wishbone layout with anti-dive geometry operated with a pushrod mechanism. Around back, it has independent double wishbone with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, also pushrod operated. The front and rear anti-roll bars are adjustable. The dampers are of a four-way adjustable design featuring Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) technology. These state-of-the-art valves enable both high and low speed bump and rebound to be adjusted independently on each individual damper. The rear dampers are horizontally opposed whereas the front dampers are mounted front to rear to enable weight saving.

Stopping power comes from carbon-ceramic, race-spec braking discs measuring 15 inches in the front and 14.2 inches in the rear and Brembo Competition calipers with six pistons at the front and four pistons to the rear. The 19-inch wheels supplied by motorsport specialists APP-Tech are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Prices

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Pricing for the Vulcan starts from around $2.3 million, which isn’t surprising given the exclusivity and the production run limited at only 24 units. The sticker also includes an intensive track driving program with Le Mans-winner Darren Turner as an instructor. During training, Vulcan owners gradually built experience and developed their track skills driving Aston Martins such as the V12 Vantage S, the Vantage GT4, and even the ultra-rare One-77. With the latter built in only 77 units, this training program is likely the only way to experience the supercar without owning one.

One of the 24 cars (build number 11) showed up to be auctioned by Mecum at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegace. Despite being one of the main attractions, the track-only supercar failed to sell. Mecum estimated that it would change owners for anything between $2.3 and $3.3 million.

Competition

Ferrari FXX K

2015 Ferrari FXX K High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Ferrari FXX K (AKA the track-only LaFerrari) has finally made its debut. Check out all of its hybrid supercar awesomeness at TopSpeed.com!
2015 Ferrari FXX K High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 580998

The FXX K is one of the most sought-after and exclusive track-only supercar on the market as of 2017, but the trouble with it is that all 40 units are sold ever since it was unveiled. Based on the stunning LaFerrari, Maranello’s track beast is not only more powerful than its street-legal sibling, but also more aerodynamic, lighter and quicker. Its hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 6.3-liter V-12 engine and an electric motor was tweaked to generate 1,038 horsepower — 86-horses more than the standard LaFerrari — and 663 pound-feet of torque. Its carbon-fiber shell has also been redesigned to accommodate a twin-profile front spoiler, a larger splitter, lateral dive planes, a redesigned hood, a new diffuser, and an unconventional wing consisting of two vertical fins on each side with small, horizontal wings extending on the inside. The whole aerodynamic package delivers a 50 percent improvement in downforce in the low-drag configuration, and a 30 percent improvement in the more-aggressive downforce configuration. This means a massive 1,190 pounds of downforce at 124 mph! The cockpit is mostly made of carbon-fiber and features bolstered seats, a race-spec center console and steering wheel, as well as an updated instrument panel. Pricing was reportedly set at more than $3 million before options.

Read our full review of the Ferrari FXX K.

McLaren P1 GTR

2016 McLaren P1 GTR High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 617800
2016 McLaren P1 GTR High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 617804

Also based on a road-legal hybrid supercar, the P1 GTR comes in a similar package: an aerodynamically enhanced body with a host race-spec add-ons, plus a massive wing atop its rear. The track-focused interior boasts acres of carbon-fiber, a spartan center console holding buttons and switches, and a steering wheel based on the unit used by the McLaren MP4-23 Formula One car. The P1 GTR is motivated by the same hybrid drivetrain found in the road-legal P1, but the combo now includes a motorsport-optimized, 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 and a lighter electric motor. The drivetrain sends 986 horsepower, 83 ponies more than the standard P1, to the rear wheels, which translates into a 2.4-second 0-to-60 mph sprint, a 0.2-second improvement over the street-legal P1. Pricing for the P1 was set at more than $3 million, a sticker that also included private consultations with the McLaren driver-fitness team and company design director Frank Stephenson, as well as access to one of McLaren’s dedicated racing simulators. Customers also benefit from at least six drive events to be held on certain Formula One tracks per year. Production was limited to 58 examples.

Read our full story on the McLaren P1 GTR.

Conclusion

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 639226

Gorgeous to look at and incredibly powerful, the Vulcan means many things for both Aston Martin and racing enthusiasts. It’s not often that we see a completely new product come from Gaydon and the Vulcan exceeds all expectations thanks to its track-restricted configuration and limited-run production cycle. What’s more, it is rather astonishing that the British brand came out of the box when everyone is basically talking about its financial limitations. The Vulcan opens a new chapter for Aston Martin, one I always knew the Brits could handle given AM Racing’s successful career on the track. Hopefully, this new race car and the program it comes with will bring the much-needed cash into the company’s coffers and enable Aston Martin to remain independent.

  • Leave it
    • * Very expensive
    • * Less powerful than the big boys
    • * Performance figures not yet available

Updated history

Updated 07/07/2016: Aston Martin dropped a new video showing its new Vulcan supercar in action at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Hit "play" to watch the new video.

Updated 01/28/2016: Youtube user Saabkyle04 made a pretty cool review for the new Vulcan supercar. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 12/04/2015: Aston Martin dropped a new promo video for its latest Vulcan supercar. Hit "play" to watch the car being tested to the limits.

Updated 10/02/2015: Aston Martin dropped a new very cool video in which its latest supercar meets the iconic 1950s British V bomber: Vulcan XH558. While pretty much nothing spectacular happens in the video, it is always cool to see two Vulcan one next to each other: the supercar and the bomber that provided name inspiration for it.

Updated 08/06/2015: Aston Martin announced that its latest supercar - the Vulcan - will be making an appearance at the Pebble Beach Automotive Week that starts on August 13. For the occasion, the company dropped a series of new images of the Vulcan. Enjoy!

Updated 03/03/2015: Aston Martin unveiled the new Vulcan supercar at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Check the "Pictures" tab for some new images taken at the show.

Updated 02/25/2015: Aston Martin unveiled the official details on the new Vulcan - a track-only supercar limited to only 24 units.

Updated 02/20/2015: Aston Martin dropped a new teaser video for its upcoming Vulcan supercar - and we have to admit we are very intrigued by what we can see in there. What do you think?

Press Release

Introducing the Aston Martin Vulcan – a track-only supercar and the British luxury brand’s most intense and exhilarating creation to date.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 618672

Born out of extensive motorsport experience – and using the brand’s acknowledged flair for design and engineering ingenuity – the 800-plus bhp, all-carbon fibre Aston Martin Vulcan promises truly extreme performance.

Uniquely for Aston Martin, the new supercar – limited to just 24 examples worldwide – will allow owners the opportunity to precisely tailor their track day experience through a graduating scale of detailed power and dynamic performance adjustments.

CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “Aston Martin Vulcan is, by its very nature, a rare and thrilling supercar. Designed and engineered to deliver a genuinely bespoke driving experience that draws on our rich heritage, this car tailors its power and handling to both the capabilities of the driver and the characteristics of the track.

“A sports car for true sports car lovers, I believe the Aston Martin Vulcan – and the unique ownership programme that sits behind it – sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class.”

Motorsport-inspired

Styled entirely in-house by the Aston Martin design team led by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, and with a design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars, this supercar is powered by the most potent iteration yet of the company’s naturally-aspirated, 7.0-litre V12 petrol engine.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 618671

With its 800-plus bhp powerplant developed in conjunction with Aston Martin Racing, this front mid-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car draws extensively on the brand’s rich GT motorsport experience.

Utilising the techniques of world-class motorsport engineering, the supercar sees its power-to-weight ratio exceed those of the GTE cars which compete in the FIA’s annual World Endurance Championship.

Comprising cutting edge engineering including that sourced from the brand’s successful GT racing campaign, the car features a carbon fibre monocoque and body constructed by Aston Martin’s long-term specialist body engineering and manufacturing partner Multimatic, integral limited-slip differential, magnesium torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft and Brembo racing calipers acting on carbon ceramic racing disc brakes which measure 380mm in diameter at the front and 360mm at the rear.

Drive is channelled to the 345/30 x19 rear wheels and Michelin race specification tyres through a race-bred rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential shift gearbox.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 618675

Track-derived pushrod suspension with anti-dive geometry is complemented by Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars front and rear, driver-adjustable anti-lock braking, and variable traction control.

The new track car will comply with all relevant FIA race safety requirements.

Aston Martin’s Director of Special Projects and Motorsport, David King, said: “Taking the extensive learning from our various successful racing programmes and applying it to this exceptional track car for customers has been an exciting and sometimes challenging task for the team here at Gaydon.

“Our deep and broad motorsport experience, allied to our renowned road car expertise, has allowed us to make the Aston Martin Vulcan the absolutely compelling proposition it is today.”

Fast-track training

Prior to taking delivery of their cars, owners will be offered the opportunity to take part in an extensive and detailed programme of intensive track driver training.

Experienced racers including Aston Martin Racing’s Le Mans-winning Darren Turner will support owners on their learning journey, offering them the chance to refine their track driving technique and increase their ability through a carefully-constructed series of practical and theoretical driver training events.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 618674

Using a number of exciting high performance Aston Martins including the V12 Vantage S and One-77 road cars and the Vantage GT4 race car, customers will gradually build experience and develop their track technique, before beginning their thrilling personal journeys into the immense performance potential of their Aston Martin Vulcan.

David King said: “We will be running a series of exclusive track day events commencing in 2016 that will offer the opportunity for these customers to explore their driving capabilities, and the car’s performance potential, on some of the world’s most famous and glamorous race circuits.”

There will also be the option of time in the virtual race car world of Darren Turner’s Base Performance Simulators, where buyers will have ample opportunity to further refine their driving style in the safety of the digital race track.

No longer the exclusive preserve of Formula 1, it is widely acknowledged that using a simulator can help prepare a driver for any race; improving technique and consistency as well as, ultimately, lap times.

Almost infinitely flexible in terms of colour and trim options, the exclusive new sports car will be offered to buyers through Aston Martin’s VIP sales programme, using the expertise and luxury customer service that is now a hallmark of the brand’s ‘Q by Aston Martin’ bespoke personalisation service.

Dr Palmer added: “We have already received strong interest from the customers we have spoken to about Aston Martin Vulcan.

“The cars will blend our traditional Aston Martin values of Power, Beauty and Soul with an unrivalled ownership experience; a unique combination that will guarantee their place in the brand’s rich and charismatic history.”

Performance data, together with further technical details about the ultra-exclusive track-only supercar, will be released closer to its track debut later this year.

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 618673

The Aston Martin Vulcan will make its world debut on the brand’s new stand at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show (Hall 5 Stand 5253) at 10.15am on Tuesday March 3.

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