Showcases Vantage and Rapide concepts

British sports car maker Aston Martin has just taken another step toward expanding its lineup with the introduction of the performance-oriented AMR division. Derived from the Aston Martin Racing arm, AMR made its public debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, where two production-ready concepts previewed the first models to wear the new badge.

Based on the regular models but developed With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more aggressive styling, the AMR cars will pretty much slot between the standard road-going lineup and the race-only vehicles created for GT4- and GT3-spec racing. The AMR brand follows in the footsteps of iconic Aston Martin road cars from the past, such as those that received the Vantage designation before it became a stand-alone nameplate. Vantage-specification models were launched in 1951 and the project eventually steered the marque to an historic outright win at Le Mans in 1959.

AMR cars will also take inspiration from Aston Martin Racing. Established in 2004, the motorsport division has enjoyed great success in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), winning the GT Drivers’ Championship in 2016 and securing three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On top of that, the company’s GT3 and GT4 programs have brought home countless victories and championship titles over the last decade.

The AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR models closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars on the more extreme side of things, including versions for track use only. The development of all AMR Pro models will be led by the Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, the highly-skilled department that helped create outstanding vehicles such as the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8 and Aston Martin Vulcan.

At the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin brought the Rapide AMR and the Vantage AMR Pro as the first products from the new performance division. Find out more about them below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Rapide AMR

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Aston Martin Launches Performance AMR Division in Geneva High Resolution Interior
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Fitted with a new, full height grille that will become AMR’s signature feature, as well as custom grille, splitter, side sills, and rear diffuser, this special Rapide is finished in the same Stirling Green with lime green accents color seen on Aston Martin Racing race cars. The exterior look is completed by new 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside, Aston Martin added carbon-fiber trim, lightweight carbon front seats wrapped in Dark Knight Alcantara with lime green accents. The naturally aspirated, 6.0-liter V-12 engine was also upgraded to generate 592 horsepower, a 40-horsepower increase over the regular sedan. With these updates, top speed has increased from 203 to 210 mph.

Vantage AMR Pro

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Heavily influenced by Aston Martin Racing’s WEC-winning V8 Vantage GTE, the Vantage AMR Pro is a much more aggressive take on the production model. In fact, it’s so extreme that Aston Martin will launch it as a track-only car. Finished in the same livery as the Rapide AMR, the Vantage AMR Pro also features the signature full height grille and bespoke bumpers and diffuser. However, the coupe is also equipped with the same engine hood and rear wing as the race car, while center-locking wheels come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires. The interior is once again similar to the Rapide and includes Dark Knight Alcantara upholstery with lime green accents and extensive use of carbon-fiber, but it also sports a race-bred roll cage for enhanced safety at the race track. The Vantage also rides on a race-spec suspension system, while the standard 4.7-liter V-8 has been replaced by a development of AMR’s GT4 racing engine. Specifically, the V-8 cranks out 500 horsepower, a 70-horsepower increase over the standard unit, which makes the Vantage AMR Pro the most powerful Vantage ever created.

Why it Matters

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The AMR division is a big step forward for Aston Martin, which can now compete against products from Mercedes-AMG and BMW M, while offer alternatives for the likes of Shelby Mustang GT350, Chevy Camaro ZL1, or Corvette Z06. The project is still in its infancy, but I’m certain Aston Martin will soon be able to deliver competitors for the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S, as well as highly potent track-prepped cars that could outrun the Lamborghini Huracan Performante on the Nurburgring.

Press Release

Aston Martin has chosen the 2017 Geneva Motor Show to launch AMR - an exciting new brand that brings a new dimension of race inspired dynamism and performance.

Reflecting Aston Martin’s racing pedigree, AMR takes technology and inspiration from motorsport to amplify the sporting prowess present across the model range. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, AMR takes Aston Martin’s road cars to new and exciting extremes.

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The AMR brand follows in the wheeltracks of successive iconic Aston Martin road cars which boasted top-level racing pedigree. In the mid-1930s the success of Aston Martin’s Team Cars in the Ulster TT road race led the marque to build further examples of the lightweight two-seater for sale to the public. In 1951, Sir David Brown introduced uprated and highly desirable ‘Vantage’ specification models, and steered the marque to an historic outright win at Le Mans with the iconic DBR1 in 1959.

Since the formation of Aston Martin Racing (AMR) in 2004 Aston Martin has enjoyed success in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), winning the 2016 FIA WEC GT Drivers Championship, while also securing three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over this period. Similarly, Aston Martin Racing’s GT3 and GT4 racers have secured countless victories and championship titles around the world.

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Two AMR concepts have been unveiled in Geneva: The Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro. The Rapide represents the first tier of AMR, enhancing the four-door sports car with a comprehensive suite of power, chassis and styling upgrades, plus a spectacular new interior treatment. The Vantage AMR Pro - heavily influenced by Aston Martin Racing’s WEC winning V8 Vantage GTE - is the pinnacle; an uncompromising demonstration of AMR’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ philosophy whereby race technology is transferred to road cars.

While future development of the core AMR models will be part of Aston Martin’s central vehicle engineering teams, development of all AMR Pro models will be led by Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations. This highly-skilled department - managed by Aston Martin’s VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King - already has extensive experience of creating extreme Aston Martins, with recent projects including the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8 and Aston Martin Vulcan.

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Underlining Aston Martin’s commitment to its new high-performance brand, AMR’s European development and brand centre will be based at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art Nürburgring Test Centre, which is situated within sight of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, says that the AMR brand was a logical next step after the ’sold-out’ success of limited edition sporting versions like the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12: “Each time we have pushed the boundaries and done something extreme, the customers have loved the cars. AMR enables us to take Aston Martin into a new dimension. One where we can turn-up the sporting DNA present in all of our models and make a true statement. An AMR model will have an instantly recognisable design language. One that accentuates and amplifies, together with the latest GT race car technology for the road. They will be special and rare cars that are credible, thrilling to drive and hugely desirable to own.”

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The Vantage AMR Pro is an extreme, track-only expression of performance and the ultimate iteration of the Vantage. Powered by a 507PS development of Aston Martin Racing’s GT4 race engine, the Vantage AMR Pro is the most powerful V8 Vantage ever. Race-spec adjustable suspension, competition engine and transmission mounts and new 19in x 9.5in front and 19in x 11.5in rear centre lock wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tyres, the Vantage AMR Pro promises inspirational handling precision and exceptional levels of grip and traction.

This race car performance is matched by authentic motorsport styling. Once again painted in Stirling Green with lime green accents, the Vantage AMR Pro not only takes its colour scheme from Aston Martin Racing’s V8 Vantage GTE racer, but uses the same bonnet and rear wing as the World Endurance Championship winner.

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To compliment these authentic motorsport parts, Aston Martin’s design team has designed a new front bumper that incorporates a new bold full-height front grille, a new front valance and splitter, front fenders, sill appliques and a revised rear diffuser.

The racing theme continues inside, with extensive use of carbon fibre, lavish Dark Knight Alcantara upholstery with lime green accents and a custom roll cage designed by Q by Aston Martin. The result is a Vantage that looks as spectacular as it drives.

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Aston Martin’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andy Palmer, was quick to confirm that both the Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro concepts are set for production: “As passionate enthusiasts of Aston Martin’s competition pedigree, AMR is something we have wanted to bring to fruition for some time. Cars such as the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12 confirmed that our customers love raw, race-bred models, but we also knew there was an opportunity to create cars that offer a sharper performance focus but stop short of those truly hardcore, special series models. With the AMR brand we have the perfect platform to deliver both.

As proof of that intent I’m incredibly excited to announce that we will be putting both the Vantage AMR Pro and Rapide AMR into production: the Vantage in an extremely limited series of no more than 7 cars; the Rapide as a run of only 210 cars. They are the start of something very exciting - a programme that will eventually see an AMR version of every model in the Aston Martin range”.

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