The performance-car gear-up is starting to resemble something of an arms race as of late. New and refreshed supercar models from Audi, Koenigsegg, and others are hitting the spotlight at the Geneva Auto Show, and Aston Martin has evidently decided not to sit out this round.
Behold, the new Aston Martin Vulcan, an 800 horsepower track-only hypercar developed by the best and brightest minds at the British luxury car maker’s U.K. laboratories. Unfortunately, yes, it is only meant for the track, and production is limited to 24 units, as reported by Autoblog. To reach that enormous level of strength — all 800 horsepower, that is — the Vulcan utilizes a 7.0 liter V12 engine. Coupled with a six-speed transmission, lightweight body construction, and a pushrod suspension, the Vulcan makes for a true track monster.
“Aston Martin Vulcan is, by its very nature, a rare and thrilling supercar,” said Aston Martin CEO Dr. Andy Palmer in a press release prior to the Geneva Auto Show. “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.”
Due to its incredible craftsmanship, enormous performance specifications, and relative exclusivity, the Vulcan is set to become Aston Martin’s most sought-after car ever produced. Again, it’s just a bummer that it’s built specifically for the track — so don’t expect to see even your wealthiest neighbors flying down the highway in one.
“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.”
Now, since this is merely a track car, it won’t be able to go head-to-head on the open market against some of the other incredible cars that are leaving car buffs drooling. Also, considering that only 24 of them will even be built, the asking price — if there will even be one — will probably be astronomical. Compare that to the low-six-figure price tags of cars coming from less high-end automakers, like Chevy’s Corvette Z06, Audi’s R8, or even the new Acura NSX. There are much cheaper, road-legal ways to get your track day thrills, but that’s not all this car is about.
With little worry as to having to sell the Vulcan to consumers (not that it would be very difficult), Aston Martin can instead sit back and watch the rest of us stare in awe at its latest creation. That doesn’t mean that a select few won’t get the opportunity to climb behind the wheel and see what the Vulcan can do.
“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,” said Aston Martin’s Director of Special Projects and Motorsport David King.
But Aston Martin isn’t the only high-end automaker that is putting some considerable investment into track cars. After all, the track is where a lot of automotive technology evolves and ultimately develops into components and features that can be used in more consumer-centric cars, further pushing the automotive arms race onward. For example, McLaren has developed the P1 GTR, and Ferrari has the LaFerrari FXX, both of which could be considered “competitors,” so to speak, to the Vulcan. They’re certainly competitors for consumer dollars.
To compare those models up against the Vulcan, the LaFerrari FXX can make in excess of 1,000 horsepower, and was limited to 40 units. The McLaren P1 GTR, which is also hitting the stage in Geneva, makes 986 horsepower, and from a smaller 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8 hybrid system. Clearly, both cars bring more power to the table than the Vulcan, but with its design quirks, lightweight material construction, and a host of other features, the Vulcan will certainly be able to hold its own.
We’ll find out more when rubber finally meets asphalt, and we can get some solid performance data to see just how far behind — or ahead — the Vulcan truly is.
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