MUSIC
2017 Grammy nominations: Beyoncé and Adele come out strong as top four categories revealed

2015 Geneva Motor Show: Aston Martin debuts track-only Vulcan supercar

Aston Martin is using the 2015 Geneva Motor Show to debut the Vulcan

Looking to capitalize on the highly profitable trend of building track-only supercars, Aston Martin used the 2015 Geneva Motor Show to debut the Vulcan.

The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Vulcan is made entirely of carbon fiber and packs a massive 7.0-liter, V-12 engine that makes more than 800 horsepower (exact power and performance figures will be announced later).

“A sports car for true sports car lovers, I believe the Aston Martin Vulcan -- and the unique ownership program that sits behind it -- sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class,” Andy Palmer, Aston’s CEO, said ahead of the debut.

The Vulcan joins the likes of McLaren’s P1 GTR (also a Geneva debut) and Ferrari’s FXX K -- track cars that are as rare as they are expensive. Aston will build just 24 of the cars globally, with a price tag of about $2.3 million each.

For that money, buyers get the powerful engine mentioned above plus carbon ceramic disc brakes, a six-speed sequential gearbox, variable traction control and a fully-adjustable suspension. Buyers can order the car in any color they like.

They also get a detailed driver training program and car support at tracks around the world, as well as seat time in other Aston Martins as buyers presumably work up the courage to flog $2.3 million worth of machinery around a racetrack.

The program is similar to those run by McLaren and Ferrari for buyers of their track-only supercars. The astonishingly rare opportunities curry favor with an automaker’s best (and wealthiest) customers.

Such programs also give the makers of the exotic autos additional testing opportunities as they use the cars and drivers as guinea pigs for features and technologies that may eventually trickle down into their more common road cars.

The Aston Martin Vulcan is set to hit the world’s tracks in 2016.

In addition to giving the tiny automaker something to show off at the Geneva show, the Vulcan’s design also hints at what future production Astons may look like. The company is in the middle of a wholesale product reinvention, the fruits of which should first appear in the successor to the DB9.

A DB10 concept car was unveiled at the end of 2014 when it was announced that Daniel Craig’s James Bond character would drive the car in the upcoming Bond installment, “Spectre.”

Aston was adamant that the car was for the movie only, but it also hinted at what the new generation of its sports cars would look like.

The DB9 successor is expected to debut in 2016. Though it will likely use a V-12 engine, Aston is working with Mercedes-Benz to develop a new V-8 engine. Mercedes bought a 5% stake in Aston in 2013.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
63°