Monday 20th May 2019
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Aston Martin Vanquish shifts engine to the middle. Image by Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Vanquish shifts engine to the middle
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What's all this about?

Without any teasing beforehand, nor clear hint it was coming, Aston Martin has announced at the Geneva Motor Show that it is making the venerable old Vanquish GT into a mid-engined supercar - one that will be based on the Vanquish Vision Concept unveiled in the Swiss city. With this move, it will become the first series-production mid-engined car from the Gaydon-based manufacturer.

Hang on... hasn't Aston already made the Valkyrie? And what's that other car on its Geneva stand?

That's the AM-RB 003 and yes, you make a valid point. It, like the Valkyrie 'AM-RB 001' and its more extreme sibling, the Valkyrie AMR Pro 'AM-RB 002', is mid-engined. But all three of these vehicles, which have come about as a result of Aston's tie-up with F1's Red Bull Advanced Technologies group, were/are hypercars. Ridiculously expensive, built with little concession to daily usage and constructed of magnificent materials. In the main, carbon fibre, as all three AM-RBs have both their chassis and their aerodynamic bodywork made of the stuff. The Vanquish Vision Concept, though, is different.

How so?

It won't be a hypercar, it'll be a supercar, and that's an important distinction. There will be no low limit on its build numbers (although, given this is Aston Martin, it's not like it is going to be churned off the production line in the order of tens of thousands of units...) and it will have a bespoke bonded aluminium chassis, rather than one fashioned from carbon fibre. So, while it will hardly be something that you can PCP for 300 quid a month, the Vanquish Vision Concept, when it goes into production, will be more attainable to more people than the AM-RB 003, for instance.

When is it going into production and what else do we know about it?

It should enter production in 2022, with power coming from the Aston in-house-developed V6 engine that will, with hybrid assistance, be fitted to the AM-RB 003 as well. That's about it on the technical front for now, as Aston wishes to keep its powder dry. Because it is gunning for the Italians.

Why?

Aston Martin revealed the Vanquish Vision Concept and said it will compete in one of the 'most hotly contested market sectors in the automotive world - one traditionally defined by Italian supercar makers.' As thinly veiled threats towards Ferrari, Lamborghini and (to a degree) Pagani go, it's pretty specific.

What do the people behind the Vanquish have to say?

Max Szwaj, Aston's chief technical officer and the man mainly responsible for the Vanquish's exciting new direction, said: "The Vanquish Vision Concept is the point when the things we have learned during the Aston Martin Valkyrie and AM-RB 003 programmes reach the series production models. Creating a car like this for Aston Martin is a challenge I have relished since joining back in 2017. Although it takes Aston Martin into new territory, it does so with the benefit of hard-won knowledge, ground-breaking ideas and an uncompromising mindset. The full engineering story of this car is yet to be told, but what you see here should tell you this car will not only compete at the highest level, but it will do so in a manner and style unique to Aston Martin."

Anyone else got their two-penn'orth to cob into the mix?

Miles Nurnberger, Aston Martin's director of design, added: "The Vanquish Vision Concept has a more seductive and less technical appearance than Aston Martin Valkyrie and AM-RB 003, but it's still extreme in terms of visual gestures. For example, it has a very distinctive clamshell front fender, with openings so you can see through onto the tyre. There's less of the negative space that defines the look of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and AM-RB 003. It's a prettier car, and purposely so, as it's been designed to thrive in a less extreme performance envelope. But, while being very much at home on the road, it will still be equally capable when chasing lap times on a race track. As a result, it's less provocative and more classical in its look. Its beauty comes from a shift in emphasis from the aggressive, function driven surfaces of Aston Martin Valkyrie and AM-RB 003 to more flowing and sensuous forms, while retaining a resolute athleticism and modernity: critical qualities in expressing the distinct character and capabilities of what will be Aston Martin's first mid-engined series production supercar."



Matt Robinson - 5 Mar 2019


2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.

2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.









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