By Fabian Müeller:
Engineers around the world are constantly developing engines that push the limits of what we thought was physically possible. They’re using techniques most of us have never heard of. Twin scroll turbocharger? Triple-turbocharged diesel engines? Water injection? And now there is this other thing going on in the world of the supercars: The hypercar.
These hybrids use generators on the wheels or huge lithium-ion batteries in the bottom of the car to gain outputs of way over 1000hp. With this technique, extra components have to be mounted to the car, which might seem counterproductive in the world of racing.
Drivers with a taste for the tradition might think, Isn’t the idea of racing to get rid of all the useless stuff in the car to make it lighter? Indeed, a lighter body generally makes for a better race car. But the hybrid allows for an entirely new take on the potential of the race car.
One company keen on creating a hypercar worthy of the track is Aston Martin. Their latest creation, the Vulcan, easily competes against other Hybrid race cars. If you had the chance to get one, congratulations! It’s already increasing in value since the English manufacturer limited production at 24 units.
Aston Martin in a track-only race car fitting FIA regulations. Powered by a natural aspired 7-litre V12 it has a maximum output of 820hp. A button on the steering wheel gives you the opportunity to choose from three power settings.
The Vulcan itself is constructed around a two-seater carbon fiber monocoque and body, with the V12 engine mounted front-midship. An aluminium rollcage provides safety and stiffness for the chassis. There’s an six-speed sequential gearbox adapted from Aston Martin’s GTE race cars and a magnesium driveshaft. The suspenion is a push-rod construction with Öhlins dampers. How much does it weigh? Just 2976 lbs!
To give the Vulcan enough brake power after an intense acceleration, Aston Martin mounted 380mm diameter carbon ceramic brakes from Brembo.
The sound of the Aston Martin is absolutely ridiculous– an intense loud screaming but somehow in a very sorted way. Just how a new developed V12 engine should be!
On a Saturday, the 9th of April 2016, an Aston Martin Vulcan hit the track at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, New Zealand. The car is owned by Australian businessman and multi-millionaire, Tony Quinn. At the presentation Mr. Quinn was only driving on 650hp, the second option, because the engineers of Aston Martin were worried about the tires. Yes, at least three or four engineers from Aston Martin were looking after the car during the presentation day! It was sitting on Pilot Super Sport street tires from Michelin.
Car enthusiasts and other interested parties from all over New Zealand flocked to the track to see the Vulcan unleashed on the track for the first time. I joined photographers from a multitude of magazines to get the perfect shot of the Vulcan in action.
Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, describes the Vulcan as “a sports car for true sports car lovers,” and promises the Vulcan “sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class.”
The Aston Martin Vulcan is a sight to see on the track, and could be dangerous to those who aren’t ready to handle it’s power. For Vulcan owners, Aston Martin provides intense track training to ensure each owner is fully capable of handling their hypercar on the track.
About the contributor: Fabian Mueller is a hobby photographer and car enthusiast from Germany, currently living in Queenstown.