Aston Martin’s wildest-yet car, the track-only Vulcan, has been taken to new extremes with a performance-upgrade package developed by the marque’s new performance brand, AMR.
Making its public debut at the festival, the Vulcan AMR Pro sports extensive aerodynamic enhancements and shortened gearing to produce increased downforce, greater responsiveness and reduced lap times.
The Vulcan was built in a limited run of 24 cars, all of which developed 611kW. Each lucky owner received driver training by the company’s expert team of instructors, among them Aston Martin Racing works driver and three-time Le Mans winner, Darren Turner.
Aston says the Vulcan AMR Pro offers existing customers the chance to further develop their driving skills and enjoy an even more intense driving experience through the upgrade package. Its aerodynamic enhancements begin at the front end with louvred panels added above the front wheel arches to extract high-pressure air and reduce aerodynamic lift.
A sizeable pair of dive planes have been added to each side of the nose to help pin the front end to the track and the huge front splitter has turning vanes fitted to its underside to improve steering response. Weight has been saved with optimisation of the carbon fibre lay-up and core form reducing the weight of the engine cover by 5kg.
Changes to the rear are said to be equally effective and even more dramatic, courtesy of a new rear wing. Now of dual-plane design, rather than the original single-plane item, the main element of this enormous rear wing features a 20mm “gurney” flap — an effective up-stand on the wing’s trailing edge — which is supplemented by slotted wing endplates that sport additional 15mm gurneys to maximise downforce.
The combined effect of these aerodynamic changes is a major increase in downforce, from the standard Vulcan’s 3150Nm to a colossal 4000Nm. This compares to 3104Nm generated by the 2017 Le Mans class-winning Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE. The aero changes have also improved the aerodynamic balance, shifting its centre of pressure forwards, bringing it closer to the middle of the car (47% compared with 41.5% for the standard Vulcan) to improve traction, steering response and front-end grip.
“I’ve been fortunate to drive the Aston Martin Vulcan throughout its development programme and at the numerous customer events held since the cars were delivered,” says Turner. “It’s an incredible car in every respect — looks, sound and, of course, performance. We worked hard to ensure it’s not a monster to drive, so it was important the AMR Pro upgrade remains true to that objective. By increasing the overall level of downforce front and rear, but also improving the balance of the car we’ve done just that.
“Together with the shortened gearing, which makes it even more punchy when you accelerate through the gears, the Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro feels more agile and responsive to steering inputs. When you get the aero working through a fast corner it really is an unbelievable feeling. I can’t wait to see the customers’ faces when they experience it for themselves.”
David King, vice-president and chief special operations officer for Aston said they conceived the Vulcan to “create something that expressed Aston Martin’s wilder side. The result was an ultimate track car — one free from the regulations and constraints of world championship competition; a flight of fantasy, if you like, but one we could share with our keenest customers.
“Like anything with a motorsport mind-set, once we’d built and delivered all 24 Vulcans we started thinking about how to make it quicker. And so the Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro was born. The shorter gearing makes for truly explosive acceleration between the corners, while the aero package’s increased downforce and improved balance gives customers the all-important confidence to explore the extraordinary performance on offer.” – Mark Smyth