The Aston Martin Vulcan defines extreme. This limited-edition supercar can’t actually be driven on public roads, and is so fast on the track that each of the 24 Vulcan buyers had to be trained to drive it. This is not a car one tries to improve. Yet Aston thinks it’s found a way to do that. It does not plan to build any more Vulcans, but it now has an upgrade package for the existing 24 cars. Thanks to an even more aggressive aerodynamics package, this Vulcan AMR Pro version should be faster around a track. But will it be too much for mere mortals to handle?
Changes begin at the front, where Aston added louvered panels to extract high-pressure air from the wheel wells, and dive planes that look like they were taken straight off a race car. The front splitter was altered as well, and the massive rear wing is now a dual-plane design, with two horizontal beams sandwiched between the endplates.
Aston claims these changes increase downforce from 2,323 pound-feet in the standard Vulcan, to 2,950 lb-ft. Downforce pushes the car into the pavement, giving the tires more grip and letting the driver go faster. To put these figures in context, the Aston Martin Vantage GTE race car that just won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans only generates 2,290 lb-ft. of the downforce.
The Vulcan’s 820-horsepower 7.0-liter V12 engine and six-speed sequential transmission are essentially unchanged. The AMR Pro does have shorter gear ratios to improve acceleration, though. Aston also managed to shave 11 pounds from the engine cover with a new production process for its carbon-fiber components. Every little bit helps, apparently.
The Vulcan AMR Pro makes its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. The 24 Vulcan owners can have their cars upgraded to AMR Pro spec by Aston’s Q personalization division. Aston says it’s working on the first cars now, but they won’t be completed until the fall. The upgrade process may be the only thing about the Vulcan AMR Pro that’s slow.
As crazy as the Vulcan is, it’s about to be supplanted by another Aston supercar. Called the Valkyrie, it’s a collaboration between Aston and the Red Bull Racing Formula One team. Unlike the Vulcan, the Valkyrie will be street legal. But Aston is also planning a track-only version that will not only be faster than the Vulcan but, the automaker claims, many top-level race cars as well.