Prepare to be jealous – very jealous – of those lucky 24 people who purchased the Aston Martin Vulcan. For those of you who have been living off the grid (or under a rock), the Vulcan is Aston Martin’s answer to the McLaren P1 and Ferrari FXXK. That’s the reason behind the 820bhp and more than 190mph speeds. The company made 24 cars track-ready, which means that it spends quite a bit of time with its new owners teaching them to be proper drivers.
As Top Gear discovered, driving the Vulcan around a track is an experience of a lifetime. “Downshifts shock the car, flames flash and lick about, the side pipes pop, rumble and crash, shift lights flash, gears whine, the V12 soars and shrieks – it’s a mashing, roaring mechanical melee,” wrote Ollie Marriage after his ride around Abu Dhabi’s super track. The Vulcan has so much downforce that it actually could stick upside down – the car weighs less than its downforce!
The genesis of the Vulcan may have been the One-77, but the company quickly out-did itself when various department heads got wind of the project. According to Top Gear, each department wanted to make sweeping changes to the Vulcan and when they got the green light, amazing flights of fancy were achieved. Design teams wanted to make an even faster car than the One-77 and they did exactly that. The underbody diffuser actually delivers the biggest downforce, channeling massive amounts of air under the car. Rather than using the 7.3-liter V12, they turned to Aston’s 6.0-litre V12, which powers the Vantage GT3 racer. After some major modifications, the car added a liter of capacity and the over 800bhp that the team was after.
Although the Vulcan doesn’t top the McLaren or the Ferrari in pure specs, it still provides quite an incredible ride. As Marriage explains:
The feeling of energy at idle is colossal, the whole car trembles, and if you blip the revs, they scream to the limiter and back in an instant – vap, vap, vap – proper motorsport stuff. It feels properly hardcore – massive seats inside, F1-style steering wheel, juddery clutch when pulling away, gear whine, squeaky brakes and all the rest.
True racing lovers would also thrill to the sounds that Top Gear describes:
Naturally aspirated, ultra-responsive, wondrous, strident and sonically magnificent. It howls. Shrieks almost. Like an old V10 era F1 car, but slightly less shrill. The sound pulses pile on top of each other, the detonations more densely packed than in a V8, coming faster and harder and more urgently, each forcing speed from the car.
Best of all, there are many modifications available to suit individual drivers, and Aston Martin has its engineers at the ready to impress its customers. When you pay over 1.8 million pounds for a car, that’s as it should be.
One last tantalizing detail from Top Gear to get your fantasy flying: The car shoots flames from the side pipes. Each exhaust even burns bright orange when it’s not on fire, giving you both amazing feelings and stellar photo opportunities. For what’s the point of having a Vulcan if you aren’t showing it off?