With prices from £1.8 million, only 24 Vulcans were ever made – the ultimate expression of the Aston Martin brand and an exercise in extreme power and beauty. Names after the Roman god of fire, the lightweight Vulcan, launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, was designed by Aston Martin’s creative head Marek Reichman and inspired by the marque’s racing cars, the DBR9 and One-77. Powered by a 7-litre V12, the car was entirely for track use, surely the only safe place to deploy nearly 600lb ft of torque in a car with an aluminium alloy chassis and carbon fibre body weighing around 1,350kg.
For gentle motoring, the engine could be switched to deliver a mere 507bhp, 684bhp for more speed or the third option for a dizzying 830bhp. Acceleration to 60mph was then a little under three seconds with a top speed somewhere beyond 225mph.
At the Nardo test track in Southern Italy, a Vulcan lapped nine seconds faster than a McLaren Pl. Stopping was effective thanks to massive carbon ceramic disc brakes behind the 19-inch wheels: 15-inch, six-piston at the front, 14-inch four-piston behind.
The bodywork with swan-wing doors was entirely made of carbon fibre, as was nearly every visible surface inside. The dashboard, instrument display, button-covered half-steering wheel and surrounding panels were in this material, with bucket seats trimmed in Alcantara. The car’s track DNA was confirmed by the roll cage inside and the instruments could convey lap times, tyre pressures and fuel consumption. The interior was noisy thanks to the engine behind the front wheels, a 7-litre version of the standard AM 5.9-litre V12, but more than upgraded thanks to a new block, pistons, liners, conrods and crankshaft, with everything controlled by a Cosworth-developed ECU.
The racing suspension comprised double wishbone designs front and rear, pushrod-operated with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry and adjustable anti-roll bars. Four-way dampers were adjusted on individual wheels for different rates of bump and rebound.
To ensure maximum and safe enjoyment of this almost unbelievably fast car, the reassuringly substantial price did include the owner receiving personal driving tuition at full power on a track by Le Mans winner Darren Turner, plus a team of mechanics to help keep the Vulcan in optimum condition.