"Aston Martin looked through its catalogue, picked all of its greatest hits and put them in this beautifully analogue vinyl mix"
Vantage, Vanquish, Virage, Vulcan, Valhalla, Valkyrie and add to that, Volante. All these names will sound familiar if you are a car nerd or an enthusiastic millionaire looking to buy your next Aston. Some of those names might also sound familiar if you’re an expert on Roman and Norse Mythology, or, on the very opposite of the spectrum, a cold war era aircraft nerd (the Vulcan is named after the Avro Vulcan bomber). It might look like Aston Martin’s naming system is a mess, but what a beautiful sounding mess it is! Say all those names in quick succession, over and over and your speech might flow into the famous ‘V for Vendetta’ style concoction of alliterating words starting with the letter ‘V’. Which cleanly brings me onto the 107 year old brand’s latest vehicle, the Victor. Not a majestic name now, is it?
If it were any other mass market car brand with no product in its line-up with names starting with the letter ‘V’, it would’ve been perfectly fine. But ‘Victor’? For Aston? Especially when the brand’s next car will be called ‘Valkyrie’, Victor sounds too tame. But supposedly it’s a nod to Victor Gauntlett, boss of Aston Martin in the late 1970s when the V8 Vantage was shown to the world. Gauntlett was responsible for much of Aston’s success and the Vantage launched under his reign is considered Britain’s first supercar.
But, apart from the name, little is tame with the car itself. No, actually nothing is tame with the car. Think of it as Pink Floyd’s most famous tracks from all their albums, re-released as a ‘Greatest Hits’ in vinyl form. That’s what the Aston Martin Victor is. What makes it even more special is that people rarely listen to old school rock nowadays and manufacturers rarely make an old school normally aspirated V12 MANUAL supercar.
Built by Aston’s specialized division ‘Q’, the Victor shares the chassis with 2009’s ultra-exclusive One-77, although completely refurbished and is lighter than the old shell. In the engine bay sits the same basic engine from the One-77, which, made a monstrous-even-by-today’s-standards 750HP from a 7.3L V12. Yeah, no replacement for displacement here. For the Victor, though, Aston sent this engine to Cosworth and said, (insert imaginary Cockney accent here) “Hi ya mates, while you lot are working on the Valkyrie engine, try play around with this motor too, will ya? We’ll buy ya’ll a pint, we will”. No, Aston didn’t say that. But in my head, that’s how it went down.
Anyway, Cosworth did play around with the engine and the end result was 836HP. Without a turbo or a supercharger! In 2020, meeting all emissions norms and whatnot! The boys (and girls) from Northampton didn’t just stop there, oh no. They managed to eke out 70-odd Nm of torque bringing the total up to 821Nm, before sending it back to Aston. Q then turned to Italian gearbox maestros Graziani Trasmissioni for a proper 3 pedal 6-speed manual with a motorsport spec clutch, understandably, to handle the enormous torque. The transmission itself needs 2 new oil coolers to keep temps at bay. Oh, and a machined exposed linkage for the shifter, while a beautiful solid open pore walnut knob tops off the gearbox. Quite a step up then, from the slow AMT ‘box from the One-77.
Suspension duties are performed by a setup very similar to the track-focused Vulcan’s, but Aston says the inboard pushrod springs and dampers tweaked for better on-road ride. Even then there are 6 steps of aggression for flexibility. Anchors are similar to the Vulcan as well, with Brembo calipers on carbon ceramic rotors. The rims are beautiful diamond cut centrelocks, which hints at the racecar under the suave skin.
And what a skin it is! The Victor shares very little with the One-77 but you can clearly spot bits of the Vulcan in the silhouette. The front is clearly inspired by the V8 Vantage from the 80s with its round headlamps, but the grille and bonnet are reminiscent of the Vulcan. A massive unlaquered carbon splitter squares off the front, making the whole package look like a resto-mod, in the best way possible. From the side, the Vulcan’s long bonnet, short cabin is a clear inspiration while the glass house is similar to the One-77. Lower down, the matte carbon look continues to the side as well, and houses the side-exit exhausts. Moving towards the back, a massive ducktail spoiler beautifully flows in from the rear haunches, each curve accentuated by what looks like a deeper version of British Racing Green, called Pentland Green.
At the rear, the taillights itself are nicked from the Vulcan’s brilliant 3D effect units, but the cluster is designed to look like the one in the upcoming Valkyrie. Finishing off the rear is a huge diffuser, which works in conjunction with all the aero elements in the car to provide Aston’s own Vantage GT4 racecar levels of downforce. So, not just a pretty face then.
Step inside to a fusion of Forest Green leather and extremely detailed symmetrical unpolished carbon. The headliner and pillars are Cashmere, while every metallic piece in the interior is an ornament made of polished titanium and anodized aluminium. The aforementioned walnut wood trim takes pride of place on the dash which is an evolution of the Vulcan’s dash. Also familiar from the Vulcan is the top-cut steering wheel, to aid visibility.
You, reading these words, are never going to see this car in real life. Even if you do, it’ll be probably be stationary. Because the Victor is a proper one-off car and it is highly unlikely that the man with the keys (that lucky sod!) would risk crashing a 5 million pound ride. Aston Martin looked through its catalogue, picked all of its greatest hits and put them in this beautifully analogue vinyl mix, which sadly is a rarity these days. Nevertheless, as an enthusiast, it is great to see that a manufacturer in 2020 is willing to build a car that is primarily about putting a smile on the drivers face. Only, this one will make you grin even while stationary.
Long live the analogue supercar.