Aston Martin to Build 25 More DB4 GTs

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Aston isn’t the first manufacturer to reissue one of its classics; Jaguar produced six lightweight E-types using chassis numbers that were issued but never used in period and is now doing nine XKSS roadsters. Various other low-volume models have been put back into ultra-limited production, including the Shelby Cobra and the DeLorean. But the DB4 GT is perhaps the most ambitious such project yet, with Aston announcing that it plans to produce 25 “lightweight” GTs. Only 75 cars were produced during the original run, of which only eight were the stripped-out lightweights. Yet, as tends to be the case with limited-edition Aston models, all have already been sold, despite a price of $1.9 million at current exchange rates. Then again, that’s still only about half what original DB4 GTs are selling for.

December is a month of reflection, a time when people look back on the year that has passed, sometimes with rose-tinted nostalgia and sometimes with sobbing melancholy. At Aston Martin, the spirit of introspection has bitten hard—although with some distant coordinates programmed into the corporate time machine. Because the British company has announced it’s going to produce a “continuation” version of the DB4 GT, a car that was first introduced back in 1959.


 Aston says it will issue the new cars with VINs following on from those given to the original cars, and they will also be built in almost the same place: Aston Martin’s Works division in Newport Pagnell, England, which sits on part of the site of the company’s former factory. As such, they will be the first cars made in Newport Pagnell since production of the first-generation Vanquish ended there in 2007.

Buyers won’t be able to enjoy the DB4 GT’s doubtless considerable charms on the road; with no modern safety or emissions gear, they’re being sold for track use only. Aston will be offering a two-year track driving program for owners. It will be held “at a number of the world’s finest racetracks, including the spectacular Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi,” making it very similar in principle to the billionaire track-day scheme under which the Aston Martin Vulcan was sold. The obvious question is whether Aston will choose to offer any other “continuation” model in year to come. The back catalog isn’t exactly short of greatest hits worthy of being reissued.

The new cars will be made in exactly the same way as the originals, with thin-gauge aluminum panels fitted over a tubular frame. Power will come from a straight-six engine with twin spark plugs per cylinder that produces a claimed 331 horsepower and breathes through triple twin-choke Weber carburetors. This is very similar in design to the original engine, but capacity has gone up from 3.7 liters to 4.1 liters, and output has risen by 30 horsepower. Power will be sent to the rear axle through a period-appropriate four-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. No performance numbers have been given, but since it will weigh just 2706 pounds, the GT’s acceleration will certainly be brisk. In its day, it was one of the fastest cars in the world and won its debut race at the hands of Stirling Moss.

FIRST LOOK: Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Concept

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Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing pull the covers off the AM-RB 001 Concept, a hypercar developed in partnership between the two iconic automotive companies.

With engineering lead by Red Bull’s Adrian Newey and design with Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman, it was surely to create something spectacular and AM-RB 001 does not disappoint. With a total run of between 99-150 models to be produced, including 25 track variants, and a price tag of £2-3m (figures to be confirmed), already 370 customers have submitted interest in purchasing the car. Powered by a naturally aspirated V12 and with a 1bhp to 1kg weight target, there is no question this is going to be a phenomenal machine. With Red Bull’s experience it is designed to be the ultimate in track experience, combined with Aston Martin adding GT capabilities to make it also fully usable on the road.

This special launch of the car was held at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory in front of staff and media, to see it for the first time. From here the car will continue development before customer deliveries ultimately get underway in 2018, expect running prototypes to be seen from late-2017 on.

Aston Martin Details Its New

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Launched in 1999, the venerable 6.0-liter V-12 has served Aston Martin well for the past decade and a half. Its roots are in the Ford 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 of that era and, apart from marketing purposes, it’s really a 5.9-liter 60-degree V-12, displacing 5935 cc. Over the years, the engineers in Gaydon managed to turn it into one of the more exciting engines on the market, with sharp throttle response, strong high-end performance and a stirring soundtrack. The downside: It’s a gas guzzler by modern standards, so change needed to happen. Revealing the replacement engine at the International Vienna Motor Symposium in late April, Aston’s chief engineer Brian Fitzsimons put it this way: “Further evolution of the current V12 as a naturally aspirated engine was not an option due to the environmental and legislative landscape that existed and was continuing to evolve.”

2017 Aston Martin DB11 twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V-12 engine

The result: More than 600 horsepower at 6500 rpm and at least 568 lb-ft of torque arriving at a low 1750 rpm. In the last Vanquish we tested, the former naturally aspirated V-12 produced 568 hp at 6650 rpm
 and 465 lb-ft at 5500 rpm, reflecting numerous upgrades over the years since it debuted with 414-hp/398 lb-ft ratings. Conscious that turbocharged mills are often criticized for their muffled sound characters, engineers tuned the sound of their new V-12 to match its performance: Aston says it aimed to deliver “a dominant 3rd and 6th engine order with additional sub-firing orders for a richer and deeper character;” moreover, resonance is optimized “for a more distinct edge leading toward a crisp crescendo at high engine speeds.”

Aston unleashes the hybrid hydrogen Rapide S

The first car to complete a zero- CO2 emissions lap of an FIA-sanctioned race − Aston Martin’s Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S − will make its UK competition debut this weekend (17/18 August) when it enters the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire.

The car qualified for the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours running on pure hydrogen and is based on an Aston Martin Rapide S but features a special bi-fuel hydrogen/petrol twin turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine developed by the brand in conjunction with Austrian hydrogen internal combustion engine specialists Alset GmbH.

David King, Head of Special Projects at Aston Martin said:

“We successfully raced the car at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May, covering more than 20% of the race distance running only on hydrogen. Our CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, a regular competitor at the race since 2006, actually completed more than 40 CO2 emissions-free kilometres at full racing speed on one fill of hydrogen alone, comfortably exceeding our target. To finish a gruelling 24-hour race like that was real testament to the engineering teams at Aston Martin and Alset who developed the car.

“Since then, the car has made a brief appearance in our centenary parade lap at Le Mans in June, but has never been seen in action in the UK until now. Running the car up the hill at Shelsley Walsh seems the most fitting way to show it off, recognising the company’s long association with the venue and fitting in nicely with the wonderful Aston Martin tribute being held at the event.

“Although we can’t run the car on Hydrogen at the hill climb, it is still sure to be quite a sight and sound as it leaves the start line.”

Who needs KERS and ERS when you have hydrogen?