You’re looking at the Aston Martin Victor, a brand-new design inspired by the classic V-8 Vantage from the company’s Q customization shop; it’s built atop a One-77 chassis using some Vulcan bits as well. That entire sentence is very exciting if you’re into Aston Martins at all, and there’s a lot more to unpack. The real gasoline on this red-hot fire, though, is this: The Victor packs an honest-to-goodness manual transmission and a 7.3-liter V-12 that makes a healthy 847 horsepower.
Of course, this particular fire won’t warm you. The Victor is a one-off constructed for a customer who by all reports was hoping his new creation would remain rather low-key. Sorry to whoever the lucky owner is, but the Victor is incredible and we had to share. That said, there’s surely a sum—a royal ransom, maybe—that would convince Q to build something similar for another 0.000001 percenter, but all the rest of us can do is stare and learn more about this incredible machine.
Let’s start with the inspiration. The Aston Martin V-8 of the 1970s was a rude muscle car wearing a tailored suit, a thoroughly muscular evolution of the earlier DBS V-8. The Victor clearly draws a lot of inspiration from that model. But interestingly, it also takes some cues from a DBS V-8 that was heavily modified to run in Le Mans in the late 1970s, the RHAM/1. The new car’s massive ducktail spoiler is a nod to that unlikely endurance racer.
Indeed, the exterior is an exaggerated, aggressive, thoroughly modern take on the Vantage V-8’s vintage cues. The forward-sloping grille, inset headlights, and squared-off power bulge all clearly pay homage, but they’re interpreted through the wild fantasies of modern design. So it is, too, with the Michelin-wrapped webbed wheels and the touches of leather and wood inside. All of the retro flavors are balanced by hyper-modern elements such as the Vulcan-derived C-shaped steering wheel, the digital gauge cluster and floating infotainment screen, and copious amounts of exposed carbon fiber. The solid walnut shift knob is a nice touch, however, and honest to both eras.
There’s nothing retro about the Victor’s body or its construction, however: It’s essentially all carbon fiber. The monocoque is derived from the One-77’s, and the body draped over it is made entirely of woven stuff. Q claims that the full structure—body and chassis—is actually lighter than the One-77’s, which is rather incredible. The vintage styling cues do very little to dampen the car’s aero potential, as it makes more downforce at 100 mph than a Vantage GT4 race car. Inboard dampers are fitted, as on the Vulcan, in addition to massive Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes—so the Victor can clearly hold its own on a track if the lucky owner so wishes.
Power comes from a naturally aspirated V-12 backed up by a six-speed manual gearbox from Graziano. Aston says this is the most powerful car it has ever built with a manual transmission; for perspective, it’s more powerful than the formidable One-77, which put out “only” 760 horsepower to the Victor’s 847, and 553 lb-ft to the one-off’s 605 lb-ft.
The new Victor isn’t for everyone, but that’s the point: This is one person’s fantasy made thunderously real. And we think it’s fantastic.
The post Meet the Aston Martin Victor: a Manual, V-12 Celebration of Retro Awesomeness appeared first on Automobile Magazine.