It’s been a big couple of days for Aston Martin. First came the announcement of a £6 million coachbuilt duo, offering 19 lucky buyers the chance to own both the upcoming DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and a brand new DBS GT Zagato - and now this.
News of a mid-engined Aston isn’t unfamilar, of course, we’ve known for some time that the next generation of Vanquish will be a 488 rival. We’ve also had rather more than an inkling that something slightly higher up the food chain was on the way as well, Autocar having spoken to Andy Palmer back in March when he said: “It’s correct - we have more than one mid-engined project underway - more than two, if you count the Valkyrie. This new project will draw on all the know-how we’ve taken from the Valkyrie, as well as some of its visual identity and engineering capability, and bring it to a new sector of the market.”
Now, though, we have confirmation that by the end of 2021 the Aston Martin range will include both the aforementioned Vanquish and, above it, a mid-engined, road-legal hypercar.
The new project is codenamed ‘003’, with ‘001’ and ‘002’ having been used for the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR, respectively. It will feature technology showcased in both of those cars, be built around a lightweight structure and powered by a turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid motor. Active aero and suspension systems will provide “next-level precision, control and driver connection” bestowing the ‘003’ with “class leading dynamics on both road and track.”
Limited to 500 coupe examples globally - so expect a similar number of convertibles at a later date, LaFerrari Aperta style - the ‘003’ will not be the same sort of uncompromising machine as its forebears. Instead, says Aston, the focus will be on breadth of performance with the car being engineered to include “more practical concessions to road use, including space for luggage.”
In confirming production of the car, Aston CEO Andy Palmer said: “It was always the intention for the Aston Martin Valkyrie to be a once-in-a lifetime project, however, it was also vital to us that Valkyrie would create a legacy: a direct descendent that would also set new standards within its own area of the hypercar market, creating a bloodline of highly specialised, limited-production machines that can exist in parallel with Aston Martin’s series production models. I’m thrilled to announce that this car is the Project ‘003’, and our next step into a dynamic and exacting arena.”
Should the 2021 launch target be met, the new car will likely pip the successors to the ‘Holy Trinity’ to market, beating McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari at their own game and setting the standard for a new generation of hypercars in the process. With the form that the company is currently on, that’s a very exciting prospect indeed.