If you’re looking to buy a limited-edition, track-only hypercar, it’s probably best if you really, really like looking at carbon fiber.
That’s because the ultra-light, stronger than steel material is currently the best way to build uberfast, uberexpensive vehicles. And, unlike more consumer-focused rides such as the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari (which are also made almost entirely of carbon fiber), track-dedicated cars like the new Aston Martin Vulcan don’t include needlessly heavy, coddling things like leather interiors and paint. And radios. And air conditioning.
Because for these cars, which aren’t street legal, automakers strip out everything not directly contributing to going fast. And then they charge you extra.
Earlier this year, Aston Martin announced its $2.3 million Vulcan. It’s a track-only car so bonkers that it recommends buyers get trained up on lesser Astons like the 565-horsepower V12 Vantage S. It’s a descendant of the million-dollar One-77, the hand-made limited edition supercar that Aston built a few years ago, taking some 50-percent of its carbon fiber tub, while stiffening the chassis to accommodate a full FIA-spec roll cage.
The specs of the Vulcan aren’t quite final, but Aston says the the naturally aspirated, 800-horsepower 7-liter V12 engine will run from 0-60 in less than three seconds and achieve a top speed in excess of 200 mph. It has “track-derived pushrod suspension with anti-dive geometry” which, of course, will make it go faster, and, of course, driver-adjustable anti-lock brakes and variable traction control to keep everything just controlled enough.
The Vulcan is what Bruce Wayne would build if Batman needed to compete at Le Mans.
It’s not the only track-dedicated machine out there: McLaren’s got its $3.3 million P1 GTR. Ferrari’s FXX K produces over 1,000 horsepower. But the Vulcan has a rawness to it, a “tear your face off” quality that really comes out when you see its interior.
Aston showed off that interior this weekend at the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, where top-tier automakers use a hillclimb race and generally super-fancy event as an excuse to show off their latest wares to wealthy British buyers.
Beyond the carbon explosion, we have a sparse dash that would almost look at home in a monastery, as well as the exposed metalwork of the roll cage. Plush it is not, though the racing seats feature stitched leather to go with the full-racing harness seatbelt getup. The Vulcan is basically what Bruce Wayne would build if Batman needed to compete at Le Mans.
The U-shaped steering wheel has been created specifically for the Vulcan, with consultation from Aston racing driver Darren Turner. Among other things, drivers will be able to control all these functions without taking their hands off the wheel: starting the car, neutral, pit lane speed limiter, turn indicators, flash-to-pass (basically flashes the high beams), adjustable ABS and traction control, and, of course, windshield wipers. Paddle shifters to swap gears are on the back of the wheel. Basically, the Vulcan is ready to start a Le Mans-style endurance race from the factory.
Readers with cash in hand and interest in picking up one of the 24 limited-edition Vulcans should beat a path to their nearest Aston dealer: They’ll likely sell out rather quickly.