Remember in No Time To Die when you could see Aston's 1,012hp hybrid in a wind tunnel? Well, it's still there
By PH Staff / Wednesday, 27 September 2023 / Loading comments
You’d be forgiven for not remembering exactly where Aston Martin had got to in the seemingly drawn-out development of its hotly anticipated mid-engined supercar. It is not entirely the fault of the manufacturer that the prototype was originally revealed back in 2019 – a year that will go down in infamy for reasons not connected to Aston Martin – and has therefore always seemed bogged down in the mists of time. But we thought the plug-in hybrid was due to go into production this year; a cheery notion cruelly shot from the sky by the latest catch-up press release that suggests it ‘is on course to enter production in 2024’. Well, shucks.
Conforming to type, we’re inclined to cut Aston Martin some slack when it comes to the tricky business of getting a clean-sheet, 1,012hp petrol-electric model over the line. Okay, sure, its newest update goes with much the same ‘Formula 1 expertise is intensifying development’ line it trotted out last year (while failing to mention that the car was originally co-developed with Red Bull Racing, and has therefore benefitted from F1 methodology from day one) and still doesn’t commit to a timetable any more concrete than ‘the first running prototype will take to the road this year’ – but it’s hard not to look at the latest pics and puff out your cheeks and think: yeah, probably worth the wait.
Perhaps it’s because we haven’t really looked at it since Aston revealed the interior (which, we’re fairly sure, now sports a new steering wheel) but these snaps are surely the best yet, and do at least suggest a car that is very close to meandering in the vicinity of the production line. To that point, it’s fair to say that Aston has not been spending its time idly staring out the window. The switch from in-house V6 to Mercedes-donated flat-plane V8 is well documented, but it’s worth remembering that a) it’ll be the highest-performing V8 ever fitted to an Aston Martin, and b) for the first time ever, the manufacturer is mating it to three e-motors (two on the front axle, a third integrated into the transmission at the back). So there’s that to get right.
Then there’s just the small matter of getting the handling dynamic right with an all-new, hybrid mid-engined chassis (featuring a driving position that’s said to ‘closely align’ with the AMR23 race car); making sure that all the many, many elements of active aero work as they should (including DRS and that roof-mounted snorkel); and, oh yeah, figuring out how you go from building a few cars out of carbon fibre to a scheduled production run of 999 units (using proprietary Aston technology, no less). While launching 10 other cars. So, yes – the manufacturer has got its hands full, to the extent where it probably is benefitting from the ongoing assistance of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, the F1 team’s consulting arm. Let’s just hope that good things come to those who wait, eh?
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