BULLETIN: NEWS & EVENTS
ASTON MARTIN LAUNCHES AMR PERFORMANCE SUBBRAND WITH BRACE OF TRACK-INSPIRED CONCEPTS
Aston Martin launches AMR ‘sub brand’ with two stunning concepts
JUST DAYS AFTER we closed our previous issue for press, Aston Martin revealed it was about to launch a new performance sub-brand called AMR.
Anyone familiar with the marque’s modern racing activities will already be acquainted with those initials, but although the most extreme AMR road cars will be heavily influenced by Aston Martin Racing, the AMR brand will be about more than ultra-low-volume road-racers. Startling proof of this came in the unlikely but really rather wonderful form of the Rapide AMR. Aston’s famous four-door might not be the obvious recipient of such racy treatment, but it carries it off very well indeed.
The Rapide concept has a suite of power, chassis and styling upgrades, indicative of AMR’S first tier. It features a Gt12-specification V12 (good for just shy of 600bhp) and new quad exhaust system, plus heavily revised suspension, CCM carbon discs and 21in alloy wheels.
The exterior has race-inspired paintwork, a huge full-height grille (a signature of AMR models), plus more aggressive front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and upswept aero flip on the tail. The interior is a fabulous juxtaposition of four-seat space and race-car attitude, courtesy of lightweight carbonfibre front seats, together with extensive use of carbonfibre for the door casings, dashboard ‘waterfall’ and centre console.
Aston CEO Andy Palmer confirmed no more than 210 examples would be built, but didn’t mention a price. Given the extent of the changes, we would guess at somewhere between £200-£250,000.
More predictable, but no less exciting, is the Vantage AMR Pro. Taking its inspiration from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in which Aston
Martin Racing competes with its V8 Vantage GTES, the Vantage AMR Pro concept goes beyond even the GT8 and GT12 special-series cars. Built for track use only, it is pitched as the ultimate iteration of the Vantage. Powered by a 500bhp development of Aston Martin Racing’s GT4 V8 race engine, it also features race-spec adjustable suspension, motorsport engine and transmission mounts, and new 19 x 9.5in front and 19 x 11.5in rear centre-lock wheels.
Adding to its authenticity, not only does the Vantage AMR Pro wear the same colour scheme as its WEC counterpart, but it uses the same bonnet and rear wing as the Wec-winning racer. Aston’s design team has then created a new front bumper that incorporates AMR’S signature full-height radiator grille, plus a new front valance, front splitter, front wings with cut-outs that allow air to flow along the side of the car, and a revised rear diffuser.
As with the Rapide AMR, the Vantage AMR Pro has a spectacular interior featuring huge swathes of silken carbon casings, vivid upholstery with dynamic graphic motifs, and a custom roll-cage.
Just seven examples of the Vantage AMR Pro will be built, making it the rarest factory-built model since the CC100 Speedster concept, of which two were built to celebrate the marque’s centenary. Again there’s no word on pricing, but we believe it could be as much as £1 million.
It’s a ballsy way to launch the AMR brand, but then it’s a big deal for Aston Martin. Some might find it strange that a marque already synonymous with performance should need to labour the point in such a way, but it’s an acknowledgement of a changing world. One in which markets such as China have little sense of history or past glories. AMR is also a reflection of the way in which wealth and tastes have changed. With the global appetite for special-series cars of all denominations showing no sign of diminishing, AMR is a structured way for Aston Martin to offer increased exclusivity and intensified performance with an appropriately increased price tag.
Ultimately there will be an AMR version of every model in the Aston range. More news is expected in the coming weeks on which AMR model will be the first to go on general release, but with the Vantage AMR Pro limited to just seven track-only cars and an all-new Vantage model in the late stages of development, our money is on a street-legal Vantage AMR. If so, it promises to be something rather special. We can’t wait to see and drive it.
‘Ultimately there will be an AMR version of every model in the Aston range’