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Motor Sport

Alpine A110 Ready To “Peak” Interest.

Automotive history is littered with names that have disappeared and then, to the joy of the hardcore, been resurrected. In rallying circles the name “Alpine” is synonymous with elegance and good looks, and the brand’s name has been given an injection here in Australia with the release of the Australian Premiere Edition Alpine A110. A recommended retail starting price of $97,000 comes along with it and for the money there’s a pack of standard kit.

An aluminuim chassis and a turbocharged 1.8L petrol engine, with 185kW and 320Nm of torque powering down through the rear wheels, plus double wishbone suspension, see a zero to one hundred time of 4.5 seconds and a 44:56 front to rear weight distribution take the new Alpine to levels surpassing its hey-day. The alloy chassis is bonded and riveted for structural rigidity, plus adds to the weight loss regime. Even more weight has been lost from using lightweight Sabelt sports seats at 13.1kg each, and Brembo brakes that incorporate the parking brake into the rear main calliper. This world first innovation saves another 2.5kg. All up, the Alpine A110 clocks the scales at just 1049 kilograms.

The proven double-wishbone suspension ensures that as the car moves and follows the road surface, the tyre’s contact patch remains consistently flat on the road. Kinetics sees the tyres press harder onto the road the harder the Alpine A110 corners. A conventional strut setup would have the tyre’s move to a position that offers less grip. Double wishbones means more suspension travel and due to the lightweight it means the actual suspension settings can be softer and more absorbent. That lightweight aids the handling further with the use of hollow anti-roll bars. This combination means that Alpine were able to specify rubber that initially looks small but in testing proved to be ideal. Michelin supply the Pilot Sport 4 and in a 205/40/18 & 235/40/18 front and rear combination on Otto Fuchs alloys.

Although it’s an inherently safe chassis, the Alpine A110 still comes with the essentials of electronic safety. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are standard. There’s a smattering of luxury items in the forms of an active sports exhaust, a sound system from renowned French audio gurus Focal, carbon fibre interior trim, leather trim on the Sabelt seats, and brushed alloy pedals. The driver is looked after by a driver focused design ethic; the binnacle is small yet clearly laid out and easy to read, the steering wheel is of a suitable diameter and heft, and all round vision is engineered in to be high. Satnav and climate control are also standard as in smartphone mirroring.

Contact your Renault dealer for more details.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Unveiled At “The Quail”.

There are car shows and there are car shows. And then there is “The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering“, possibly the world’s premium display of new and classic automobiles. Held as part of the Monterey Car Week in California, where brands use the event to showcase the latest in development, Lamborghini has this year done so to showcase the latest in the Aventador family. Labelled the SVJ, which comes from Superveloce and Jota, it’s already conquered the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with a time of 6:44.97 for the 20.4 kilometre circuit. Fast is the word, as in get in fast, as Lamborghini will limit production to just 900 units worldwide.

Even more limited is the SVJ63. Built to commemorate the year of 1963, the year Lamborghini was founded, just 63 will be made. Featuring an extensive use of carbon fibre, the SVJ63 also has added aerodynamic bodywork to take advantage of the updated 770hp V12. Here’s what will be available.

Drive: all wheel drive and all wheel steering.
Speed: 0-100 km/h 2.8 seconds. Top speed over 350 km/h.
Power: 770hp/566kW, 8500rpm.
Torque: 720Nm, 6750rpm.
Transmission: seven speed auto.
Body: a wider front bumper, integrated side fins, new air intake, and ALA, Lamborghini’s Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva, their active aero package. The front splitter has been visually disconnected from the body, providing a floating look to the part. A scallop in the bonnet aids in airflow re-direction, improving both drag and downforce. The rear wing with new winglets, valance, and larger side air intakes combine with a redesigned under-tray to provide, along with resculpted roof panels, a 70% better contribution to the overall change in downforce.
Extra bodywork: a redesigned engine cover with a Y motif is manufactured from carbon fibre and can be removed easily thanks to motorsport style quick release clips.
Wheels:‘Nireo’ superlightweight alloy with optional ‘Leirion’ aluminum rims with ‘Y’ and hexagonal details will be available.

Active assistance: ALA is now version 2.0, which incorporates the bodywork changes and updated software to take into consideration the extra driving ability. Flaps and vents in the bodywork are moved via the ALA programming, with “On” opening the front flaps, reducing air pressure, and directing airflow underneath the SVJ. “Off” closes flaps at the rear and allows the massive erar wing to do its job unassisted. There’s also directional channels in the wing’s horizontal surface to assist in high speed cornering.Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Attiva 2.0 (LDVA 2.0) activates in under a half second with input from external sensors. This includes activating the ALA system in the wing depending on the direction of a turn, increasing downforce and traction on the inside wheel. This has the added effect of reducing load transfer.

Engineering Tech: new titanium intake valves and the cylinder head has been modified to assist the air flow coefficient. The suspension has better mechanical and aerodynamic grip, and a revamped stabiliser bar has an extra fifty percent stiffness compared to the SV Aventador. Lamborghini’s Magneto Rheological Suspension (LMS) has been recalibrated for better sensitivity and partners with the rear wheel steering for even more precise handling. The front end has been recalibrated as well, with more feedback and precision engineered in.
With the better overall chassis structure and handling, the drive train’s torque split system also needed work. There’s an extra 3% of the torque available now being sent to the rear end as a result. To take even more advantage of these, high spec Pirelli P Zero Corsa has been developed and fitted.

Deliveries are due to start in early 2019 with prices: Europe: EUR 349,116.00 (Taxes Excluded ), UK: GBP 291,667.00 (Taxes Excluded ), USA: USD 517,770.00 (GGT Included), China: RMB 7,559,285.00 (Taxes Included), Japan: YEN 51,548,373.00 (Taxes Excluded ).

Update: prices were released for Australia and New Zealand on August 31st, and they’re sure to raise eyebrows. AUD 949,640 (including taxes) + on road costs with New Zealand: NZD 818,864 (including taxes) + on road costs.

Australia Has A New Motorsport Category.

Australia’s motorsport history is rich, diverse, and populated with plenty of examples of home grown thundering machines. There’s been inspiration from overseas and perhaps none more well known than the Formula 5000 series that ran in various parts of the world. There was the Tasman series, a yearly duel on track between Australia and New Zealand with the F5000 cars. But after a lengthy spell in the garage and a couple of stumbles in the last couple of years, Australia now has a rebirth of the F5000.

Welcome to our circuits, in 2019, the S5000.

The Super5000 car itself is a stunningly good looking open wheel design, and will be powered by a 5.0L V8 “Coyote” engine sourced from Ford. Australia’s Hollinger will supply the sequential six speed manual transmission, and grip comes from massive rubber front and rear, with the tyres at the powered end measuring seventeen inches in width whilst the front will be measured at twelve inches across. A carbon fibre body, complete with the FIA mandated “halo” comes from the noted French based chassis builder pairing of Onroak-Ligier and Australia’s Borland Racing will be responsible for the engineering and integration of their components into the French supplied parts.

To be run under the auspices of CAMS, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, the newly formed Australian Racing Group will oversee the category, with well known and highly respected magazine publisher and former racer Chris Lambden the category manager. The car itself is the brainchild of Chris, with the original Formula Thunder concept eventually morphing into this S5000 vehicle. Part of the expected driver’s appeal for the racing aspect will come from a deliberately restrained aero package, with moderate levels of down-force meaning the driver’s ability is more of the package and not electronically dialed out.Safety, of course, is not overlooked. The aforementioned halo is an integral part of the carbon composite body structure and there’s a solidly engineered floor-pan to add strength and rigidity. Overall length is 4900mm, and the S5000 will roll on a 3000mm wheelbase. They’ll be wide, too, at 1950mm. The engine is a sealed unit, meaning that mechanical tweaks will be zero. Power will peak at 560 horsepower and torque will be 460 ft-lbs (418kW and 624Nm).

Mechanically the power-plant will feature a front mounted drop gear set that will lower the overall engine height. This means the engine can be set lower in the chassis and aid the car’s centre of gravity as part of the handling setup. The Hollinger transmission will be a transaxle, with the outer structure also housing suspension mounting points and shock absorption.The actual racing calendar is yet to be confirmed however updates can be sourced by registering at the S5000 website.
(Images courtesy of the ARG, S5000.com.au, and SS Media)

Historic Holden Could Be Yours.

In Australia’s diverse and rich car & motorsport history there are few combinations of letters and numbers that get the heart beating like A9X. Almost a mythical being for some, the A9X was a code given to an options list for Holden’s LX Torana. Some sources say that the car was closer to the UC Torana that was released at around the same time as the VB Commodore. Just 33 hatchback shells were produced by General Motors Parts and Accessories (GMP&A) for sale to race teams.One of these rare machines is coming up for auction via Pickles Auctions in Perth. There’s a fair bit of history attached to this one. Noted 1970s racer Ron Hodgson had purchased from Holden three bare A9X hatchback car shells. Two of these were transformed into race spec cars. The other was effectively shelved in the case of needing spares. As it eventuated the shell was to be built into a working and running vehicle for a collector. A Group C specification 308cid engine and Warner T10 gearbox, plus Selby suspension and brakes, were fitted. The owner to be, Pat Burke, held onto the car for some years until Burke’s collection was broken up. Noted Western Australian collector Paul Terry purchased the vehicle and was delivered to his stable of cars at the Esplanade Extravaganza Gallery in Albany.It’s appeared in a book and was barely driven. One notable excursion into the public eye was in 1992, driven for just two laps at the Albany Round The Houses. The car’s current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, says this was the first time he saw the vehicle. He bought it in 1993 and apart from some very judicious laps at Barbagallo Raceway, north of Perth, it remains in a largely untouched and almost pristine condition. There’s also the amount of kilometres covered in thirty years: just 475 kilometres and all of those are either track and event based or movements with 200 of these driven in the 25 years the current owner has had it in his garage of cars. It’s never been road registered.Pirelli P7 rubber wraps classic gold centred Simmons wheels, with an overall specification of 225/50/15. The body is also largely pristine, in the classic black and white combination, and there are black Recaro seats plus racing gauges. Being a pre-noise pollution and emissions reducing car it’s a full, unfettered, exhaust and engine combination.

Pickles have the car listed from August 23 until September 2nd.

Not All Supercars Have A V8: Lotus Releases The Exige Sport 410.

Colin Chapman said: “Simplify, then add lightness.” It’s become the cornerstone of the Lotus car company philosophy and the newest addition to the Lotus family, the Exige Sport 410, certainly adheres to this. It weighs just 1054kg to start with, making it the lightest V6 Exige made. Add mumbo from a 3.5L supercharged V6, and the 305kW/420Nm engine will slingshot the Exige Sport 410 to 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds. Top speed maxes at 290km/h in the Coupe version. There’ll also be a and Roadster version and will be priced from $159,990. That includes Luxury Car Tax and GST but not government and dealer charges.Intended to be a more road aimed version than the 430 it’ll feature sports seats rather than carbon fibre buckets. Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic replaced carbon fibre front splitter, rear diffuser, and wing blades. Air conditioning becomes standard and a lithium ion battery is replaced with a standard tech battery. Otherwise the Exige Sport 410 shares the same chassis, brakes, suspension, and drivetrain as the Exige 430. Alcantara trim is found inside.Peak power is found at 7000rpm and the peak torque is spread across a range of 4000 revs, from 3000 to 7000rpm. Aero grip comes courtesy of a reprofiled front end, with wider air intakes aiding cooling as well.Downforce is a total of 150kg, with 60kg holding down the nose and 90kg at the rear thanks to the diffuser and rear wing. Ride and comfort on the road are thanks to the three stage adjustable Nitron dampers. Fabled roll bar company Eibach comes to the party with their adjustable front and rear bars, with rubber from Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 at 285/30/18 and 215/45/17 rear and front. They clad ultra-lightweight forged alloys which are available in either silver or black. Stopping power is from AP racing with forged four piston calipers.Extra lightness is on offer from a titanium exhaust system, subtracting ten kilos at the rear of the Exige Sport 410. Carbon fibre elements such as the binnacle and roof can be added. If one is of a mind to go trackside then items such as an onboard fire suppressant system and non airbag tiller can be added. Further customisation can be added via a choice of four colours from the Interior Colour Pack. Extra items such as a Bluetooth compatible audio system can be specified. Talk to Lotus Cars Australia for more bespoke customisation options and availability.

F1 2018 Movements And News In The Mid-season.

The mid season break is heading towards its end and there’s been plenty happening. The latest news has been expected yet still of sadness for F1 followers. Fernando Alonso, at the age of 37, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2018 season. It will also be the conclusion of his 17th competitive season in F1.
The rumours that swirled through the F1 paddock in the first half of the season all pointed towards a confirmation to be made. However it’s also a surprise as Alonso says: “”I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.”

Alonso has alluded to 2019 being a year of new challenges, which potentially could be again rumours being confirmed that he will make the move to IndyCar racing on a permanent basis.
Alonso started with the now defunct Minardi team at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He’s a double F1 championship winner, having taken the crown in 2005 and 2006. He’s placed second in the championship three times and has 32 wins, 22 pole positions, and has stood upon the podium 97 times so far.

Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault in 2018 is still clouded with acrimony. Part of this comes from within the team he’s signed with for the next two years, with team principal Cyril Abitetoul admitting that their own engine development hasn’t been as successful as it should have been.
“I believe indeed that we underestimated the potential of the current engine regulations, let’s put it this way,” Abiteboul said. “We are now four years into this engine regulation and after four years you would expect that you would see the flattening out of the development curve.”

Red Bull then seems to have potentially dodged the proverbial bullet with its decision to source powerplants from Honda. The current reliability issues and uncertainty about Renault’s engine development then hover over some of the Perth born driver’s decision to leave Red Bull. However Honda’s engines also haven’t been perfect so there’s question marks aplenty for both the team and the exiting driver.


Force India’s financial woes have been assuaged thanks to a buy-out lead by Lawrence Stroll (above) the father of F1 Williams team driver Lance Stroll. A consortium, and a powerhouse one at that, signed off on the buy-out in early August. Thankfully this also has resulted in over four hundred employees not losing the ir job, and all creditors are reported to have been fully paid out. This means the Silverstone, UK, based team, will be back out on track at the resumption of the season at the Belgian F1 GP at the end of August.

BMW Has Competition For The M2.

BMW Australia has announced another model for their brilliant M2. Powered by a 302kW/550Nm straight six, the BMW M2 Competition starts at $99,900 (plus on-roads) with a M2 Competition Pure starting from $104,900 (plus on-roads). There’s a seven speed DCT, or dual clutch transmission that will take the M2 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. For those that prefer an old style manual, a six speed manual is offered as a no-cost option.That peak power is from 5,250 to 7000 rpm, with that V8 eating torque across nearly three thousand revs, at 2,350 to 5,200 rpm. This backs up the M2’s intent to be a track day weapon, as there is a 1.5 kilogram strut brace and it’s a similar design to that seen in the M3 and M4. The suspension has ball joints that are engineered to have zero excess movement, and elastomer bands that transmit lateral movement to the torque struts in the suspension.

BMW’s M-differential is on board, with the design and engineering allowing a “lock-up” with an amount of zero to one hundred percent allowing precise control through virtually every driving condition. Strength and rigidity comes from a new forged alloy which is employed for suspension components and parts of the five link suspension. Stopping isn’t an issue thanks to the 400mm front and 380mm rears with six pot callipers that are an option. Standard stoppers are 380mm and 370mm.

Rolling stock are 19 inches in diameter and are 9×19 up front, 10×19 for the rear. Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber wraps these, with 245/35/19 and 265/35/19 front and rear. These are super lightweight alloys and feature a Y shaped design coated in a light sheen or black. To take advantage of these there are three driving modes, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+, operated via a dial in the cabin. There’s settings available via a toggle switch on the leather bound steering wheel.An exterior update has been fitted with a deeper front skirt for better cooling and airflow. High gloss black coats the grilles and the quad exhaust is also painted black. Wing mirrors are a double arm design that aids in airflow, a M hallmark. And specifically for the Australian market the Competition Pure also gains M Sports seats with Illuminated Headrests and Lumbar Support, front Park Distance Control and the M Seatbelts over the predecessor model.

Compared to the M2 Competition, the Competition Pure rides on the 19-inch light alloy wheels familiar to the outgoing M2, though the Michelin Pilot Super Sports retain the same dimensions as the M2 Competition specification (245/35 R 19 front, 265/35 R 19 rear). The new design wheels are optionally available.Other specification adjustments include a HiFi Loudspeaker system, manually-adjustable M Sport Seats, Bi-LED Headlights and remote central locking (in place of Comfort Access).

BMW says the cars should be available from early 2019.

Going Hard With Two Doors.

The Australian automotive industry is an oddity in the global scheme of things. A small buying population, the most brands per head of population, and innovations not seen elsewhere, make it virtually unique. Although we weren’t the first to build a car with a hardtop and two doors, we certainly made some great ones. Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Holden all have cars that are memorable and one that stands out was the Monaro 427C.

Designed, engineered, and built in Australia, this car was intended to be a track weapon and race in the Bathurst 24 Hour. The first of these races was set to run in late 2002, meaning the development of the car, slated to run in 2003, had to be brought forward. The heartbeat of the 427C was its US sourced 7.0L or 427cid V8. With the Holden Racing Team turning down the offer of developing the machine, Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) took the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R engine, a Monaro body, and the responsibility of running the 427C as a race car.
The car would later be a controversial one; the race would attract cars from outside Australia such as Lamborghini’s Diablo GTR, Ferrari’s 360 N-GT, and the monstrous Chrysler Viper ACR. All of these cars would race with the same engine they would come off the production line with. However, the Monaro at the time came with Chev’s fabled 350cid or 5.7L V8, and therefore would be ineligible to run. However, the organiser of the race, which would come under the umbrella of a racing group called Procar, allowed the Monaro to be run with the bigger engine to be seen as more competitive with capacities such as the 8.0L V10 in the Viper.

As the race was going to be run under the then current GT regulations, GRM had to design a body kit to suit both the regulations and the aerodynamics of the VX Commodore based two door. Using the V8 Supercars design as a basis, GRM fitted a wider rear wing that sat below the car’s roofline, as per the regulations. A similar front air dam was fitted to the front, and underneath the 427C utilized a number of components that could be found on a Supercar. A technically minded casual observer would see a Hollinger six speed manual transmission, wheels of 18 x 11 and 18 x 13 inches, MacPherson strut front suspension and a trailing arm rear, bolted to coil springs and thick anti-roll bars. The engine was said to be good for 600 ponies (447kW) and would be bolted into the front of a car weighing 1,400 kilograms.

All up the Monaro 427C would be 4789mm in length, run a front and rear track of 1559mm/1577mm, and roll on a wheelbase of 2788mm. The aero package provided plenty of down-force and made for a stable on track racer.

Raced at the 2002 Bathurst 24 Hour by a team of four drivers, being Garth Tander, Nathan Pretty, Steven Richards, and Cameron McConville, the car was also being touted as being available as a road car. The race car itself would prove to be strong, durable, and a race winner. Although suffering a flat tyre, a collision with another car, and pit lane races to see who could clear their car out to the circuit first, the car would ultimately win in its debut race by 24 laps.

As a road car, it was potentially to be motorvated by a 433kW version of the 427cid engine. But, as a business case, the numbers simply didn’t add up and would result in a mooted buy price of $215,000 being out of reach of its intended market. Just two road going cars, and just four race cars, would be built.
The Monaro 427C would go on to compete in the Australian Nations Cup Championship in 2003, and the Bathurst 24 Hour race in the same year. A second race car had been built by then. Driven by Peter Brock, Jason Bright, Todd Kelly, and Greg Murphy, the car would win by just 0.3035 of a second. Tander, driving the 2002 winning vehicle, was thwarted in a last sector charge by a yellow flag thanks to a car close to the racing line.

The 427C would race in 2004 and see a third chassis completed, before the Nations Cup category collapsed due to fiscal issues. With regulations reverting to GT Championship rules in 2005, the Monaro 427C was deemed ineligible. Of the race cars, one is with a private collector, one is in the Bathurst Motor Museum, and little if anything is known of the locations of the others.

(One photo courtesy Chris Griffiths, other source unknown)

Hypercars: Basic Fact Cheat Sheet For Sounding Like An Expert

We’ve all heard of supercars.  Now supercars can move over, as there’s a new category on the block: hypercars.  However, they won’t be on the block for long – in fact, they’ll be several blocks away almost before you can blink because these cars are seriously, seriously fast.

In a nutshell, a hypercar is defined as a road-legal production car that’s super-fast and usually super-luxurious.  They tend to be limited edition items produced by the high-end manufacturers – and are priced accordingly.  One writer has compared them to diamonds: rare, dazzling and extremely expensive.  Let’s just say that they’re probably beyond the budget of the typical Australian driver, although we can dream and drool!

Hypercars differ from Formula 1 vehicles and those things that look like rockets that scream around the salt flats of Utah trying to break the land speed record.  Firstly, all of the hypercars are actually road legal, even if it isn’t legal to drive the speeds that they’re capable of under normal driving conditions (you need to head to the track to do that).  Secondly, they tend to be a lot prettier and more comfortable than the racers and the land speed record holders.  You could easily put a hypercar on a poster – in fact, quite a lot of people do, especially teenage boys.  They’ve got the curves that are pleasing to the eye as well as reducing drag, the array of LED headlights and beautiful gleaming paint.

Hypercars tend to come in colours that have a visceral punch and tell our basic instincts that here is danger and power as well as beauty: red, yellow and black – with a combination of red and black being the most common. However, touches of dark grey and orange have crept in here, just to add a bit of variety to the calendars that feature them, I guess!

You already know the names of the classic hypercar manufacturers: Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin and Bugatti (sorry, Rolls-Royce, your vehicles are too sedate to be considered hypercars; Porsche and Jaguar , you’re too common!).  However, there are a number of new players on the hypercar track.  We all got rather interested back at the turn of the century or thereabouts when Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg came onto the scene and then picked up the record for the fastest production car in 2005 with the CCR – and things have just accelerated in more ways than one from there, with Bugatti and Koenigsegg battling it out for the title fastest production car, top acceleration, etc. Another name to keep an eye on is Hennessey, which put out the Venom F5.

There is also a player in the world of hypercars: Corbellati.  Corbellati hopes that its new Missile (the prototype debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show) will be the one to take the title of fastest production car when it actually finishes the production process some time in 2019.  It’s certainly got the specs to make it a serious contender: a 9-L V8 biturbo that has a legion of horses under the somewhat retro-styled bonnet (1800 hp) and so much torque that I looked twice and in several places to make sure that I hadn’t missed a decimal point: 2350 Nm.  Honestly, that’s more than a very good farm tractor produces, and when this is applied to something styled for low drag and has the weight reduced thanks to aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium, we’re talking about serious speed: over 500 km/h is what it’s tipped to do. Have a good drool at the official website  if you want!

In the world of hypercars, speed limiters do not exist.  Top speeds over 400 km/h are common.  And forget about 0–100 sprint times: some of these hypercars brag about their 0–300 km/h times: the Hennessey Venom F5 can do it in under 10 seconds.

At the time of writing, the hypercars have a tendency to make you think that concepts like “peak oil” and “carbon footprint” and “fuel economy” don’t exist or at least aren’t a problem.  However, if the trend on the racetrack is anything to do by – and if Tesla decides to go upmarket rather than downmarket from its supercars – then this will change.  Koenigsegg have a hybrid hypercar in production in the form of the Regera, and some of their models (e.g. the Trevita) have biofuel variants.

Every car enthusiast has his or her favourite hypercar, even if we will never get the chance to drive them in real life and will have to make do with computer games.  Being a sucker for Swedish cars as well as admiring their token gesture towards sustainability, I’m a fan of Koenigsegg.  However, some of those Bugatti models look pretty hot…

If you have been lucky enough to ride or even drive in a hypercar, please share your experience in the comments – we’d love to hear all about it!

Aston Martin Rapide AMR

Aston Martin is perhaps best known for a glittering range of two door hard top and convertible cars. Under the radar is the four door contribution to the super saloon family. The Rapide is a subtle four door design and has recently been upgraded to AMR (Aston Martin Racing) specifications. Powered by a naturally aspirated V12 with 433kW and 630Nm and transmitting that to the tarmac via an eight speed auto, the AMR will come with three trim levels. Standard, Silhouette, and Signature will roll on 21 inch diameter wheels clad in Michelin Super Sport rubber, a first for the iconic brand. Tyre sizes are 245/35 up front and 295/ at the rear.
The five metre long Rapide AMR asserts itself with a large grille that evokes the track weapon Vantage AMR-Pro. Subtle aero hints come courtesy of the carbon fibre tail spoiler, front splitter, sill panels, and rear diffuser. Weight reduction is also further enhanced by fitting a carbon fibre bonnet, complete with engine bay exhaust vents.

The engine has been massaged by fitting larger inlet manifolds that pack tuned length intake runners, with the kilowatts breathing out via a new quad exhaust system. Stopping efficiency is enhanced by modified brake ducts, dust shields, and utilise the spoked design of the 21 inch alloys to funnel cooling air onto the 400mm six piston carbon ceramic front brakes. These are backed up by 360mm four piston rears.
Being based on a racing design, the AMR Rapide sits 10mm lower courtesy of reworked suspension components. Aston Martin have gone over the front and rear double wishbones, fitted with stage three adaptive dampers, with plenty of Nurburgring evaluative work. To make sure the AMR looks the goods there’s a choice of four colours for the Standard and Silhouette. Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver, and Onyx Black are complemented by AMR Lime Green highlights on the Standard’s sills, splitter, and diffuser, with the other gaining a China Grey or Clubsport White stripe.

The Signature goes one step closer to a racing look with Stirling Green paint, Lime accents and stripe, backed by a combination of AMR Lime or Galena Silver stitching for all three versions. Driver, front passenger, and each rear seat passenger are cossetted in Alcantara seats which will have discrete AMR logos in Galena Silver stitched in, and there’s extra glamour with a full length carbon fibre centre console. Apart from visiting Aston Martin’s bespoke “Q Store” a buyer can specify the optional One-77 steering wheel as well. Digital radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto will be standard, as will 700 watts of audio power.

Deliveries are scheduled to start from October 2018 worldwide. Contact Aston Martin Australia for details including pricing.