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Aston Martin : The Aston Martin project Vantage design concept for a performance car of the future

Aston Martin Vantage

 

The Project Vantage prototype is a design concept for a totally new, advanced- technology vehicle employing high-strength, lightweight construction and a high- power, low-emissions powertrain.

Project Vantage draws heavily on advanced research being conducted by Ford Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) and its wealth of experience gained from participation in Formula One Grand Prix racing and other areas of international motor sport.

Project Vantage resulted from close and continuing cooperation among engineers and designers at

  • Aston Martin,

  • AVT,

  • Borg Warner,

  • Magnetti Marelli,

  • AP Racing,

  • ITT,

  • TRW and

  • other Aston Martin suppliers.

With its body and chassis constructed from aluminum and carbon fibre, Project Vantage provides all the engineering efficiencies, structural integrity, torsional rigidity and occupant protection of a modern Formula One car. A central venturi in the underbody creates positive down force to aid directional stability.

Advanced electronic control systems for engine management and the transmission permit instantaneous gear changes through a system of Formula One-style paddles that can be operated through fingertip control from the steering wheel. The six-speed transmission may also be operated in a fully automatic mode.

The aggressive body design of this classic configuration, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive British sports car is the work of Scottish designer Ian Callum, whose design for the Aston Martin DB7 continues to win international recognition.

The two-seat, highly functional air-conditioned interior of Project Vantage is biased toward the needs of the driver. It is finished in an imaginative combination of traditional Connolly hide and suede upholstery matched to brushed aluminum and carbon fibre for many of the interior surfaces.

Aston Martin Vantage Interior

The driver and passenger seats are equipped with four-point safety harnesses. There is matching tailored luggage fitted in the boot and interior lockers.

Power is provided by a prototype 6.0-litre aluminum alloy V-12 48-valve engine, one of the units being studied by Aston Martin, Ford AVT and Cosworth Engineering of Northhampton to establish and identify Aston Martin's potential engine requirements for the future.

With base design by Ford AVT, this advanced engine is capable of being developed to provide the required levels of performance for Project Vantage while meeting or exceeding the world's strictest emissions standards. For example, its high-efficiency exhaust system has been designed to incorporate a 9.0-litre catalyst.

Ford V 12 Engine 48 valves, 6 liter

Initial performance indications on this racing/concept car show that this 200-mph high-efficiency Aston Martin could accelerate from rest to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds, reach more than 140 mph at the end of a standing quarter-mile, yet still get more than 20 miles per gallon of fuel.

Benefiting from Ford AVT's involvement with the Stewart Ford Formula One Grand Prix team and Bridgestone Tires, Project Vantage employs unequal length wishbones in its front suspension controlled by horizontally located pushrod-operated spring and damper units together with an active front anti-roll bar system. At the rear, the independent suspension is by equal length wishbones.

The AP Racing anti-lock brake system features ventilated and drilled 15ins diameter discs on the front wheels and 14ins diameter discs at the rear. The six-pot aluminum alloy calipers are equipped with titanium bridge bolts and fittings.

By combining aluminum honeycomb with carbon fibre, Aston Martin body designers have created a structure that takes full advantage of modern Formula One technology, including the generation of positive down force. The passenger compartment is constructed from aluminum honeycomb with carbon fibre reinforcements in the extruded aluminum chassis sections and roof pillars. The roof structure is generated from double-skinned carbon fibre. There are two energy-absorbent crush zones provided by the space frames. This mode of construction and these materials save more than 50 per cent of weight and increase torsional rigidity more than 100 per cent.

Four 25,000-volt, high-intensity discharge headlamp units provide lighting designed to match the performance potential of this Vantage prototype. This electronically controlled HID system doubles the output of conventional halogen lights.

The 19ins diameter cast magnesium road wheels with 9.5ins width rims are equipped with intermediate compound 255 x 40 ZR19 Bridgestone radial ply tyres at the front and 285.40 ZR19 tyres at the rear.


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