Aston Martin envisages a focus on reducing weight before increasing power, according to engineering boss Ian Minards. “It would be relatively easy to lose 100kg from the current car,” he said. “That much could be saved by removing the air conditioning, simplifying the interior and fitting lightweight seats.”
Further weight reduction would involve expensive additions such as lightweight magnesium wheels and carbonfibre body panels.
The design focus would be on producing a lightweight, high-downforce car based on lessons learned over years of competing with the Vantage in the SP8 category of the Nürburgring 24 Hours race.
However, CEO Ulrich Bez confirms that considerable development potential remains in the 565bhp 5.9-litre V12 motor. “We could get more power than we have now even if we made the engine smaller to help with economy and emissions,” he said.
With the project not yet confirmed, no one is talking specifics. But even a modest power hike to 600bhp and the mooted 100kg weight reduction would boost the power-to-weight ratio from 339bhp per tonne at present to 383bhp per tonne, far beyond the reach of the Porsche 911 GT3 and placing it on a par with the Ferrari 458.
This would be sufficient to knock a couple of tenths off the current car’s 0-60mph time of 3.7sec, a time that could be reduced further still by using the launch control system already available on the Vanquish.
Its top speed would likely fall from its current 205mph though, as a result of both shorter gearing and the drag of high-downforce bodywork, including a large rear wing.
Were the project to get the green light within the next six months, the finished car would be unlikely to make its debut before 2015.