Ride of the Valkyrie

In Norse mythology, the valkyries were winged female spirits who chose who would die in battle and who would live. Their selected warriors were brought to Valhalla, a majestic hall in the realm of Asgard, ruled by the one-eyed god Odin.

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Aston on open water

AM 37

If I’m honest, I don’t know much about boats, or boating. I know that they’re generally used on water rather than tarmac, and they’re quite useful for fishing. Beyond that, my interest usually wanes.

I do find it quite curious, however, that Aston Martin has decided to branch out into the marine world. Unveiled in Monaco last September, their prototype AM37 powerboat, produced in partnership with Quintessence Yachts, is currently on display at the Yachts Miami Beach exhibition in the US, home to the largest collection of mega-yachts in the world.

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Blast from the past – Porsche’s tractors

Some people are often surprised to learn that their favourite supercar brands also produce vehicles that are more at home in a field. The first Lamborghinis, for example, were tractors, and are still manufactured today (after approaching Ferrari about a broken clutch on one of his cars, Ferruccio Lamborghini was told that as a tractor manufacturer he couldn’t know anything about sports cars, a mistake that led Lamborghini to peruse the creation of the perfect grand tourer). Then there’s Aston Martin, which was acquired by Sir David Brown, founder of a company of the same name that began manufacturing tractors with Harry Ferguson in 1936. Brown later purchased Aston Martin in 1947 and, although the two companies are no long aligned, what has become known as the ‘David Brown era’ saw the production of the famed DB series, the best known of which is probably the DB5.

Porsche falls under the same category. Their older tractors are quite rare, and quite expensive if they’re in good condition – late last year a lovingly restored 1959 Porsche Master 419 was put on sale via Done Deal for €49,500.

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Aston Martin – the next generation

VuI_01-newsheroSeemingly taking its name from the Star Trek universe, but more suitably from the Roman god of volcano fire, meet the Aston Marin Vulcan, undoubtedly the next supercar to feature on the walls of children (young and old) the world over.

While there are hints of the current Aston Martin stable, it’s very much a more forward-looking design (possible contender for understatement of the year) with its carbon fibre body, sleek lines and sharp edges, massive spoiler and rear diffuser, not to mention those spiky rear lights (we really love those lights).

Sitting below that sculpted bonnet and the massive air vents is an 800bhp 7.0L V12 engine developed by Aston Martin Racing. Take a moment to let that sink in. And, drawing on the car manufacturer’s racing heritage, the Vulcan will also feature Brembo racing callipers working with carbon ceramic racing disk brakes, Michelin race tyres, a six-speed sequential gearbox and, of course, a rear wheel drivetrain.

Due to make its début next month during the 85th annual Geneva International Motor Show, it has been described by CEO Dr Andy Palmer as “a true sports car for true sports car lovers,” and one which “sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class,” not hyping the Vulcan up by any means.

Unfortunately, as some of its specifications may have already hinted, you’ll never get the chance to see this particular model on a road near you; Aston Martin have dashed some dreams with the announcement that the Vulcan will be a track-only supercar. Prospective owners will be first invited to build their experience on a number of high performance Aston Martins, including the V12 Vantage S and One-77 road cars.

Considering only 24 Vulcans will be built, you can’t really blame Aston Martin for this – evidently simply sitting into the Vulcan and driving off for a lap of the track will end sooner than expected, probably in a ditch, or a wall. On a more positive note, however, the company did mention “a design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars,” so we may see a distant cousin hurtling around the roads some day.

The £1.5m price tag may prove to be something of a hurdle, but we can’t wait. For the moment, a look at the new DB10 would suffice.

Teaser video at the link.